A recent survey shows nearly one-third of smartphone users rank their mobile banking app as their most-used app, just after social media and weather. And it’s not just the under-30 crowd that’s managing their money from their phones. Nearly half of adults in the survey are increasingly using mobile banking.
Here are three tips for making the most of these changes when it comes to helping your members give and tithe.
1. Make giving mobile-friendly
Using your online giving system, your donors should be able to quickly and easily set up a new or recurring gift, choose which fund to give toward, update their payment method, and check their giving history—all from their phones.
And if you use more than one fund, name each fund something that’s easy to figure out. For example, if your church’s benevolence fund is called “Mission: Boston,” then add “benevolence” or “local missions” in parentheses. Or add a brief description of how Mission: Boston funds are used, such as: “homeless ministry, care packets, and food bank.”
When it’s easy to find where to give and it’s easy to make a gift, people respond.
Tip: Put yourself in the shoes of a new person at your church and make a test gift. How long does it take? Would a new donor feel confident that their gift is going to the right place? Would they be confused by the fund choices? Is your church name and/or logo visible?
2. Put giving and church engagement in the same place
One of the biggest hurdles to helping your donors love online giving is making them use different tools for giving, engagement, event registration, and so on.
Bringing all your tools into one solution makes it more intuitive for your congregants’ everyday lives. For example, in Faithlife, your donors can start a discussion with their small group, RSVP for an event, and set up a new gift—all on Faithlife.com, and all on their phones.
Tip: Audit the congregation-facing tools your church uses. Do any of the tools for giving, events, or engagement overlap? If so, how can you consolidate your tools?
3. Show how giving fuels mission
The nuts and bolts of online giving are only part of the story—it doesn’t matter how easy you make giving if your congregation isn’t inspired toward generosity.
The best way to do this is to teach about giving from Scripture, using passages like 1 Timothy 6:17–19 or 2 Corinthians 9. A living theology of generosity is built gradually, once it’s rooted in the gospel.
Another way to inspire generosity is to go out of your way to share stories about how your church’s generosity is making a difference in your community. Did your church support a single mom who needed a job? Did you send a team on a mission trip? Did you hire a new staff member to train small group leaders? By sharing stories like these, your donors know they’re a part of making your vision a reality each time they pull out their phones to make a gift.
Tip: What’s one new initiative or benevolence opportunity your church was able to support last year because of your donors’ generosity? Share the story from the stage or in your church’s Faithlife group, and thank each person who gave.
Have you taken any of these action steps? Let us know what’s working for your church in the comments!