This article takes a deeper look at the specific way the CarePortal Card can and cannot be used, and how Churches can best utilize the card to increase their ability to respond to local requests. It also shows how the CarePortal Card makes it easy for the community to equip the local church to make more connections to families as they meet more needs.
Church Leaders and Network Leaders
Included in This Article:
- The Purpose of the CarePortal Card
- How it Works
- CarePortal Card Training Video
- CarePortal Card FAQs
1. How can my church request a CarePortal Card?
2. Which church leader roles are eligible to receive a CarePortal Card?
3. Who can offer funding for requests?
4. When will I be alerted about available funding?
5. How do the donated funds get onto my CarePortal Card?
6. Is there a fee to request or use a CarePortal Card?
7. Which financial institution offers the CarePortal Card?
8. How can I check my CarePortal Card balance?
9. What types of transactions are restricted?
10. How should I enter the "Name on Card" for online transactions?
11. Is there a spend limit?
12. Is there a billing zip code?
13. Is there a PIN?
14. What should I do with my receipts from CarePortal Card transactions?
15. Can someone who donates to a need come with the church to meet the family?
16. What should be done with money leftover after we've met the need?
17. Can my church refund money to a donor if things don't work out?
18. Will my church receive monthly statements?
19. Can my church have multiple CarePortal Cards?
20. Do donors get tax write-off benefits?
21. Who has legal and tax liability for donations?
22. What do I do if my CarePortal Card is lost or stolen?
23. What are some examples of inappropriate uses of the CarePortal Card?
24. What do I do if there are unauthorized transactions on my CarePortal Card?
The Purpose of the CarePortal Card
The CarePortal Card was designed to simplify the financial transaction process for community members help meet requests in partnership with local churches, as well as other churches who can work in tandem to meet requests. With more organizations, businesses, and individuals able to get involved, churches will be equipped to serve more kids and families, bringing glory to Jesus Christ as His ambassadors!
Churches of all sizes and types are able to request a CarePortal Card at no cost. This is just one way CarePortal is able to work toward our assignment of empowering the local church to be the champion for kids and families in crisis.
How it Works
For Connecting Churches: Approved Connecting Churches are alerted when someone not affiliated with a church that is local to the family in need commits to help meet some or all of the family's need. If the Connecting Church is equipped with a CarePortal Card, these responders will have the additional response option to "Fund Items" with a financial gift directly through the CarePortal platform. Without a CarePortal Card available, responders can only offer to "Provide Items" to local Connecting Churches, which means these requests would not allow responders to offer funding directly through the CarePortal platform. When a responder "provides", this requires the church to coordinate a way of getting the items from the responder to the family. See screenshot for the responder's view:
Once someone commits to fund the items included on a request, one card-holding church will be able to commit to the responder's resources, triggering a transfer of 100 percent of the donated funds to their CarePortal Card so the items or services can be provided by that local church.
For Non-Connecting Churches: Churches that have enabled and raised money into their CarePortal Fund can transfer that money from their CarePortal Fund to their CarePortal Card for specific open CarePortal Requests, allowing them to equip their own teams to directly serve local families.
See the FAQ section below for specific options and restrictions on how the CarePortal Card can be used.
CarePortal Card Training Video
(to use or embed this video in your own resources, feel free to use this link)
CarePortal Card FAQs
How can my church request a CarePortal Card?There are two places a Primary Point Person can find the "Request a CarePortal Card" button on the church setting's page: (1) under the "Become a Connecting Church" setting, and (2) next to the "Enable Your Church's CarePortal Fund."
Which church leader roles are eligible to receive a CarePortal Card?All Church Leader roles (Point Person, Pastor, Connecting Church Leader, Church Needs Leader) as well as Team Leaders for the church's default team are eligible to receive a CarePortal Card.
Who can offer funding for CarePortal requests?For Connecting Churches: There are two types of responders that are given the opportunity to donate and help meet needs through Connecting Churches.
- Community Champions & Responders - Organizations or individuals who are not approved response team members for an active CarePortal church
- Response Team Members of Connecting Churches with a CarePortal Card - Funding donated by these responders will be offered to their own church for 24 hours before the CarePortal platform alerts other Connecting Churches and allows them to commit to the request and claim the funds.
For Non-Connecting Churches with a CarePortal Fund Enabled and active CarePortal Card: When funding a request, Church Leaders and Team Leaders of the default team can select their church's CarePortal Fund as the "Contribution Source" to fund a request. For local requests, a preselected checkbox (shown below) will appear, giving them the option to have this money transferred to their CarePortal Card.
Note: In these cases, only church leaders can Fund specific local requests they choose. This is not available to their response team members, who can only give into the church's CarePortal Fund without selecting specific items or requests. To allow team members to Fund specific requests, the church must be a Connecting Church.
For more details, please see the article above on using a CarePortal Fund.
When will I be alerted about available funding? (Connecting Churches only)Based on your church's Connecting Church Radius setting, each Connecting Church can determine how far away you and your teams are willing to serve a family when the resources are available. You will only be alerted about resources available for requests inside this radius.
The CarePortal platform will identify and alert the "Recommended Connecting Church" first (the closest Connecting Church to the family or the church where the responder is an approved response team member). If the Recommended Connecting Church does not Commit & Claim the available resources within 24 hours, the other Connecting Churches with the request inside their radius are alerted and also given the chance to Commit & Claim.
How do the donated funds get onto my CarePortal Card?For Connecting Churches: When a Community Responder or Response Team member at your church decides to fund a requested item or service inside your Connecting Church radius, the funds are not donated directly to your CarePortal Card. You will be alerted with the opportunity to Engage the Community Responder and "Take the Lead" for that request (committing at least to the items that have been funded for that particular CarePortal request). Once you Take the Lead, the CarePortal Support Team will be notified and will approve the transfer of the donated funds for that request so they will be available for use on your CarePortal Card. You will receive a notification when the funds are made available. As the Lead Church, any additional funding given by the community will automatically be transferred to your CarePortal Card and you will receive an additional email notifying you of these funds.
For Non-Connecting Churches: When you select your CarePortal Fund as the "Contribution Source" and indicate that you want to transfer those funds to your CarePortal Card, the CarePortal Support Team will be notified and will approve the transfer of the donated funds. Once approved, you will receive a notification when the funds are made available on your CarePortal Card.
Is there a fee to request or use a CarePortal Card?CarePortal offers the CarePortal Card at no cost to churches that are active in the CarePortal platform, including covering transaction fees from the community donor to the PEX card and all donor tax responsibilities.
Which financial institution offers the CarePortal Card?The CarePortal Card is a prepaid business debit card offered through PEX.
How can I check my CarePortal Card balance?Cardholders are able to see their current balance in the "View Profile" pop-up window in their CarePortal Dashboard. This can be accessed from any page in their dashboard. All church leaders with access to CarePortal will have the capability to see the card balance. Each transaction associated with your CarePortal Card (debits and credits) will be displayed in your Transactions tab within your CarePortal Dashboard.
What types of transactions are restricted?The CarePortal Card will be declined when the transaction is coded by the vendor as a cash transfer. This may be the case for the following types of transactions:
- Paying bills (utility bills, car payments, etc.)
- Money orders
- Gift cards
This will be the case for these types of transactions:
- ATM cash withdrawals
- Peer-to-peer cash transfers (CashApp, Venmo, etc.)
Also, the card will be declined when the vendor puts an additional hold on the card that exceeds the card's current limit/balance.
Quick Tip: If your church needs to use funds from your CarePortal Card to perform one of these transactions, you can make a donation from your CarePortal card to your church and perform the transaction through your church's banking provider. Click here for more suggestions and tips.
How should I enter the "Name on Card" for online transactions?First name: Church name (exactly as it appears on the CarePortal Card, no numbers)
Last name: 5-digit church ID number
Is there a spend limit?The spend limit is equivalent to the card balance. You cannot exceed the card balance with any transactions used on the CarePortal Card.
Is there a billing zip code?The billing zip code is determined when you set up the initial card request under the billing address section. Usually, this will be the zip code for where the church gathers together.
Is there a PIN?Yes, when you receive your CarePortal Card in the mail, you will be guided through the activation process which includes setting your PIN up. If you never set a PIN or misplaced your previous PIN, email email@example.com.
Quick Tip: We recommend writing this PIN down on the paper that comes with your card and keeping it in a safe place such as your church's office.
What should I do with my receipts from CarePortal Card transactions?Receipts can be uploaded on the CarePortal platform by clicking the "Verify Participation" button in your church dashboard under the "Leader Actions" tab, or through the email you receive when the request is closed. Uploading receipts this way is recommended but not required to use the CarePortal Card. Outside of the platform, it's recommended that CarePortal Card holders keep receipts from each transaction for the sake of accountability and oversight with the resources they are being given the opportunity to steward.
Can someone who donates to a need come with the church to meet the family?Yes, at the church's discretion and under their leadership, funding responders can be invited to join the response team as they serve the family directly. As long as there is a trained church responder present, additional partners may join as needed or as part of the connection process that God is leading.
What should be done with money left over on the card after we've met the need?If your CarePortal Card is loaded with more money than is ultimately used for a particular request, you are welcome to use this leftover money to meet additional open requests through CarePortal in the community. Please remember to still log your receipts for additional purchases. If something happens to where your church is not able to use any of the donated money for the intended request, we ask that you Return Funds to the donor, as described in the next question.
Can my church refund money to a donor if things don't work out?Yes, card-holding church leaders can elect to refund money to the donor. This is done on the Request Details page and will automatically refund all of the money that was given for that particular request. See this article for more details.
Will my church receive monthly statements?Each CarePortal Card is tied to the overall CarePortal Fund rather than each individual church. Therefore, card-holding churches will not receive monthly statements. Transaction history and reports for each church are available on the PEX app.
Can my church have multiple CarePortal Cards?Yes, more than one person can have a CarePortal Card. Additional cards can be requested within the Settings tab in your CarePortal dashboard. Each active card holder's name will appear in the "requested by" column. All cards are connected to the same card balance.
Do donors get tax write-off benefits?Yes, as donations to the CarePortal Fund, funds given are considered tax-deductible. CarePortal absorbs the responsibility of creating and sending out all year-end donor letters.
Who has legal and tax liability for donations?For all donations made to the CarePortal fund, CarePortal is responsible for processing funds, issuing donation receipts, and issuing annual tax-deduction statements. Churches using these funds to serve families via the CarePortal Card have no legal or tax obligation for the funds or donors. Churches are accountable to monitor and track their spending as a card user, and must take responsibility for church members who are issued a CarePortal Card by only using the card to meet CarePortal Requests. Using funds to pay for needs unrelated to CarePortal requests is prohibited.
What do I do if my CarePortal Card is lost or stolen?Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist you directly.
What are some examples of inappropriate uses of the CarePortal Card?Below are some ways that will lead to your church having your CarePortal Card(s) deactivated in order to protect the trust and credibility of the CarePortal platform.
- Receiving funds and then using other resources to meet the need (funds should be returned)
- Receiving funds on your CarePortal Card and not providing the items you've committed to
- Using leftover card funds for items or services unrelated to CarePortal requests
- Using leftover card funds to pay for staffing or operational costs of your own ministry programs
- Providing items with card funds that are not in reliable operating condition
What do I do if there are unauthorized transactions on my CarePortal Card?1. If your church has multiple CarePortal cards, please confirm with the other card holders that the purchases were not made by them.
2. Send an email to email@example.com so we can block your card from further use. A replacement card will be ordered and sent immediately.
3. Contact the merchant where the purchase was made to dispute with them directly, documenting all communications.
4. We will file a dispute with PEX (card provider) directly.
5. Disputed funds will be reissued to your card once these steps are completed.
6. The card holder will be responsible for working with the CarePortal Support team to make sure all paperwork is completed and submitted on time during the dispute process.