By Gina Calvert

The Best Options in Mobile Giving for Churches

Mobile giving for churches is a hot topic right now. Everywhere you look, people are on their phones. So it makes sense that churches would wonder how important mobile should be in their overall online giving strategy.

Mobile devices accounted for approximately half of Internet traffic across the globe in 2019, and 63% of both Google’s and Yahoo’s visits in the U.S. are via a mobile device. Currently, 40% of all online transactions occur on mobile devices, which includes both smartphones and tablets. (Source)

But are people making charitable gifts on their devices? The answer is YES. Some studies estimate mobile donations are increasing year over year as much as 40%, with some of the highest increases occurring in the church market (likely because it’s becoming more available.)

3 Types of Mobile Giving for Churches

Let’s start by distinguishing between mobile giving for churches (i.e. an online giving form that has been optimized for mobile devices), mobile giving apps, and text-to-give for churches.

TEXT GIVING is the simplest method of online gift donation. It operates through text messaging, separately from the church’s website and online giving form. In seconds, a giver can text a gift amount to the church’s dedicated number. The entire process is managed via short prompts by which the giver is guided through the process.

There is no information available about the church like a website has, though churches can include links in the confirmation text and/or email to their website or other sites. Text giving is quick and particularly well-suited for on-the-spot giving at events. Most online giving platforms include text giving.

A MOBILE GIVING APP is a separate app that can act as a mini-website for devices. It is populated with information about the church, events and programs, ways to connect, spiritual content and a giving platform. Because the data is stored on the user’s device, the experience can be faster.

Some online giving platforms come with a free app, which is templated, less flexible and less likely to be supported than custom apps, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Apps create an additional channel that must be kept current and, unlike a website, will not likely be found by searchers who don’t already know about it. Although there is no evidence that a mobile giving app will increase giving, it can be an additional convenience for givers.

MOBILE GIVING FOR CHURCHES is the use of an online giving platform that is optimized specifically for use on devices. Without mobile optimization, giving forms don’t display correctly and the giving experience is glitchy and frustrating on a phone. But when a giving form on your website is mobile-friendly, it is as easy to use on a phone as on a desktop version, but with the power to access it on the go.

Comparing ease of use, costs, time invested and ongoing maintenance often tips the scale in favor of combining mobile giving for churches with text giving. Return on investment and streamlined experience for givers are improved even more if the giving form is embedded, which allows givers to complete gifts on the church’s website, rather than taking them to a third-party vendor’s site.

Vision2 provides embedded, mobile-friendly giving forms and text giving for churches. Schedule a demo today to find out about our exciting new approach to online giving for churches.