Developing Giving Tools That Fuel All Forms of Engagement
March 3 |
I did not arrive at Pushpay on a straight-and-narrow path.
I’ve held positions in finance, technology, payments, strategic planning, and other industries over the years. But in chasing my passion for each of those distinct fields, I eventually landed in my current role at Pushpay—which makes those scattered stepping stones look like I had a clever career plan all along.
These days, I’m Group Product Manager for Giving at Pushpay. I oversee the development and management of the company’s giving products and services, and my primary responsibility is to drive the product strategy and vision, ensuring that it aligns with the company’s overall goals and mission—an absolutely perfect fit for me, because I believe that online and mobile giving tools can support and amplify ministries of every size and denomination.
And, according to recent data, churches seem to agree with me.
State of Church Tech Data
Our CEO Molly Matthews’s mantra for churches and technology providers alike is to “meet people where they’re at.” What she means is, instead of clinging to our own ideas of how people should participate in ministry, we must engage those we serve in the same ways they’re accustomed to interacting with the world at large.
Well, when it comes to transactions—be it shopping, sending money to friends and family, or giving to the church—”where they’re at” is online.
According to over 2,200 churches surveyed in Pushpay’s 2023 State of Church Tech report, 91% of ministries currently use an online giving solution. It’s by far the most-used feature in churches’ mobile apps, and ranks first in satisfaction against every other church technology solution on the market.
DOWNLOAD THE STATE OF CHURCH TECH REPORT
All that’s to say, online giving is massively popular.
This means I don’t need to convince churches to adopt online giving—most of them have done so. Instead, what our team and I work toward every day is refinement. We’re exploring how to optimize our giving solutions, and how to best aid leaders in identifying patterns in their ministry’s giving data to help them reach their goals.
The State of Church Tech report shows a growing demand for the trend-tracking functionality we’re developing. In the survey, we asked every participant to tell us which digital tools and features their church was currently employing. Of the twenty we listed, nineteen either stayed the same, or fell in usage from the prior year’s figure.
There was a single outlier that bucked the trend: Church Management and Donor Software actually grew in usage over the past year.
Churches have clearly recognized that a streamlined, integrated ChMS provides incredible value at every level and enthusiastically adopted the tech—but, when it comes to tools that facilitate and nurture giving, my heart and enthusiasm belongs to Donor Management solutions.
Building Every Kind of Generosity
No church has ever advocated for less generosity from their members, and virtually no ministry believes that financial giving is the only form of generosity their community can offer.
This is where my team comes in. Our role at Pushpay is developing tools that help churches inspire more generosity—but in a way that meshes and resonates with how their people want to be generous.
Here’s a personal example: I am always drawn to charity and volunteer projects that support food access. Any ministry that includes preparing or providing meals for those in need, I feel called to contribute however I possibly can.
On the other hand, while I wholeheartedly understand that beach clean-up is a worthy and necessary cause, it’s not something that sparks the same level of inspiration for me at this moment in my life.
So if an organization that I support only sends me requests to contribute to beach clean-up—even though they host food access activities as well—I’m going to slowly disengage from that organization.
Well-intentioned churches do this constantly. By not identifying and targeting the particular and evolving ways their individual congregants want to engage with ministry, they inadvertently push away those who might have become their most passionate members.
This dynamic is especially crucial in giving. Say a church member isn’t financially contributing at the level they had in the past—what does that change tell your leadership? You can’t possibly understand that individual’s situation without data-driven insights that show the big picture.
Donor Management tools can inform you if a lapsing donor is investing more time in volunteerism and attendance. It could pinpoint that someone’s trending toward online participation only. Or it might flag that a person is disengaging completely from ministry life. As church leaders know, each of these scenarios—and a dozen other variations like them—require a customized approach to inspire re-engagement.
But I can tell you, from my experience in the giving space, a jaw-dropping number of church members fall out of financial giving for no intentional reason at all. Maybe they intended to give, but forgot one-too-many Sundays. Sometimes people can’t wrap their heads around your online portal, and procrastinate learning your system until (an indefinite) later date. Or—and this is the one that really hurts—they haven’t realized their gifts weren’t processed at all.
Our team’s making great strides in addressing this last issue. We’ve successfully implemented a process to identify and address failed recurring payments for customers. Our platform sends email communications to donors whose payments have failed, giving them the opportunity to reset their recurring payment. This proactive approach has resulted in a significant increase in payment recoveries and customer engagement, demonstrating Pushpay’s commitment to providing innovative and effective solutions for its customers.
I love my role at Pushpay. It fits my passion for financial technology and strategy, and is a spot where I can add value for churches all over the world—which, when you think about it, is a dynamic every member of the Church should enjoy. People should be intelligently led to the missions that resonate with them, and they should be nurtured toward engaging in those ministries however they can contribute at this moment in their journey.
That’s where we come in: Pushpay’s tools generate insights through intuitive, streamlined platforms, so you can spend less time picking through statistics, and more time acting on data-driven info to amplify the work you’ve been called toward in your community.
Church leaders didn’t start in ministry to become analytics experts—let us take care of that for you.