Editor’s note: I’d like to introduce Fraser Clark, the chief marketing officer at Pushpay. They’re helping hundreds of churches engage with that large portion of congregations who don’t regularly give. Pushpay is a beautifully simple platform that drives engagement with an app that allows giving anywhere and anytime—in less than 10 seconds.
We’re proud to partner with Pushpay and share their expertise on mobile giving.
Some form of online giving is common in many churches today. But very few churches have a solid strategy for digital giving. As a result they’re missing out on the real potential and power of digital giving to engage new givers.
A truly digital generation is coming of age in the church and the proportion of the congregation they represent is only going to grow. Churches that plan to fully engage this new generation of givers need to do more than just offer a donate form on their website.
We live in an age when smartphones are spreading faster than any technology in human history (LINK?), cash transactions are declining and we’re becoming more used to technology in our everyday lives. Churches need to consider these changes as they look to the collection plate.
What’s Working in Churches
Recently our team at eChurch surveyed over 1,000 churches to assess their current giving strategies. The following are the six key conclusions from this research:
1. Speed is key.
- People want to give online but it must be fast and simple.
- If it takes longer than 30 seconds to give, 85% of people abandon the transaction.
- Less than 5% of churches surveyed met these criteria. The giving experience in almost every church surveyed was almost impossible to complete on a mobile device in under three minutes.
- Speed is the number one requirement for an effective digital giving strategy.
- Simplicity of use is a clear second.
2. It must be simple. Complexity deters generosity.
- Amazon is one of the largest, most successful Internet retailers and the jewel in their transaction processing crown is the 1-Click system that allows you to purchase any item with just one mouse click.
- This system reduces the friction at a critical point in the sales process and significantly increases Amazon’s conversion rates. The system is so valuable that Amazon patented it.
- Simplicity encourages spontaneous generosity.
3. People must be able to give how, when and wherever they choose.
- Online giving is just one avenue for giving. Churches need to let people give in the way that is most meaningful to them.
- It is critical that digital giving software allows the donor the ability to set up recurring giving.
- Recurring tithes and offerings are the financial lifeblood of most churches and build disciplined followers of Christ by connecting their hearts with their treasure.
- It seems obvious that churches should facilitate giving by their congregation on a device they never leave home without.
4. Online giving must be secure.
- Many people do not give online because they do not believe it is secure to give their credit or debit card details over the Internet.
- With a good giving app a person’s card details are recorded just once and the user can give without ever again having to disclose card details.
- Churches need to ensure that any software they recommend to their congregation has the highest levels of online security.
5. Online giving can reduce administration costs.
- Integrating your digital giving with your church management database eliminates large amounts of admin time. Verified data such as email, phone numbers, addresses and giving amounts are automatically captured for your database.
- Again with a good solution, the member can print out a summarized contribution statement directly. One church of 12,000 members estimated the savings from not printing and mailing at $65,000 per year.
6. Good implementation is critical.
- If churches want to see the benefits of a good online giving system, they need to have a strong strategy for implementation. This often includes first gaining the leader’s understanding and then explaining the benefits to the congregation and the efficiencies the church will receive.
- It is important to measure the impact of the software after its introduction to ensure the benefits are genuinely achieved.
Our team at eChurch is bringing Pushpay to churches. In an age where digital giving is common but often frustrating and impersonal, Pushpay provides an experience that is beautifully simple and can provide points of connection between a church and its members.
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