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Starting this Friday, Catholics in San Francisco will be able to donate to their local church by using an iPhone app, bringing modern technology to the millennia-old practice of tithing.
The so-called "digital collection plate" stems from a partnership between the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Evergive, as detailed by NBC on Wednesday. Beginning with this weekend's masses, parishioners will be able to donate through the free Evergive app, which is available for Apple's iPhone, as well as on Android.
The partnership with the Archdiocese of San Francisco and its 433,000 members marks the largest agreement yet for Evergive, which aims to assist "mission-driven organizations" in collecting donations. Much like with a standard credit card transaction, Evergive keeps a small percentage of each donation it processes.
Father Anthony Giampietro, interim director of development for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said the arrangement is justified as a benefit of convenience on both sides. He noted that Evergive not only makes it easy for churchgoers to give, but also simplifies creating new donation categories for special causes.
"The ease with which we could set up a campaign for Nepal or a youth group was astounding," Giampietro told NBC.
The app goes beyond donations, and will also serve as something of a digital community for members of the Catholic Church in San Francisco. Through the app, users will receive updates, can join groups, share messages and prayers, and more.
After spending a few months in beta, the partnership in San Francisco marks the formal launch of Evergive. The application is now available to faith-based organizations anywhere in the U.S.
In the future, Evergive plans to support nondenominational organizations such as parent-teacher associations, relief funds, alumni groups, and city improvement projects. Mission-driven organizations are invited to contact the company.