Q&A: How giving consistency — across multiple campuses — drives better ministry, increased magnanimity & more efficient church management
Ensuring that multiple campuses feel unified — and keeping the messaging surrounding giving and generosity challenges consistent — seem like challenges most multisite churches would face.
Is that accurate?
Matthews: Yes, and these are important and mission-critical questions to answer. It’s vital that the giving message — across not only multiple sites, but also multiple media streams — remains clear and consistent.
Two ways to address this issue are: 1) using a script, and 2) pre-recording the message.
Scripting the message in advance and sharing it with campus pastors or volunteers is an excellent way to encourage consistency. It gives your communications team the opportunity to thoughtfully create a message that inspires
The same can be accomplished with a video message — as long as it’s updated regularly.
What other unique challenges do multisite churches face related to mobile giving and engagement?
Matthews: I think multisite churches face the very real challenge of ensuring internal adoption of leaders and staff across all campuses before launch.
It’s so important for a successful launch that all leaders are on board with the transition. Each campus needs to receive the same vision behind the transition, and each campus leadership team should really be required to test the giving experience before launch.
Here are a few ways to address this:
1) Record a video for each campus to share with its staff.
2) Provide an outlet (and possibly an incentive) for staff to share feedback and questions.
3) Have a staff member serve as a representative to visit each campus during a regular staff meeting to share the vision and encourage testing the giving experience.
From an administrative perspective, what advantages does a streamlined, consistent mobile giving platform offer for multisite churches?
Matthews: There are many advantages for administrative teams — first and foremost, consolidation of workflow.
Mobile or online giving removes the majority of the manual tasks administrative team members complete each week, freeing up their time to focus on higher-priority tasks.
“There are many advantages for administrative teams — first and foremost, consolidation of workflow. Mobile or online giving removes the majority of the manual tasks administrative team members complete each week, freeing up their time to focus on higher-priority tasks.”
At Pushpay, we’ve learned through data that mobile givers give more frequently and more often than cash and check givers.
Additionally, with the consolidation of tools, reporting and giving summaries are simplified for a multisite church, as they can now see and share with leaders one comprehensive giving summary that includes each campus’ giving.
In what other ways does a mobile giving platform make particularly good sense for a multisite church?
Matthews: In my opinion, it is vital for multisite churches to focus on mobile giving. It’s important we stop thinking about giving as a Sunday morning activity and as a Monday-through-Sunday activity, too.
Mobile giving allows people to participate at every event and at every site, which is a huge deal. In the past, giving across multiple sites was a logistical nightmare, let alone offerings at multiple events. Who collects the offering? Who counts it? Who drives it to the main office? Who recounts it? Who takes it to the bank?
Mobile giving removes the logistical barriers and increases visibility all at the same time.
As a multisite church analyzes its mobile giving data across multiple campuses, what should it look for? What insights and action items can be gleaned, and how?
Matthews: Having the ability to track trends and behaviors is incredibly helpful in understanding the overall health of a site or campus.
If giving is going up at three sites and down at one, that data should trigger further investigation. How is the lower-performing campus talking about generosity? Is that campus showing signs of recline in other areas?
On the other hand, when one site is tracking significantly higher, it’s important to use that data to resource the ministry teams and prepare. Who is teaching on the weekend when giving is going up (or down)? What other activities are taking place that could be influencing growth?
Understanding giving patterns is vital to effectively preparing for and managing healthy church growth.
What kinds of results have you seen among multisite church clients that offer well-thought-out, comprehensive, consistent mobile giving options across all campuses?
Matthews: Increased participation.
I have the opportunity to work with some of the largest multisite churches in America, and they all have one thing in common: They are intensely focused on increasing participation in their churches, and they empower their leaders with the right tools and messaging at each site to do so.
Empowering each site with the technology needed — and clear communication points — creates alignment. And, alignment is a catalyst to grow participation in an effective way.
— Reporting by RaeAnn Slaybaugh