How Tithe.ly Helped Christian Retreat Center Save $1,000 a Month
Christian Retreat Center is a Florida-based conference center and home to Family Church, a vibrant church with a 50+ year legacy.
With global missions in Haiti, Romania, Honduras, and Israel and ~5,000 people who tune into their weekly live streaming, Christian Retreat Center serves a wide audience across multiple time zones–not to mention, the 500 church members who go to Family Church.
In the following case study, we’ll take a look at how Tithe.ly helped Christian Retreat Center not only grow a digital strategy for engaging their church members, but save up to $12,000 a year on software.
Christian Retreat, Meet Tithe.ly
When Christian Retreat started using Tithe.ly, they relied on the tool exclusively for digital giving. This was a strategic move, considering the church’s uniquely large online viewership. By using Tithe.ly, they could now make it easy and convenient for online viewers to give.
But when Justin Johnson took leadership of technology at Christian Retreat, he noticed that the church still faced a pressing challenge in their tech stack.
Multiple platforms and per-month costs were creating a jumbled mess of technology for Christian Retreat. The result? Inefficiency, and worse–wasted time and money.
The Challenge: Disconnected Systems & High Monthly Costs
When Justin started his position as Director of Technology, his first observation was that Christian Retreat relied on too many tools.
“I started seeing all the various systems, like the website and mobile app. Nothing was connected,” says Justin. “It was completely separate, with different logins for everything.”
“It was kind of a mess,” continues Justin.
Because of the church’s different ministries, they also had nine different websites. While this certainly serves as a testament to their far-reaching influence, it wasn’t helpful for creating a cohesive digital strategy–or for saving cash.
Adding to the confusion was a variety of platforms for hosting, creating, managing, and sending content online, including Wordpress, Appy Pie, Constant Contact, and SiteGround. With separate costs and logins–and little customization for churches–these tools weren’t making the task of running multiple ministries online any easier.
To help him tackle the challenge, Justin shifted from just using Tithe.ly for giving to using Tithe.ly for everything.
Let’s take a look at how Tithe.ly All Access helped Christian Retreat not only engage church members better, but save time and money.
The Solution: Tithe.ly All Access
Johnson knew that Tithe.ly was already helping Christian Retreat with their online fundraising efforts. Then he discovered that the online giving tool offered a streamlined solution for website and app building, email marketing, text messaging, and more.
“When I saw that Tithe.ly offered All Access, I was really excited,” says Justin. “It could solve our issues by putting everything together in one place and making it easier to manage.”
By offering a one-stop solution for marketing and engagement, Tithe.ly also helped Christian Retreat save a significant amount of cash every month.
“The number of people we had in our database caused us to have this huge subscription fee with Constant Contact,” says Justin. “Plus, all nine websites cost quite a bit of money.”
He continues,“With Tithe.ly All Access, we are now saving about $1,000 a month.”
One core piece of affordability was that Tithe.ly doesn’t scale up in price as it gains users.
“For a lot of these technology providers, their price scales up as you add more and more users,” says Justin. “What I like about Tithe.ly is that it doesn't just keep expanding in price.”
Finally, Tithe.ly proved to be easier to use than the other platforms.
“The website builder was more user-friendly than WordPress, which requires you to have a bunch of plugins if you want your website to do anything interesting,” says Justin.
He continues, “The mobile app has also been very user-friendly,” says Justin. “Appy Pie was limited, and sort of complex to use.”
Help Your Church Thrive with Tithe.ly
Ultimately, the full suite of Tithe.ly products helped Justin to:
- Build one fresh new website to replace the nine sites
- Create a mobile app that connects with the website
- Design and send updated email newsletters to thousands of contacts
- Send push notifications to app users to keep them connected and engaged
- Connect online giving directly with Christian Retreat’s email database and CRM
….all for $99 per month (Tithe.ly Giving is absolutely free to use as a standalone product).
By using Tithe.ly, Justin was ultimately able to take on greater responsibility at Christian Retreat.
“I’ve actually been promoted now to General Manager because I’ve been able to change all these systems,” explains Justin.
A win for staff and the church budget = a win for everybody.