“85% of people will abandon a transaction if it takes longer than 30 seconds,” according to research provided by Pushpay, the developers of a smartphone app that makes it possible to give in under 10 seconds.
Does it take longer than 30 seconds to make a gift on your current mobile giving system? Are you required to sign in before you can give? Do you have multiple web pages to navigate before a gift can be made?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, this blog post is for you! Refresh your cup of coffee and read on.
“I give to places outside my church because I believe my money is used more effectively in other organizations.”
“Other nonprofits do more to solve a problem.”
“My generation wants to give to something that makes an impact.” (from a millennial)
“When it (money) goes into a ‘pot’ and I don’t know what it’s doing, I’m less likely to give. I want to give to people – it’s about visionary giving vs. needs-based giving.”
These are all real comments I’ve heard in a few recent Generosity Audit focus groups while interviewing various church attendees. These are actual quotes. (ouch!)
So much is done electronically these days. With a swipe of the finger or a click of a button I can check my bank activity, deposit a check, buy movie tickets, and make reservations for a much-needed dinner date with my wife at our favorite restaurant. BAM! It’s done!
We are a society on the go. We opt for quick and easy solutions, and a church’s online giving system is one more way we can provide that quick and easy solution for what generous givers desire.
Convenient. Fast. Innovative. Google “church giving kiosks” and you’ll find those adjectives in abundant supply on manufacturer websites . . . along with promises of marked increases in financial giving, an upsurge in event registrations, and a unicorn with your church’s logo hand-stitched on its saddle. (Okay, maybe not that one. But the claims can feel slightly far-fetched.)
“So?” you’d be right to ask your favorite generosity consultant. “Should we hire one of those companies and get things installed? I mean, the unicorn sounds amazing!”
Well . . . No. You shouldn’t. While it’s true that many churches have experienced an uptick in generosity after installing giving kiosks in their buildings, it’s important to realize that those results have very little to do with the machine itself.
In my previous post I talked about the shift to mobile communication and the need for churches to pay attention—and act—on that shift. I suspect many of you reacted with a phrase heard in middle school hallways and mall food courts: WhatEVER, dude.
But REALLY. Your church can do this mobile thing…and that “can” actually borders on “must.”
But…what about the cost?
Keep in mind that there’s a big difference between a mobile app and a mobile-friendly website. Apps can be cost-prohibitive, and even if you have the financial resources to develop one, they can be time-intensive as well. Apps themselves require time and attention; in other words, updating a mobile app creates yet another to-do item on your list. Who wants that? In comparison, mobile versions of websites automatically update when you update the regular web version.
An interesting shift has happened in our social landscape over the last few years. When people are made to wait—at the doctor’s office, restaurant, coffee shop, or even stoplights (unfortunately)—they rarely just sit and twiddle their thumbs. Instead, you’ll see these waiting areas filled with people with their heads bowed and attention focused entirely on their screens.
You’ve done it, right? Checked sport scores and movie times. Cleared Facebook and Twitter notifications. Browsed Craigslist. Played solitaire. Searched for directions. Checked email. Googled some random question about something or other. Maybe even caught up on the latest episode of your favorite sitcom.
Much of becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ involves removing obstacles. Our sin creates barriers between us and God. Our overflowing schedules create detours and blowouts on the road to Sabbath rest. Our financial priorities can develop massive hurdles on the path to generosity.
Part of the local church’s work is to help Christ-followers identify and eliminate these barriers on their transformational journey. And sometimes the church inadvertently creates these obstacles, many of them in the area of generosity.
Every client I serve employs some form of internal church management system – Church Management Software, or ChMS. Some are dedicated to tracking financial information while others do that and much more. From simple systems (Excel spreadsheets – yikes! and/or Quickbooks) to complex models, there are many choices in the landscape from which to choose.
One of the best I have seen is Church Community Builder (CCB), a web-based solution that offers a vital component that others don’t – the ability for not only staff, but ministry team leaders and volunteers to access the system at any time from any place. To better understand the system and it’s advantages, I recently sat down with my friend Steve Caton, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, to discuss what to look for in a ChMS solution.
Bank of America and other large banks have plans to implement new debit card use fees. These fees are a direct result of a new law passed last summer that went into effect October 1, limiting what banks can charge vendors for each debit card use.
Recently I had the opportunity to have lunch with Bryce Collman, President of Ardent Giving Solutions. Our conversation turned to those new changes in transaction fees regarding debit card transactions that I thought important to share with my readers. Here is that conversation:
There has been a lot of communication around the topic of online giving (OG) lately, some of it coming from my desk over the last few months. While the debate has been worthwhile, there is another angle to consider as you setup your online giving solution (if you already have online giving in place, congratulations – but this info is valid for you also).
Once you have OG in place, a strong “marketing” effort must exist to educate your people about the new technology, and to address the questions they will have about it’s use.
The more effectively this is accomplished, the more you will see new users taking advantage of this option as they give their tithes and offerings.