One of the foundations of what we do when we try to be strategic:
*FOCUS = Follow One Course Until Successful*
Get rid of all those distractions and stay focused on the task at hand.
Some people think it is best to diversify and keep pursuing tons of stuff at once. But if you look at the successful people in any given industry, you’ll typically find that they have figured out how to be ultra laser-FOCUSED on just a couple of things (if not just one!) at a time.
*Thoughts on this? Let me know what is the one or two things (ONLY) that are at the top of your focus list.*
As the Church has progressed into the 21 Century, many of its functions have been modernized. We have guest services instead of ushers. Our fellowship halls in the back of the buildings have become Café’s and lounges in the front of the Church. Our music has moved from Hymnals to Projectors. Yet with all the modernization the Church is going through, one thing remains etched in the stones of the past – Our systems of tithes and offerings.
Fewer People are carrying Cash or Checks
Fewer and fewer people in today’s society pay with cash or checks. We even find that Millennials are using credit cards at an all-time low, as well. This leads to a dilemma for Churches. How do we get people to give tithes and offerings, when their only choices of giving are cash, checks and sometimes credit cards?
Here are some surprising trends in Consumer Spending:
- 2 out of 5 people carry less than $20 on their person (Bankrate)
- 38% of consumers NEVER write checks. Another 20% only write a few per year (The Financial Brand)
- 6 in 10 Millennials do not have a credit card (Washington Post)
These trends will eventually become a tipping point to where the tithe and offerings payment options offered do not reflect the payment methods people have with them while at Church.
A New Approach to Giving
It is true that people carry less cash, write fewer checks and carry less credit card debt, but there is one interesting fact. They all have money in a bank. The issue is the way they spend money. Their payment methods now consist of paying bills and buying goods online with a bank card.
Knowing this, we can create a system that capitalizes on the congregations ability to pay electronically. Better yet, we can make giving even more easier, increasing the revenues that come into our churches. Even better, giving doesn’t have to be done in a 5 minute devotional time in between Worship and preaching. It can be done at any time in the lobby or on their cell phones.
Part 1: SMS Text Messaging
Everyone has their smartphone in your service. A lot of them are using You Version to follow the message. Knowing they do mobile banking, why not offer them an easy way to tithe?
Enter www.kindrid.com. This service, and others like it, allows Churches to setup giving via Text Message. You have seen these in various forms, most notably the Red Cross. You have seen their advertisements for, “Text #XXXX to donate $10.”
With this solution, your Church sets up a giving number. You then include this number in bulletins or during announcements. People text the amount they want to give to the number and they are done. It is fast and simple for both the Church and the congregation.
Part 2: Congregation Based Giving Apps
Tablets are taking the World by storm. Combining these with smartphones, we can account for nearly every person attending a Worship service. We can make it as easy to give as creating an app that allows them to give right from their smartphone or tablet.
How do you create a giving app without spending a fortune to develop it? Well, there is an app for that. It’s called www.givelify.com. Givelify offers Churches a branded app for tithing and offerings. Pricing varies, but it is priced the way a credit card transaction is priced: example – 2.9% + $0.30 per donation. Users are used to this, since this is how paypal charges its fees.
The trick is getting people to download the app. The trick is to use QR codes. In your Worship service handouts and in announcements, place a QR code that leads to the app install. A simple click of the camera and the app is installed. From there, the user can give anytime he or she feels led.
Part 3: Giving Kiosks
Giving Kiosks are beginning to gain traction with Pastors. Why limit giving to the actual Church service, when you can allow people to give before and after service, as well? A giving kiosk will stand in the foyer area of the Church and provide visitors the easiest way possible to give their tithes and offerings.
They consist of three parts, an ipad, giving app and a stylish modern kiosk. SecureGive offers this as an all in one package. It can be seen at http://www.lilitab.com/pages/solutions.
SecureGive did a survey of Churches that used its services and found that giving increased by 27%. The study also found that the offerings given on the kiosk were 20% higher than non-kiosk giving.
With these applications in place, Churches can encourage giving from the front of the Church to the back of the Church. Thanks to technology, not only can we make giving easier, we can do it in an affordable manner. All of the solutions mentioned are cost effective and provide a very low barrier of entry so that every Church can get in and test these new ways of giving.