Fundraising initiative being expanded to churches across Ky.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – An initiative piloted in about 125 Kentucky churches over the past year to help raise money for building expansions, mission trips, summer camps and other ministries is being expanded statewide.

KBC iBennie allows Kentucky Baptists to earn cash rewards for themselves and their churches when they shop online. The initiative also allows them to receive major discounts from thousands of online retailers.

Participating churches receive donations of 1 percent each time they book hotel rooms or purchase tickets to theaters, sporting events and concerts. They would receive 50 cents each time they purchase prescription medications. And they would receive a 10 percent donation based on the cash back earned by their members in purchases from a wide array of retailers, including Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, JCPenney and Petco.

Meanwhile, shoppers themselves would earn up to 20 percent cash back at more than 2,000 online retailers.

Invitations have been sent to all 2,400 Kentucky Baptist churches to participate and to explain how it works. Bulletin inserts and a 3-minute promotional/how-to video will be sent to churches that want to be involved.

“Churches that participated in the pilot program have already begun accumulating cash backs,” said KBC Business and Finance Team Leader Lowell Ashby. “It was a very successful trial run.”

Through KBC iBennie, Ashby said, members earn up to 20 percent cash back at more than 2,000 online retailers. They also can save an average of 20 percent on hotel bookings. And they can save up to 70 percent on prescription medications.

Membership in iBennie is free to members of participating churches. However, iBennie has partnered with The Entertainment Book to provide more than 365,000 coupons for an annual fee of $20, half of which iBennie will return to participating churches.

“We are a loyalty platform that provides incredible savings and discounts to the members while their purchases help support their favorite charities,” said Brad Renzelman, president of iBennie. “This is one of those initiatives that may sound too good to be true, but, in fact, it works as advertised. Other companies have been offering this service for years. What we’re doing is making it work for the benefit of Kentucky Baptists and their churches.”

Renzelman described it as a great stewardship opportunity where members can save money and churches can get additional charitable donations.

“We see it as a way for churches to have extra money for mission trips and ministries,” Ashby said. “Growing membership is our next directive for churches to experience intentional benefits from iBennie. I look forward to hearing about lives being changed at camps or mission trips that have been funded by iBennie donations.”

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