Engaging New Givers: An Interview with the Kindrid Smart Giving Team

Technology // May 31, 2016

Do you know about the 80/20 rule? In almost every scenario, 80% is accounted for by the 20%. That means that, in most churches, 80% of gifts are given by 20% of people.

Kindrid Smart Giving wants to flip that paradigm on its head and help you equip 100% of your church to give—and to do it with one text, tap, or click.

Are you consistently engaging new givers? Can your givers give within seconds? Do your givers need to sign in to give? Are there multiple ways your givers can give?

If you answered no to any of these questions, I encourage you to lean in on a conversation I had with the Kindrid team.

Q: We talk quite a bit about accelerating generosity on my blog. How can a service like Kindrid encourage generosity within the church? 

A: By using technology designed to engage new givers, we can actually increase the total amount that’s given. We’re not just redirecting gifts. We’re not just taking people who would have given by check or would have given by cash and asking them to give another way. Instead, we’re actually equipping people who would not have given otherwise to give.

We started Kindrid because we know that generosity isn’t zero sum, that it can always increase and only needs to be unleashed. The key to doing so is by engaging new givers with a simple, joyful giving experience. That’s what we do with Smart Giving.

Our prayer and goal is to equip 100% of people to give. We believe that will fundamentally transform the Church and make it known for generosity.

Q: How does Smart Giving make it easy for a first-time giver to be generous? 

A: With Smart Giving, it only takes 30 seconds to register to give. After that, it’s as quick and simple as sending one text. Once you’ve registered, you don’t need to log in or even leave your text message to give. Smart Giving opens up three new ways to give—text, online, and in-app—for a harmonized giving experience. That means churches who use Smart Giving have three new avenues to increase generosity!

Q: People rely more and more on smartphones and tablets. Why do you believe today’s churches must provide a text giving solution? 

A: Ask anyone on the street to cut you a check and you’d be hard pressed to find the person actually able to do so. So few still carry their checkbooks, or even cash for that matter. And it’s when we’re moved by the power of the Gospel in our churches, and feel the weight of our commission to support that vision financially, that we realize why it’s so important to help people give where they are and with what they have. Since our phones go everywhere we go, a solution like Smart Giving is crucial for churches.

Our heart is to invite as many new people as we can into a generous relationship with your church. Smart Giving doesn’t replace existing forms of giving, but instead opens up new avenues for people to give who might not otherwise.

Q: Pastors may think “mobile giving and online systems are for big churches with even bigger budgets—there’s no way we can afford this.” How do you tailor your service to fit a small-to-mid-size church’s needs?

A. Kindrid exists to serve the church—and we recognize that the megachurch of 14,000 doesn’t account for the vast majority of congregations. That’s why we price our product to be inclusive of the church plant who, if just one new giver uses Smart Giving, can pay for the monthly fee right out of the gate. At only $45 a month, with no contract or sign up/cancellation fees, Smart Giving is a workable solution for the vast majority of small-to-mid-size churches.

Since Smart Giving is designed to engage new givers, churches who roll out our solution tend to see significant increases in overall giving. With this kind of impact, churches can’t afford not to have a digital giving solution in place. Beyond our reasonable monthly fee, we’re committed to serving every church by reducing total processing costs for gifts. So far, we’ve saved churches $1.5 million by negotiating lower processing costs. Kindrid’s for the Church of every shape and size.

With this kind of impact, churches can’t afford not to have a digital giving solution in place. Click To Tweet

Q: In a June 3 article in USA Today, a recent survey showed 24% of Americans have stopped buying online due to breaches in internet security. How do you see this impacting the online giving model? What can we as churches be doing to assure our people that giving online is secure?

Security should be paramount in any online giving service. Giving is a sacred act of worship and exercising generosity by giving online shouldn’t interrupt that communion. The reality is that unless you’re confident in the company you’ve chosen to facilitate your online giving, you will be wondering whether you’ve jeopardized your church’s sensitive data.

If you’re wondering whether your online giving is secure, begin by verifying that all card information is stored to PCI Level 1 compliant standards. PCI is a set of standards developed by credit card companies to ensure card security. Level 1 is the highest level offered. Be sure to ask what other safeguards and policies are in place to prevent fraud too. At Kindrid, we don’t store givers’ card information but rely on our processing company who has the bandwidth and security procedures to ensure bank level security.

Q: What recommendations do you have for the church that desires to increase participation in e-giving?

A. Unless your digital giving is truly simple, givers won’t use it. That’s your first challenge. Before you can increase participation, you have to find a solution that encourages first time givers to engage with the mission of your church. Once you have that in place, continue to remind people about the ways they can give. Our churches who do this from week to week see awesome engagement!

Reminding your givers to use your text or online giving platform doesn’t have to take up half your sermon time. Quickly listing giving options during your normal tithes and offering equips people with the information they need to regularly give. Finally, be honest with your congregation. Why did you choose your digital giving solution? Was it because you needed to save your admins and financial team time during the week? Because you recognized that so few still carry cash or check?

Be clear about your motivations and ask your congregation to join you in this new endeavor. And remember! Adding additional ways for people to give shouldn’t replace your existing forms of giving. Your church should give in whatever way makes them most comfortable.

Q: What have you found to be the most effective tools to promote e-giving?

A. At Kindrid, we recognize that just because you have an intuitive technology doesn’t mean people will necessarily use it. You must couple the solution with a rollout strategy and communication plan. That’s why when you sign up for Smart Giving through Kindrid, you’re not just signing up for a simple giving solution, but an on-going relationship in which we provide you customized rollout materials (slides, instructional videos, how-to cards, etc.) and the support to make sure you have everything you need to successfully introduce this new way to give at your church.

Some of the churches who witness the most success with digital giving are those who take the time to follow a rollout plan. This includes the leadership team actually giving through the system, explaining how to do so to the congregation—including why they’re trying it and how to use it—and routinely reminding their churches to give by text or online.

Q: What changes have you seen over the last 5 years in giving, and in mobile giving specifically and what do you see on the horizon for e-giving?

A. We’re on the cusp of what technology can do in the generosity space. User experience is more important than ever. If you’re not providing a good user experience, you’re missing the opportunity to engage with your givers in a meaningful way and build lasting relationships with them. Here are some things we’d suggest keeping an eye on:

  • Pay attention to the second wave in digital giving. The first wave in the digital giving space made the act of giving simple. The second wave will make the act of giving transformational.
  • Take security seriously. Poor digital giving security is basically equivalent to leaving your Sunday cash offering out on the table.
  • Stop talking about digital giving. Segmenting and drawing lines around digital giving, as opposed to “normal” giving, widens an artificial chasm in our minds, instead of keeping giving the way it should be—holistic.

Q: What makes Kindrid different than other mobile giving solutions?

A. At Kindrid, our commitment to making the church known for generosity means we’ve designed every part of the process—from the technology you’ll use to rollout support that extends long after sign up—to engage new givers and increase giving. When we say Smart Giving is the simplest way to give, we mean it.

Kindrid offers true text giving. Once you’ve taken 30 seconds to register to give, giving again is as easy as sending the dollar amount and you’re done.  Unlike some of the other giving solutions out there, our solution means:

  • No apps to download
  • No passwords required
  • SMS: a system everyone already uses
  • Instant giving with a single text
  • Designated giving

Powerful rollout

  • Proven methods of communication
  • Custom slides, videos, and cards honoring your church’s brand first
  • Effective rollout plans and strategies

Supports Relationships

  • Integrates with your existing systems
  • Supports relationships between Willow Creek and givers, not givers, Kindrid, and Willow Creek.

Q: What are some of the wins you’ve seen with churches that have implemented Kindrid as a giving solution?

A. Seeing increases in new givers and giving engagement gets us excited. That’s why we love telling the stories of our churches who roll out Smart Giving and report major wins. No matter the dollar amount, if Smart Giving played a role in inviting new people into a generous relationship with their church, we’re happy!

  • At Highland Park Church, it was a 10% increase in new givers. At River’s Edge Church, our friends saw 75% of their giving through Smart Giving in the first 6 weeks after rollout. Beyond the benefits we can count in numbers though, what gets us even more excited is when we hear stories of generosity once someone uses Smart Giving for the first time.
  • A giver from Liberty Church in New York City named Jessi Green described the impact Smart Giving had on her relationship with money: “Smart Giving was a complete paradigm shift in the way I give—I tell everyone to do it. I can’t explain it other than that we’ve been so blessed through it. You can really trust God with your finances—you can’t out give Him.”

We have talked before about the importance of the ease of mobile giving. So this isn’t a new concept to my blog, but it is now proven research straight from the source that it does make a difference!

What is your mobile giving solution, and how can it be improved to help accelerate generosity in your ministry?

Looking for more in-depth information about giving technology? Download your FREE copy of my e-book “Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving.”


About Rusty Lewis

As a church leader, there’s nothing more frustrating than not having the funding to do what God’s calling you to do. But when you think about trying to address that problem, you feel overwhelmed, you dread the potential pushback from your congregation, and you’re not sure where to turn for help. Over the last 18 years, I’ve helped more than 120 churches close the gap between their current financial reality and what they need to move forward in ministry.

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