I’m late for mass. I rush up the steps and race through the vestibule doors thinking there won’t be an open seat in the pews. Then I exhale and realize—it’s summer and the church is usually pretty empty with lots of open seating.
The bane of every stewardship committee is the proverbial “summer slump.” The mindset generally goes: With fewer people in the pews, the gift basket presented during the offertory will be a bit lighter as well. That thinking would be totally appropriate if you are only offering the traditional means of giving—envelopes, cash, or checks in the basket.
With so many people on vacation during the summer months, it makes it difficult for parishioners to give when they are away. Similarly, the commitment they made during the annual appeal is lessened with the traditional options. However, when online and mobile giving options are added to the mix, members can then schedule their donations to occur when they’re away. Mobile giving helps them maintain their stewardship commitments.
The Generation Gap
Oftentimes, parish stewardship committees are comprised of people who are not as comfortable with electronic giving. However, a recent study conducted by ACI Worldwide and Aite Group finds that consumer online transactions are on the rise. In fact, they note the “generation gap” is attributed to the shift, and that only “one fifth of members of the Millennial generation have never written a check.”
Cash is also losing its prominence among many consumers. The Financial Times publication reported that from 2005 to 2015 the number of “cashless” transactions grew by 50 percent. Meanwhile, electronic transactions continue to grow. In the presence of numbers like this, all churches must recognize how essential it is for them to provide giving options that are comfortable and convenient for all their members.
Promote More Generosity
Whether your parish is small, medium, or large, statistics show that parishioners who are offered digital offering options will give 33 percent more than those attending a parish that does not offer online options for giving. A primary driver of this increase is the fact that digital givers have the option to give their offering, not just on Sunday, but any day—whenever the spirit moves them! This is shown in a recent Pushpay study reporting that two-thirds of online donations come in on other days of the week besides Sunday.
Pay from Pews
As many people embark on summer travel, they may visit a nearby parish. Maybe even your parish! Providing them with mobile giving options in the pews allows for easy donations. Maybe they even visit your parish with their family every year. If they remember your parish at Christmas and Easter too, imagine how much it would boost the parish budget.
Mobile Palm Payments
According to a Dunham+Company study on generational giving, 95 percent of Millennials have smartphones. And they’re not the only ones. 86 percent of Gen Xers, 66 percent of Boomers, and even 46% percent of Seniors use them as well. Increasingly, Americans are living their lives on their phones! These stats underscore the amazing possibilities churches have to tap into the power of mobile technology. Many churches are reporting increases in giving that stem from adding mobile giving options. In fact, parishes using Pushpay are reporting a 35 percent increase in mobile giving!
Here are four things you should consider before implementing a mobile strategy:
- How will you drive people to your mobile app or mobile giving solution?
- Does the platform you use have strong security and encryption technology to protect users?
- Is the app easy to use, allowing users to give in a couple of clicks?
- Is their strong customer support provided, not just for you, but for your parishioners as well?
Now is the time to think about adding online giving options for your parish community during the summer season, just in time for this year’s annual appeal!