By Gina Calvert

6 Facts to Bring to Your Church Mobile App Discussion Meeting

An important first step in an app discussion involves identifying expectations. What do you want to your mobile app to do for you? Naturally, you need to enable efficient mobile giving. And apps can be convenient and helpful for increasing engagement. But churches should get the facts before rushing into this decision. Especially if one of your major app goals is to increase giving.

[This is part 10 of our 11 Commandments of Online Giving series. Download the guide or start the blog series here.]

ONLINE GIVING COMMANDMENT #10

Pursue Mobile Apps Wisely.

Fact #1 is that custom apps can cost $100,000 or more! Is the ROI on this investment worth the price tag? Even if you’re getting a less expensive app, financial costs aren’t the only consideration. Here are…

5 More Reasons to Rethink Your App Decision

  • Templated apps that come free with a giving platform can be a challenge to use and maintain. There may not be a lot of support for this low-level add-on in the vendor’s offerings.
  • Studies don’t show that a church mobile app increases giving. Anecdotally, we hear from churches that only about 1-3% of their giving comes through the mobile app.
  • Keeping your app constantly updated with fresh content is a big job for staff. (Unless the app is automatically updated when you update your website)
  • App use is down in general and estimates put church apps at 10% utilization
  • This is key: The app’s giving experience is only as good as the giving platform you use. A mobile donation will highlight the hassles of multiple signs-ons, redirection to a third-party giving page, lengthy forms, and mandatory account creation that can drive people to avoid your app (and desktop) giving experience altogether.

App Alternatives

Do churches need to enable the convenience of mobile online giving? Yes!

Do they need an app to do that? No! Here are two excellent options:

  • Text-to-give is practically the silver bullet of mobile giving. It’s fast, easy, popular, and inexpensive for churches to offer.
  • Vision2’s optimized web giving pages with embedded give buttons support easy donations on mobile devices.
     
    Your givers get a mobile-friendly giving page that, when bookmarked, can be as convenient for givers as an app … without the additional costs and upkeep required of an app on your end … and the battery-draining effect of yet another app on your givers phones and tablets.

Church apps can be great! (We’re particularly fond of this one’s robust integration with giving and ChMS platforms, along with its innovative, true engagement strategy.) But, ultimately, depending on your needs, the best mobile app might not be a mobile app at all.

If you’re contemplating a church app, let’s chat first!

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