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Faith Leaders 3min read

Taking Your Church Donations Mobile: The Time Is Now

A quick Google search for “mobile bible app” yields 42,400,000 results. Another for “church apps” turned out 138,000,000 results. And “church donation apps” another 7,440,000.

What’s missing in these results? Most likely your church.

The mobile future is now

The time to take your church donations mobile is now. Right now. Today.

We live in a world where you can order pizza, request a car service, book a hotel, or pay your insurance on your smartphone with a few taps. It’s clear that people want to have these conveniences–these necessities–readily available.

People also want to engage with their church through their smartphone. Whether it’s reading the bible, watching lesson videos, or making donations, your members want to feel connected with your church. They want to connect wherever they are, whenever they want to.

This isn’t the dream world of a 1950s sci-fi novel. It’s reality.

Need proof?

Average Hours Per Day Spent on Mobile Devices

Click to enlarge. Courtesy ExactTarget

According to survey research by ExactTarget:

  • 32% of respondents associate mobile with on-the-go use.
  • 85% of respondents consider mobile devices a central aspect of their lives.
  • 89% of respondents feel mobile devices allow them to stay in touch with loved ones and events in their lives.

How people feel is one thing. What they actually do is another. The real world behavior of people in this survey shows just how important their smartphones are to them. Here’s the bombshell:

On average, respondents spend 3.3 hours per day on their smartphones

Or how about this, according to Bank of America research:

47% of Americans can’t go more than 24 hours without their smartphone

Mobile usage is more than just texting, emailing, and looking at websites. A recent comScore report showed that U.S. mobile app usage is roughly five times greater than mobile web usage. So people are using Facebook, shopping on Amazon, and (hopefully) donating via Givelify in staggering numbers.

Going home is hard

Taking Your Church Donations Mobile: The Time Is Now

Click to enlarge

Not too long ago, if you wanted to do anything on the internet you went home, to the library, or to the office. Why? You needed to be at your computer, hard-wired into the wall, to get online.

Now we have the internet with us wherever we go. Desktop and laptop usage is falling farther and farther behind mobile devices.

As of May 2014, mobile apps made up 51% of our share of digital time, compared to around 40% for desktops. If you’re forcing donors to go home to make offerings, you’re losing them.

We’re not getting any younger

Millennials (and younger people in general) are even more attached to their devices than previous generations. But far from making them less connected to the world around them, Millennials tend to be hyper-aware.

A recent Blackbaud report on a survey of Millennials showed that more than 65% of survey respondents receive emails from one to five different nonprofits. Even more encouraging:

Most Millennials say they would give via mobile phone, and 8% have given via social media.

What does this mean? In order to remain connected to your members you must reach them using the channels they prefer. Increasingly the main way to engage is through the smartphone.

Your members younger and older are reading their bibles, playing games, and networking with each other on their phones. They should be able to donate to your church just as readily.

About the Author

Matt is dedicated to making the world a better place. He works passionately to help charitable causes use mobile technology to raise the funds they need. In addition to his role at Givelify, he volunteers with the Southside Animal Shelter and Kentuckiana Pug Rescue.

Matt Chandler