The Mobile Church: Text Giving
Text giving is an important tool for the growing church. This post is part 1 in a new series, The Mobile Church. In this series, we explore the way the mobile phone is changing the way people connect and the way churches minister. What was once seen as a potential threat to community is now the great connector of people, creating new opportunities for churches and ministries to reach audiences, minister, and raise funds. Follow this series to learn about the trends in technology that can no longer be ignored.
Jennifer is a 26-year-old loyal churchgoer. Each Sunday as she leaves the house, she checks to make sure she’s not forgetting one thing – her phone. She doesn’t bring her Bible and notebook. She certainly doesn’t bring her checkbook. She follows along with the sermon on her Bible app, tweets a verse that stood out to her, then texts her friends to meet for lunch. How do churches motivate people like Jennifer, who now communicate and manage their lives almost entirely through their smartphone, to be a part of the mission and give to the church?
One technology trend that is quickly gaining traction is text giving and purchasing. By simply texting an organization’s keyword and a donation amount, users can easily give in just a few steps from the palm of their hands. First introduced through disaster relief campaigns, new text giving platforms have streamlined the process, cutting out carrier fees and long turn around times, making text giving a viable option for even small organizations. It’s also not limited to young audiences; people of all ages are more and more relying on their phones to manage their lives. Churches that have instituted mobile giving are seeing quick audience adoption and remarkable results.
Cross Point in Nashville, Tennessee, recently adopted text giving through Textify Mobile, an easy-to-use text marketing and giving platform designed with churches and nonprofits in mind. The church launched its text giving by creating a campaign that asked the question “What would happen if everyone gave something?” The pastor, Pete Wilson, walked the congregation through how to give and asked everyone to give just $1, illustrating how a little bit can make a big difference.
In just one Sunday, Cross Point engaged more than 700 first-time donors through Textify. By making it easy and accessible to give, and by centering it around a compelling campaign, people who normally did not donate were motivated to do so. The church was even able to promote the campaign on Facebook, since text gave people an easy way to give throughout the week. Another church offered text giving as an option for their Christmas Eve giving and raised nearly $10,000 via text alone.
“We started Textify and saw almost 700 new donors to Cross Point in one week!” said Stephen Brewster, Cross Point creative arts director. “It is so simple, the user experience is great, and it is well designed. Even creative people will enjoy using this platform.”
These incredible results do not just bode well for church tithing; they also show how comfortable modern audiences are with text messaging, not hesitating to even transfer funds through a mobile phone. In fact, they are often more likely to engage with it than with something requiring the old checkbook (assuming they even have one). Text giving is here, and it is not only critical for staying up-to-date with the current donors, but it represents a unique opportunity to reach a brand donor base of people who have never given before.
Have you thought about a text strategy for your church? Do you have one?
Lawrence W. Wilson
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