Churches Reaping Benefits from Member Shopping Habits

January 28, 2014

--UMC Market Deemed Successful in First Year
Nashville, TN – The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), in conjunction with Zebraplace, launched in July 2013. is an online shopping service specifically designed for members of The United Methodist Church to shop at hundreds of well-known and respected retailers and get a percentage of their total shopping purchase donated to the local church or other Church organizations of their choice.
The year developed well and finished strong for the program. Since July, 2013, 2,570 United Methodist churches have participated in the program and received donations. Between July 1 and November 30 of last year, nearly $23,000 was donated back to local churches and other United Methodist organizations. In December alone, nearly $26,000 was donated back as church members used the online service at year’s end.
Bobby Lee Smith, Manager of Corporate Partnership and Philanthropic Initiatives at GCFA said “We are encouraged by the results from 2013. The goal of this initiative is to provide ministry monies for churches in unconventional ways and where they might not have existed before. We are hearing stories from church members across the connection that they are providing resources for the church in an innovative way. We look forward to this program growing. It is encouraging to see comments from users that tell us ‘This is a very good program. I use it and already [we’ve] received money back’, and to hear how just regular online shopping can make a difference to the church. We encourage everyone to search the list of stores at and see how they, too, can take advantage of receiving donations to their United Methodist organization or church. The upcoming Valentine’s Day is an excellent time to consider shopping online for gifts and travel. By using, members of The United Methodist Church have the opportunity to select items and generate a micro-donation to the local church or United Methodist organization of their choice.” is under constant review and revision to assure the best shopping experience and to assure that donations are credited back to churches and organizations regularly. You can follow, like, send comments and share with your family and friends at on Facebook.
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The General Council on Finance and Administration coordinates and administers financial resources, safeguards the legal interests and rights of the Church, and provides administrative resources to enable the fulfillment of the mission of The
United Methodist Church.