Generosity on Your Own Schedule
Passing the offering plate on Sunday mornings is a strong association about the church that churchgoers and non-Christians most likely both share. This image has been used to represent the church in country songs to movies and tv shows, which can create a stereotype of churches. All they do is ask for donations. Many pastors now even feel the need to add a disclaimer on Sunday mornings when referencing generosity, “I promise we don’t want to take your money … ”
But what if we could reframe the culture around giving. I think in the past because of convenience and efficiency it made the most sense to pass the plate and frame generosity around Sunday morning. That’s when you had everyone’s attention, if only for an hour. But now with the advances of technology it’s time to think about reframing your generosity strategy beyond the plate or the boxes in the back by the exit. Just like congregations are fluid, always changing generationally and needing to be engaged strategically, generosity is the same way. The days of tying giving to a location, your church meeting place, and to one day a week, Sunday mornings, are over. With strategic planning the implementation of a Text-to-Give system, encompassed with online giving, can transform how a congregation thinks about and pursues generosity. If you you can improve upon the giving experience — you just might get more donations.
According to research, 80% of people are using their mobile devices to surf the internet. Mobile digital media time has increased by 51% (as compared to desktop usage at 42%). The implications are clear, if you’re not able to reach your audience through mobile, or you’re not providing a satisfactory mobile experience you will miss out opportunities to engage your audience. And in the realm of generosity, this can have huge financial implications.
Text-to-Give: It’s Time to Go For It
Using Text-to-Give, your church will have a designated local phone number that people can text and give right on their phone. It works like this:
- Text “Give $100” or any other amount to your designated phone number.
- Follow the prompts in the text message.
- Enter your 4-digit pin, or if this is your first time, register your credit/debit card or bank account.
- Make sure to save the phone number in your contacts as “Church Giving” so you can easily use it again.
Things to Consider
- Friday might become your most popular day for giving. This can likely be tied to people setting up recurring giving to come out on their payday. Another feature people can set up through Text-to-Give.
- Don’t expect Sunday to back down as a popular day to give. People are engrained in tradition, so while Sunday giving numbers may stay the same, it’s the time of day that people are giving that will change. After church is the time to reflect on the sermon and what God has given them, and be prompted to give at that time.
- Another interesting trend to consider relates to when giving happens during the day. People have the flexibility to give whenever they feel is most convenient for them. Giving before work (between 7 and 10 a.m.) or after work (between 6 and 9 p.m.) will most likely be a highly used time, but also on lunch hours or late at night also are other times that people will be able to utilize for giving. Think of your giving channels as a store, open 24/7.
- The idea that people are resistant to church giving is a myth. We’ve found that people want to be generous, and when you backup your teaching with tools that enable them to give when and how they feel most comfortable, they will.
- Text-to-Give unlocks the potential for your church to appeal to the millennial and tech savvy generations in your church. Things like an online giving program and Text-to-Give are something those generations view as a “standard” these days, and may be inclined to ask about.
- Campaigns such as a capital campaign or missions campaign are made easier with Text-to-Give. Consider also utilizing an push notifications with the Text-to-Give phone number in your church’s app to remind people to give to certain causes your church is spearheading. Sending this simple reminder and empowering people to give in the moment, at their convenience, will give them the extra push to generosity.
How do you think your church can benefit from a Text-to-Give solution?