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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Many churches in the Bible belt have done away with whatever shame they have about receiving contributions and have placed a sort of reverse ATM in their proximity. Take note of SecureGive, which installs units that allow donations with debit or credit cards.

Crass? Maybe so. But easy and effective. What if one of these was delicately placed in the lobby of a theater in the city? Would that be a turn off? Would it be economically unfeasible? (Would the costs outweigh the benefits?) Would it raise donations?

Increasingly, checks are being replaced by online banking and direct deposit. Being able to make a donation, immediately after a great performance, with a debit card... it sounds like the future to me. Strangely enough, its being used more by Pentecostal churches than it is major not-for-profits.

Love to hear some thoughts about this sort of unit at...say...New York Theater Workshop. Or the Access. Or the Cherry Lane.


Ian G said...

Ooo. I have seen the future, and this is it.

I think this is a good idea, actually, as long as the costs of having it don't outweigh the benefits. But I, for one, would appreciate being able to donate this way. It's so much easier than writing a check (um, wait, did I even bring my checkbook?) or giving cash (cause I might want to take a cab home). So I say go SecureGive!

TD said...

I saw one of these machines just this weekend--at Pearl Harbor! I walked on by, but thought "Huh, that's a pretty good idea."

Christopher H. Rivers said...

Nice to see you guys are grasping our vision. Pearl harbor has not only embraced this system but has utilized it well. The bottom line is most people, when they feel prompted but make a mental note to give later don't. Our kiosk are like a no excuse policy.

We are working right now with one of the largest non-profit groups in America that will rent one at the end of this month and test it out to see if the cost are worth it. This is going to be the first time we have promoted this rental idea.

One of the reasons why Pearl Harbor does so well with their kiosk is that it is strategically placed and when people see it they know what it is.

Organizations that don't promote the unit are not going to benefit from it all.

Putting a machine in your lobby is not going to be the miracle cure, but it will help.

Check out our blog dated 3-27-2008.
I had spoken about the return on your investment in that post.

Happy giving.....