Eliot Crowther | Co-Founder | Pushpay
Designed as a fast, simple, secure, tactile — and fun — new-school giving option, Pushpay is distinct from other solutions in how it draws givers into the mobile experience, according to Co-Founder Eliot Crowther.
“We realize that it’s mobile giving which is encouraging a lot of the increase in a church’s budget,” Crowther explains. “So, we’ve designed our entire platform to funnel givers in that direction.”
Because givers expect simplicity, Crowther says user engagement and ease of use have been the targets for every step of the tool’s development. “We understand that a person’s desire to give shouldn’t be overcomplicated with sign-up or sign-in procedures,” he points out. “With Pushpay, new givers can make an initial gift and get set up very quickly, no matter which digital entry point they start with.”
Here’s more from Crowther.
When you hear the term “new-school giving,” what technologies and platforms come to mind right away?
There are many “new-school” giving options available through a range of platforms. People expect simplicity in their everyday lives, so Pushpay’s approach has been to create a simple and uniform experience across all the giving touch points of a church.
Our online and kiosk platforms feed straight into the mobile experience. And, after a fast initial setup, church members are then able to give in 10 seconds. It’s a little like iCloud in that you can expect to engage with the same experience across all your devices.
For churches, how critical is it to make giving easy?
The importance of removing barriers to give is vital. We’re seeing a generation of givers coming through who’ve never written a check before. And, though they’re less likely to carry cash, they always have a mobile phone on them.
It shouldn’t matter if you’re in church or at home; you should be able to give whenever and wherever you feel moved to do so — without having to jump over barriers. We’re seeing a remarkable statistic that shows 39 percent of giving through Pushpay happens on days other than Sunday. This is where our church partners are seeing dramatic increases in generosity from both new and existing givers.
Are there any hard-data figures or research that speak to the giving opportunities that could be lost if the giving process is too complicated?
If mobile giving takes longer than 30 seconds, 85 percent of people will abandon the transaction. That’s why we’ve designed our mobile solution to take just 10 seconds to complete.
Furthermore, a recent survey showed that the average online giving experience for the 50 fastest-growing churches across America took more than three minutes to complete. This astounded us!
We figured we could tackle this problem and achieve two wins in the process. First, we could transform online giving so that it takes less than a minute to complete. Second, we could migrate those who give online into the world of mobile generosity. This is accomplished via an invitation text, which is sent after an online gift is completed.
This approach has been a game-changer. In fact, we’ve found that 35.4 percent of all people who give online will go on to download the app and give to their church that way.
What’s holding some churches back from offering new-school giving options?
There’s sometimes a resistance to something new. But most times, there’s a perception that it’s going to cost a lot to implement all this new technology.
While there are some fees associated with implementing a ministry-wide program such as Pushpay, the true value comes with a reduction in administration time and costs (through our integration with church databases) and the considerable increases in giving. So, the investment in this tool is a very small fraction of what a church sees back in cost savings and giving increase.
“We’ve seen our online transaction count double since switching to Pushpay, compared to the previous year [without the tool]. That’s a lot less internal processing to do, which is valuable for the time it saves us.” — Pastor Joshua Reeve, The Cause Community Church (Brea, CA)
If you could prescribe a recipe that drives optimal giving in a church, what would it include?
Make online giving simple. Simplicity is king. When somebody wants to give, they should be able to do that first, and then fill in a minimum of details after the fact. It has to be a pleasant experience.
For an example of how simple it can be, see this giving page. Here, Pushpay seamlessly integrates with ONEchapel’s online presence.
Have one solution at each touch point of a ministry. This makes sense for both the church and the giver. So, whether you prefer to line up for a kiosk, give online, or engage with a mobile app, your congregants’ needs are catered to.
Implement well. This last step is vital — our implementation teams are all ex-church staffers and understand what it takes to implement a new program in a church. They work with our partners to provide an optimal launch, continued support and tasteful promotion of the platform.
Any other thoughts to add about new-school giving options for churches?
There’s no doubt that the giving landscape is changing. We believe churches should be positioning themselves in such a way that they’re ready to encourage and support the next generation of givers.
— Reporting by RaeAnn Slaybaugh