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September 23, 2020
Technology is more than a product—it influences the life of your church.
From how people make online donations to the way you engage your church and manage its day-to-day life, the technology you use plays a part in how you make disciples.
This is what North Coast Church discovered.
The online giving provider the church had been using made it difficult for people to give. “Giving wasn’t easy,” explained Russ Cantu, owner of Catalyst Church Creative, who provides marketing support for North Coast Church. “People would visit our site, click on the giving form, and then they were sent to a third-party destination to make a donation. We lost 42 percent of givers from the time they clicked on our online giving form to the provider’s donation page.”
But for North Coast Church, their concern with losing givers through their online giving process wasn’t their bottom-line. It was an issue of discipleship.
“We’re big proponents of making disciples in a healthy environment—and generosity is a big component of that process.” Russ went on to share, “We don’t want to create a hindrance to giving, and that’s what was happening. We want to make it as simple as possible for people to give.”
For this to happen, North Coast Church needed new technology and a better way for people to give. They turned to Tithe.ly to help them increase online giving. Tithe.ly is designed specifically with churches in mind and provides several easy ways for users to give, without taking them to a third-party site.
Since switching to Tithe.ly, North Coast Church’s online giving has more than doubled. During this transition, the church didn’t implement new tactics to increase donations or launch a capital campaign. They continued using similar tactics and messaging as they had been using all along.
To explain this significant jump in online giving, Russ shared, “When we talked to church members, we found out that online giving with Tithe.ly was an easier process.” Instead of leading people to make a donation on a different form, North Coast Church was able to create a seamless giving experience their people can trust.
Not only did North Coast Church’s online giving skyrocket after switching to Tithe.ly, but they also saved a lot of money in the process.
“One issue we ran into had to do with the previous company’s fees and rate structure,” reflected Russ. “We were paying over $4,000 per month just to have access to their platform, and their processing rates were variable, which made it difficult to forecast our costs.”
Regarding the variable rates, North Coast Church would be required to pay a different rate based upon how many donations they processed online every month. Since this rate fluctuated, it made it difficult for their accountant to anticipate how much they would be charged—especially during seasonal spikes, like December.
With Tithe.ly, there’s no monthly fee and the processing rates are fixed.
Any church of any size can use Tithe.ly’s online giving tools for free; there’s no contract, and you can cancel at anytime. What is more, Tithe.ly’s processing rates are fixed and they will never change—whether you process $1 or $1 million online—which makes life for your treasurer or accountant a whole lot easier.
When I asked Russ how much they saved by moving their online giving to Tithe.ly, he shared, “We saved $82,000 per year by switching to Tithe.ly.” At North Coast Church, these savings have gone toward the church’s most important work—making disciples in a healthy church environment.
When it comes to online giving, you need a partner—not a product.
“Another deciding factor for us to change was development and customer service,” remarked Russ. “We wanted someone to work with us to develop a product that would help us to make disciples, encourage generosity, and engage our church.”
Previously, North Coast Church struggled to have their app updated, and they were unable to receive certain features to help them make healthy disciples. Since switching to Tithe.ly, they’ve been able to work with the Tithe.ly team to develop the features they need to provide the best online giving solutions and app for their church.
Reflecting on their experience, Dr. Larry Osborne, a senior pastor and teaching pastor at North Coast Church, said, “One of the things we like best is their ability to be flexible. No other company we worked with was able to help us build the features we needed to reach people digitally.”
When I asked Russ to talk about the difference with Tithe.ly, he said, “With Tithe.ly, it’s all about people over product. We have a partner who cares about our church, our work, and is willing to work with us in developing the best possible product for the local church.”