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.)
4 Types of Mobile Giving for Churches
The categories of mobile options for churches (in our order of best overall value) include:
- Progressive web apps
- Mobile-friendly giving pages
- Native mobile church apps
Our ranking system takes into account cost, ease-of-use, maintenance required and potential for effective engagement.
Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps (PWAs) are the next-gen solution for the challenges of native mobile apps. Many popular brands are using them, and the experience is so app-like that it’s likely you’ve used one without even knowing it. (Think Wordle, Starbucks and Spotify, for starters.) The experience is much better for givers AND churches in literally every way. Learn what makes them so great.
MOBILE-FRIENDLY GIVING PAGES
This describes 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.
Text giving 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 offer complementary text giving.
A church app 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. (Note: There are similar apps JUST for giving that operate in much the same way.) We rank this option as #4 primarily because of cost and ROI, based on low usage rates and high maintenance. Explore those details here and here.
Comparing ease of use, costs, time invested and ongoing maintenance easily tips the scale in favor of PWAs.
Introducing Vision2’s new PWA: GIVE2
PWAs aren’t the best because we created one. We created one because they’re absolutely the best solution for churches seeking an effective, cost-efficient mobile strategy. Give2 comes standard with our giving solution and includes our proprietary visual ministry designations and self-service access to giver profile and payment information.
Download a quick overview handout. Or view our introductory video: