5 Mistakes That Cripple Digital Giving in Your Church

Frank talks with Shirin Fletcher and Caroline Mitchell about Tithe.ly Grow, a new online resource to help churches transition to digital giving.

March 6, 2019
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Show notes


This week on Tithe.ly TV, Frank talks with Shirin Fletcher and Caroline Mitchell about Tithe.ly GROW, a program designed to help churches launch their digital giving tools and to help their church members to transition into digital giving.

During the show, they talk about:

  • Common obstacles to transitioning a church to digital giving
  • How reluctance toward digital giving sabotages church growth
  • Strategies pastors can use to get buy-in from their congregation

Resources

Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

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Video Transcript

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Frank Barry:      Hey, what's going on in Tithe.ly Fam? This is Frank, with Tithe.ly, and I am joined today, not by Dean Sweetman. You can obviously tell is not here, but I am joined by Shirin Fletcher and Caroline Mitchell, two amazing women on the Tithe.ly team here, that actually help lead our Grow Program. Guys, it's great to have you on the show today.

Shirin Fletcher:  Thank you.

Caroline:   Thank you.

Shirin Fletcher:  So excited to be here for the Tithe.ly invasion.

Frank Barry:      Oh yes. World domination. Where are we today? I'm in Southern California, like always. Shirin, where are you located?

Shirin Fletcher:  I'm in Los Angeles.

Frank Barry:      Shirin is out in LA. Caroline, where-

Shirin Fletcher:  And it's raining today, which is strange.

Frank Barry:      Yeah. It's trying to rain today over here in San Diego too.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Weather report. Caroline, where are you at?

Caroline:   I'm holding up the southern side of the country. I'm in Knoxville, Tennessee today.

Shirin Fletcher:  Our southern belle.

Frank Barry:      Very good.

Shirin Fletcher:  That's right, you'll hear the accent come out, don't worry.

Frank Barry:      Our southern belle. Who just came back from ... you were in New York for a while, so we were just chatting about that.

Caroline:   Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Back to Knoxville from New York.

Caroline:   This week. Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Yeah, yeah.

Caroline:   It was a great experience.

Frank Barry:      Amazing. Well, we're super excited. If you're joining us on Facebook, please feel free to ask questions in the comments. Give the show a like. Share it with your friends. If you find any value in the things we share, whether it's today or any of the other shows, we'd love for you to show some love and spread the word about the show.

Frank Barry:      But today we're here, we've got Shirin and Caroline here because we're going to talk a lot about common mistakes. The title of today's show, check in here over on the notes, it's Five Mistakes That Cripple Digital Giving In Your Church.

Frank Barry:      Shirin and Caroline actually work on the Grow team at Tithe.ly who, that team is basically all built around helping churches succeed. Without jumping into the details of that, Shirin, do you want to give us your description of what your team does?

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah, totally.

Shirin Fletcher:  The Grow Program, which Frank has really set up, I don't know if we can move on to the screen for a second, but he has a sign that says grow behind him. So he perfectly set us up. It was just for today's show. No, but really the team is a team that really helps onboard customers. There's a very practical sense of it and we help you onboard, learn our products, know it so that you're set up for success. Then also, we just really want to help increase your giving. Help you identify the holes, what's going on in your church and maybe with your offerings, your generosity, that we can come in and help fill those holes and make it more well rounded.

Shirin Fletcher:  Generosity is totally at the heart of Caroline and I, of course, but also Frank, yourself, Dean, who is a pastor for 30 years. What we'll really try to do is get in there and be unlike other, maybe, people or organizations and help say to churches, what can we do for you? How can we help you in this area? This something that sometimes people don't love talking about or maybe talk about too much or too little. But how can we just get in there and assist churches. It's really led so much by heart, that's why it's such a privilege for us to be able to do this every day and help churches with this journey.

Frank Barry:      Yeah. Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  That's kind of the brief description.

Frank Barry:      We started the program about a year ago. Right?

Shirin Fletcher:  Exactly.

Frank Barry:      We've now seen, I don't even know exactly, but hundreds of churches go through the program.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Which is pretty exciting. And Caroline, you've been at Tithe.ly for a while now. Tell me, tell the viewers, how long have you been at Tithe.ly?

Caroline:   Yeah. I've been at Tithe.ly a little over a year and a half, which is just been so great and we've seen so much change. I've worn a lot of different hats, but it's been such a great experience to work with so many different customers. I've definitely been on the customer facing side, the customer success side of things since I've been here. Just the amount of growth that we've experienced has been incredible.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Yeah-

Shirin Fletcher:  Caroline can do all things at Tithe.ly.

Frank Barry:      All things.

Frank Barry:      I don't know about that. Don't put me on the support team, I don't know if I could do that.

Caroline:   Yup. So tell us, and you guys can both chime in on this. Shirin, maybe you can elaborate too, because you described it a little bit, but, why did we introduce Tithe.ly Grow? It was about a year ago, obviously at Tithe.ly we do digital giving for churches, amongst a few other things, but really at the heart we've built this company around helping churches grow giving in the digital age. And I think we saw a need, so we introduced the Tithe.ly Grow Programming Team. But, why Tithe.ly Grow? Why should churches go through that program?

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. Really, it's just like you have this personal ... person, this actual person that's helping you along a journey. Whether you've been doing digital giving before, or not, I think they're just always so much opportunity to grow and to have ways to teach your church and your community, how can I make this better? How can I make this experience better? And a lot of times people shy away from maybe technology or introducing new things because they didn't want to rock the boat. But we want to take you on that journey of, what's the why? Why are we pushing it? And why is it so important for us to have generous communities and all of the cities that we live in around the world? And what more can we do in the Kingdom?

Shirin Fletcher:  So it's like, I said before, such the practical, we want to make sure that there is practical resources and equipping you in a way that will help your ... even your admin staff. The people doing all the nitty gritty. But then also, churches, small and large, help you inspire you. Breathe life back into this area of your church.

Shirin Fletcher:  I know we're talking about generosity, but also the digital side of things where it's like, what's the disconnect? What's not happening? One of these stats actually said that online donations made to smaller churches, less than 200 people, decreased from 2015 to 2017. So, what is that? Why? Is it a lack of teaching? Is it a lack of us nurturing this area in our communities? And so, we want to help identify that with each person. It's so much about a custom plan, a custom, we're here for you. We want to assist you. We want to see the Kingdom grow.

Frank Barry:      Yeah, I think, to piggyback on that, I think churches are steeped in tradition in a lot of ways, just with how churches ... maybe they were started a hundred years ago and so, not for any bad reason, but they have a way of doing things. One of those things it's always happened is giving has happened via passing the plate.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      So cash and check, put it in the basket. And so, for churches to adopt digital giving, it's oftentimes a big hurdle.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      This is new to me. I don't understand it. We've always done it this way. So they're making a big jump and therefore they're not sure how to do it and how to be successful with it because they've always done it one way and they're switching to something, or they're adding something new. I think a big part of the Grow Program is just hand holding and walking people through that process.

Shirin Fletcher:  Exactly.

Frank Barry:      So they have a partner in it and they've got somebody who's been through it and has seen other examples and other churches go through it.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      And give them comfort along the way.

Shirin Fletcher:  Totally.

Frank Barry:      I think that's a big part of why we do what we do.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. And it's so different for each church. Like you said, like the tradition or the journey.

Frank Barry:      Yeah, yeah. And Caroline, what have you seen, from your perspective, working with some of these churches? What are some of the, I don't know, just big successes or a moment or two that you were like, oh wow, they really got it? Or this really helped that church succeed. What ... I don't know, is there anything that comes to mind when you're thinking about that?

Caroline:   Yeah. Well, the thing that I love about Tithe.ly is we're open to serving any and every church. There's not just one category or one group of churches that we're willing to serve. With the experience that I've had here, I've seen so many different types of churches, big, small, different denominations, all kinds of different stuff. And so, success stories have been very widespread.

Caroline:   I think, kind of going with success, you got to have to identify the pain points first. I think such a pain point that we've talked about so much, with just Tithe.ly TV is just normalizing giving. How do we make this a normal conversation? It's an obligation, it's a duty as a believer. Kind of like missions.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Caroline:   We go into missions and we have to have the mindset and then it has to be normal in our church culture. I think we have so many people that we work with at Tithe.ly, and so many customers and churches that are so desperate to make this normal. I think Tithe.ly has seen so many success stories with this custom plan. Getting to know our churches and having such a great team. To have a listening ear to these people who really want to make this a normal thing in their church. Tithe.ly, being able to partner with any and all churches, no matter what kind of category they're coming from. We've seen so many different success stories in that way.

Frank Barry:      Yeah, yeah. And you mentioned, we work with super small, all the way down to the church plant. I was on the phone with a church plant yesterday who's been on Tithe.ly for actually a couple of years now, so they're not really a church plant anymore. They just bought a building. They started with us as a fairly young church plant and they're growing.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      They bought a building and things are going well. But we work with as small as that, all the way up to what you might call a mega church or these really big churches in the US, and in other countries.

Frank Barry:      I think we all have a heart for the small churches. I remember when Dean and I would be on the phone with churches when we're starting Tithe.ly and it's like, I'm talking to a pastor that's been a church for two years and their are 75 people, and helping them through the process of launching digital giving. And how fun that was and how fulfilling that was-

Shirin Fletcher:  Totally.

Frank Barry:      -to help those kinds of customers because they're just ... they love God, they love Jesus, and they're putting in the work to advance the Kingdom where they're at.

Frank Barry:      But, Shirin, you mentioned a point where we're seeing, and it was Dunham and Company that I think did the research, and they saw a decline in digital giving in smaller congregations over a certain period of time.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Why do you think that is? What do you think's going on in the smaller church world as it relates to digital giving?

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. I think ... it's so easy to disqualify ourselves thinking, this is how we've done things. It's like what you mentioned, even about tradition. We're so small we don't need to offer all these different ways to give. We are staying in our lane and doing our thing. But I think God really honors us stepping out and he meets us in these different ways that we open up opportunity to give.

Shirin Fletcher:  Like I said, churches will grow. People will, I think, learn that it's not as hard and as daunting as it is. At Tithe.ly we've made it so easy to set up. From the back end and then to the user experience, it's so easy to get on board. But I think that it's ... and we might get into this a little bit, but there's definitely these common things that we see. One of them being even demographic. Talk about disqualifying yourself. It's like, well, this is ... they might be on the older side, which is great, and beautiful.

Frank Barry:      Right.

Shirin Fletcher:  But, give people credit. Most people are using smartphones and are able to do it.

Frank Barry:      Absolutely.

Shirin Fletcher:  And I think that you're younger generations are only going to keep growing up, and they're the next generation. Even catering to even those few that you have and offering it up. And then I think promoting it well. Taking the opportunity to talk about it and talk about giving, if you have a moment in your service, and not be afraid to talk about it from the stage and promote that church app, or promote that thing.

Shirin Fletcher:  Then obviously, social media. We talk about social media a lot on this show and how great that is for engaging people. I think we live in this day and age now, whether you're a small church or a big church, people are going out there planting churches and doing great things for Jesus. Usually they have social media. Usually they have a stage they stand on and do announcements or an offering moment. Usually they have these things. It's just kind of taking them and utilizing them. And again, that's where we help you, no matter what size church you are, we're helping you, giving you resources, giving you sermon series that will help you talk about generosity and ... yeah, help you on that road.

Frank Barry:      Do you think, or do you see in your experience that the smaller churches, and small can be a relative term, but let's say, that 250 member and under sized churches, generally struggle with communication and consistency around communication when they're launching something like digital giving or does it fade away out over time? And that's why giving kind of decreasing in that segment. Or, is that a big part of it, you think?

Shirin Fletcher:  I'm sorry, you froze there for a second, but about communication.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  I don't think ... I actually sometimes think that they do a great job because it's new and it's fresh. Whether it's a church plant or a small church, sometimes they're just someone super passionate. I think you obviously see a little bit of both. I think sometimes in a big church that's been going around for awhile it's breathing new life into it and helping them rethink of new ways to communicate and new ways to get something across because there's a million announcements and things going on in a big community.

Frank Barry:      Right.

Shirin Fletcher:  But a lot of times I would say in a church plant or a small church, it's getting the ambassador, and if you don't have that, I think a lot of churches do, it's finding that person that is just going to be your giving ambassador, or your person that's going to run around getting excited about digital giving or getting excited about generosity as a whole.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  And almost like collaborate with your team on the best way to communicate. I think the thing about a pastor is, and the leadership team is, they know their church and what they're going to respond to. So just getting creative in those ways to do that.

Frank Barry:      Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Caroline, what are some ways you've seen the smaller churches communicate well?

Caroline:   Yeah, going off what Shirin said, so many smaller churches, their biggest issue is they're short staffed. They don't have a ton of people ready to go, or just being able to wear multiple hats at the same time, and so, a lot of times giving can be kind of lost in that. Or maybe it's maybe not lost but maybe they don't know the next step. That's where I think Tithe.ly comes in and plays a huge part. We've seen ... I just had, it's still a small church, but they are 100 years old, this church is 100 years old.

Frank Barry:      Wow.

Shirin Fletcher:  Very cool.

Frank Barry:      I just talked to them, this is probably a month or two ago and, like what Shirin said, having that ambassador, no matter what your size is, no matter what ... how long you've been around and what your history is at the church. But having that person to get up and say, change is okay, and change is good, and having that advocate for giving and to normalize it. That was one success story where I was really excited to talk to them and their history and demographic, and it ended up being really successful fit for them, and I think their congregation really likes it. Even with being an older demographic, they found it pretty easy to give online.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yes.

Caroline:   And I think that they've seen a big change. It is a slow transition sometimes.

Frank Barry:      Oh, for sure.

Caroline:   People have to get used to that change, but it's been really good for them thus far.

Frank Barry:      Yeah. My father-in-laws in his 70's and he was using Apple Pay before I used Apple Pay. On his iPhone using Apple Pay, showing me, how cool is that.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      It's definitely not something that the older generation, or let's just say the baby boomer generation, isn't up for using. They're all about technology.

Shirin Fletcher:  Totally.

Frank Barry:      Most of them have been doing online banking.

Caroline:   Yeah. If you just show them.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Caroline:   Yeah. If you just show them how to do it. It's super simple. Super, super simple.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Yeah, yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  I actually love that you said ... oh ...

Frank Barry:      No, no, go ahead.

Shirin Fletcher:  Like Caroline, about taking people on the journey and explaining it to them. In church, we are pastors and leaders, and that's part of it, it's nurturing people along your journey. So maybe it will take a little bit longer or ... the adoption, but if you're committed to that journey.

Shirin Fletcher:  Same with my mom. She's at my church I can scan a QR code and then all of these songs populate into my phone and she thinks it's the best thing ever.

Caroline:   That's funny.

Shirin Fletcher:  I think it actually excites people to learn the things and [inaudible 00:16:38].

Frank Barry:      Yeah. How does the Grow Team come alongside churches? What is the program that you guys take people through to help them through some of these common mistakes or pitfalls or trouble areas so that they can be successful rolling out a digital giving solution?

Caroline:   Yeah, I can answer this one.

Caroline:   But yeah. The Grow Program is there basically to walk our customers, step by step, through the setup process and to make their transition to Tithe.ly successful and easy and as painless as possible. Because, you know, it is a pretty daunting task, especially if you're transitioning from another giving platform. We've pulled so much data and we've done so much research on our most successful customer relationships and our ... kind of the success stories, sorry guys, success stories that we've experienced being in this industry for so long.

Caroline:   But, translating that into super easy, super easy step by step process that works for all churches and, no matter what size you are, kind of like what we've said, and no matter how long you've been around. Not just assuming that every plan that we've seen ever before works for your church, but also customizing that for it to meet your churches needs. That's, yeah, that's kind of what Grow is, and to be able to make that easy for churches.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Yeah. What are the steps? Give us the practical, what are some of the common steps you take a team through?

Caroline:   Yeah. What we've seen ... first step is informing your leadership team, letting your staff know that this change is coming and get them excited about it. Because if they're excited about it, then your congregation is going to be excited about it. That's step one before anything else. Even before you really get into the backend and the admin of things, let people know it's coming. This is an incredible time to be inclusive with your team and to let them know what's coming.

Caroline:   The cool part about getting your team involved is that, like I said, when they're excited, your congregation's excited, and most likely they're going to be part of who's educating your congregation.

Frank Barry:      Right.

Caroline:   So if they know what's going on before even this transition really gets in the big swing of things, that's going to be a huge success for your team-

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Caroline:   - and step one.

Frank Barry:      Do you see churches taking that advice, saying, okay, I'm going to ... I get it? I need an ambassador. I think, Shirin, you were mentioning, you need the super fan kind of one person. But then you need to get your leadership team. Maybe all those on staff, or maybe if you're a smaller church it's your core volunteer leadership group or something like that. Do you see people doing that well, or taking that advice?

Shirin Fletcher:  Yes.

Caroline:   I have. Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. Especially people with a staff, I would say. They want to get ... and I think a lot of it too is if it is a bit [inaudible 00:19:38], whether you're coming from a different platform or not, it's just like having your staff experienced the steps and even help problem solve or troubleshoot certain things.

Shirin Fletcher:  And then again, especially if you're based in ... and do a lot of small groups in your church, your leadership team can ... you can make a custom plan to decide we're going to put this neighborhood groups through a different stage and we're going to launch it this way at staff meeting, or this way at this meeting. Which has been cool to see people get creative and it has given us even ideas on how to talk to churches and suggest things to them as well.

Frank Barry:      Right.

Shirin Fletcher:  But I do think it's important. Caroline, you chime in on what you've witnessed as well.

Caroline:   Yeah, I think the biggest thing that I would say is, not just telling your team that this change is coming, but telling them why. Telling them why you're making this change and why it's important for your church.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Caroline:   I think if everyone gets behind the mission of why, then it's going to be a successful story for you.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah

Frank Barry:      Yeah, absolutely. And there's usually two why's that I ... well, two big ones that I've seen. It's, hey, we don't have digital giving and we need to do this because everyone's asking for it or they're using digital in other ways and we should have this at the church.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      And then maybe the other side is, it's going to save us a whole lot of money. We've seen situations where we've saved churches almost $100,000 a year by switching. Those two reasons are pretty compelling when you tell your leadership and then you tell your congregation, hey, we're adding this new tool because you guys have been asking for it. Or, we're switching tools because it's going to save the church a lot of money that we could put into other programs.

Shirin Fletcher:  Totally.

Frank Barry:      Both are compelling things. Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      After the leadership bit, what do you think, or what is the next step? So leadership's trained, they're fired up about it. Then where do we go?

Shirin Fletcher:  Well, the next thing we want to do, and make sure is, because a lot, like you said, a lot of people are coming from different platforms. We want to help migrate recurring givers and also grow the thought of having a recurring givers with the churches we're working with.

Shirin Fletcher:  Say someone's coming from a different platform, they have all these people that are on recurring gifts there, we want to make sure that that transition is smooth. Anything, any part of this transition, we want to make sure it's not daunting or it seems like too much work.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  So working with the right person to make sure that happens.

Shirin Fletcher:  One of those things is recurring giving, which is a big one, and a lot of people are concerned about that, as they should. We want to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Our team gives you email templates and ways to do it and a lot of information and support on that process, and we walk you through it. Then we just try to inform, which we'll talk a little bit right now, why recurring giving is so important actually will make a strong foundation in your financial giving in your church. Recurring giving as a whole is money you don't have to think about. It's money that's coming in.

Frank Barry:      Right.

Shirin Fletcher:  It's like, we know that each month we can support this ministry, or this family, or this staff member in this way if we have this money coming in. A big heart behind Tithe.ly is educating why, why that's important and ways, and we're always developing actually new resources, but ways to make this smoother and natural with your congregation.

Shirin Fletcher:  Actually, someone who is part of the Tithe.ly staff right now, [inaudible 00:22:51], said, at my church, when they did an offering, it was so simple but it blew my mind. But he was like, once I put myself on recurring giving, as a donor, and doing my tithe, it totally took myself out of the equation and it was like a Kingdom transaction, almost. It was just like, I didn't think about it anymore. I didn't adjust the numbers. I didn't get in the way, and it just let that flow.

Frank Barry:      Right.

Shirin Fletcher:  Those are the kinds of things we want to inspire people in. You were doing this, like Caroline said before, because it's a duty and this is what we believe as believers, but how can we make it easy and harness that blessing?

Frank Barry:      Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Recurring giving is one of the foundations of Tithe.ly even existing is making it easy to give right from your smartphone and making recurring giving happen in two clicks.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Not something we want to take the heart out of or the faith out of.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      But, a lot of people set up their finances and they set up their bills to auto pay or they do a bunch of things to auto pay and it just helps them not forget.

Shirin Fletcher:  Right.

Frank Barry:      And it helps them stay consistent and build the habit of giving and generosity. So building that recurring giving program is huge. And it's huge, I think, Shirin, to your point, for the actual church because now I know, hey-

Shirin Fletcher:  Exactly.

Frank Barry:      -47% of my giving is recurring every month and so that amount we can bank on.

Shirin Fletcher:  Right.

Frank Barry:      And we can budget based on knowing that number.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. Right.

Frank Barry:      So it's a big deal.

Shirin Fletcher:  How great if 50% of your church was doing that, or 60%. That's something we do is, we have goals for our churches to try to be like, this is what we want to hit so that you can do so much more for the Kingdom and in your community.

Frank Barry:      Right, right, right. Yeah. And we have churches that have 2% recurring giving on our platform and we have churches that have 70% recurring giving.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. Exactly.

Frank Barry:      We've seen the wide range of people when they do it.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      When they focus on it and want to do it well, they can get a high adoption of recurring giving. And when they don't want to focus on it, for whatever reason, and that's fine because it's their choice, but you see it, you see they have a low number of recurring giving.

Shirin Fletcher:  Right.

Frank Barry:      I think the funny thing about recurring giving, and the program of recurring giving is, churches have actually been doing it every single weekend for hundreds of years by passing the plate.

Shirin Fletcher:  [inaudible 00:25:05]

Shirin Fletcher:  Right.

Frank Barry:      They are doing recurring giving, it's just done in paper format.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Where they write it on a check or they pull out their cash and they put it in the plate and it's just manual recurring giving. Digital recurring giving is really no different.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      And we want people's hearts to still be engaged, but training the church on creating that kind of program is a pretty big deal.

Shirin Fletcher:  We should put a challenge out there, since we haven't had anyone hit 95% or 100% of the church.

Frank Barry:      100% recurring giving.

Caroline:   Great. I love that.

Shirin Fletcher:  Someone come and [crosstalk 00:25:38]

Frank Barry:      A church plant will win that. Yeah. A church plant's going to win that one.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah, exactly.

Frank Barry:      It's going to be a like 10 member church plant. Alright, everyone do recurring giving.

Frank Barry:      Oh, so good.

Frank Barry:      After recurring giving, you've educated the leadership, you got buy-in, people are excited. You kind of, I guess, focused on the recurring giving aspect, whether it's converting people or getting the church to start that kind of program. What comes next in the Grow Program?

Caroline:   Yeah, we talk about the custom church app, which is awesome. Whenever you sign up with Tithe.ly you're automatically, your church is automatically added to the general Tithe.ly. app, which is the green app in the app stores, which is a great option especially, if ... for any church it may be a great option. But, the great thing that Tithe.ly provides is the option to also have a custom church app, which is the individual app for your store. Or not for your store but for your church. And it can be an individual app in the store.

Caroline:   But anyway, ... but yeah ... if you're signed up for the custom church app, this is where this next step comes in in the Grow process, which is, starting the app build, the app design. For me, it's the most exciting part of the Grow process. I personally enjoy it just because it can be really fun and creative for so many people. If it's done right, then it can really elevate your online giving at your church, which is huge. We've seen a lot of success with the stories there as well.

Caroline:   We've made it super simple to build your app because we provide you the step by step design form to kick off the process and then you're gonna have an onboarding specialist who helps walk you through and personalize and customize your app for you.

Caroline:   Then also, to help you prepare to launch this app to your church. And then of course, there's the whole app dashboard backend, which is where you can go in as an admin and send push notifications and all this great stuff.

Caroline:   So, step three, if you're signed up for the custom church app is where this really kicks off and gets started. It can be a really simple and painless process with your onboarding specialist.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Caroline:   It's pretty fun.

Frank Barry:      Yeah. Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      So you build the custom app, and then I'm assuming once you've got all that stuff done, people are trained and they know all the administrative tools and all that kind of stuff, and then you're preparing for launch.

Shirin Fletcher:  Exactly. [inaudible 00:28:03]

Frank Barry:      And, yeah, let's talk about launch a little bit because I feel like that's a moment that sometimes churches get really pumped about and they do it really well and they want to make a big to do out of it. But then there's a lot of other churches who, they shy away from it.

Shirin Fletcher:  Totally.

Frank Barry:      Or they just don't make a big deal about it. So, let's talk about how to launch digital giving in a custom church app. How do people do it well? What does your team walk people through? What does that all look like?

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. So much of it is communication, and there's so many elements in it, but there are times where it is like, okay, our app is live and ... or our giving is live, where are the people? Let the people come. And then it's just like, we have to take a step back and be like, how have you notified them? What are you using?

Frank Barry:      Right.

Shirin Fletcher:  And again, this is where we come into place as a team, as an operating specialist, helping you determine what those are.

Shirin Fletcher:  I think one great thing about Tithe.ly is, we have a lot of different ... we have church app and we have giving and we have CHMS. I'm doing some shout outs to all the things we do.

Caroline:   Some plugs.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. But we ... I think people will get used to, as you do this transition, funneling everything through Tithe.ly and how then they'll get used to hearing information that way.

Shirin Fletcher:  A launch, talking about launch specifically. Going back to that is like launching from stage. That is a moment that we are just on, we're so on it with you and trying to plan that out and, what do you need to make that happen? And what do you say? And what's going to be on the screen? And maybe you include a testimony or something that is going to really help with that moment.

Shirin Fletcher:  I would say that that's ... when we prepare for launch, that's a big thing we focus on is launch from stage. But then, after that, it's like, okay, obviously, it's not a onetime thing. What are you going to do every week during the offering moment? And what special sermon series, which I think will post information on, but that's something that we're passionate about is doing generosity series and educating, helping you educate your team if you didn't feel comfortable at that.

Frank Barry:      Right. Yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  Just not being scared to talk about it I think is a huge thing. And then planning this main moment, or this main event, that launches the things you have with us. But then being consistent. Talk about giving. Don't shy away from it. And then asking for help, or like I talked about in the beginning, once you do this, and maybe this is new to you, maybe it's not, but then going, why didn't that land well? What was that hole? Let me work with my onboarding specialist or my account manager and go to them because it's so much more than a business. We want to partner with you to do this and do it well. To make this experience better and this launched stronger. Launch is probably, in my opinion, one of the most important steps, if not the most important.

Frank Barry:      Right. Right.

Shirin Fletcher:  And I'm sure our team would probably agree with that, but doing that well.

Caroline:   Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Yeah. And I love to see churches that set some goals around how they ... like we're going to launch and here's what we expect to see after the first month, or something to that effect. And churches that go ... because then it's like they're pushing towards something. They're not just like, hey, we have this great new thing, but they launched it and they have a purpose.

Frank Barry:      I know one of the churches that launched recently, and it was around recurring giving, but, they have a recurring giving program so they know, I don't remember the exact numbers, but they know they have 100 recurring givers on their old platform, and in month one they wanted to convert 80% of those. And so, they do a big launch and they designed an email campaign and some social media outreach and changing of their web pages. Then they tracked it every week. They were on it, and they had a goal that they could get excited about.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      And then come back and measure a month later to see where they're at.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      What kind of goals do you see churches setting? What are some of the common things that you've seen churches get excited about around launching their new solution?

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. I think, not to keep harping on recurring giving, but that's definitely a big one. That's a very big one. And then the amount of users, compared to their attendance, actually using the platform is something that people get really excited about.

Frank Barry:      Okay.

Shirin Fletcher:  It's like, oh my gosh, we're a church of 100, we had 50 people use it first week. That's really cool. Or, just seeing big spikes in even their giving as a whole. I think we can set goals with churches and do that, but, of course, any church would be excited about that, whether that's coming from recurring giving or one time donations. Churches get so psyched.

Shirin Fletcher:  Then, of course, with the custom church app, which is such a great outlet for, especially, giving information and even giving, it's all built in right there. But the amount of usage I think really excites people and that's something that there's a bit of a art and skill to do that launch well, as we were talking about before, but on your dashboard you can see how many people on Android and iPhone. Which, why would you have an Android? I don't know. But, mainly iPhones.

Caroline:   We love Android.

Shirin Fletcher:  We love Android.

Frank Barry:      You just offended 80% of the audience, but that's okay. That's alright.

Caroline:   We do have a custom app for android.

Shirin Fletcher:  Just kidding, we do have great beautiful android apps. Our developers are going to kill me after this show.

Shirin Fletcher:  But, how many have downloaded it? How many are using it? And I've seen churches do beautiful pages on their website promoting the church app and hearing great stories about, maybe it's not an actual number all the time, but how much this church app is working so well with communication and all the other things it provides.

Frank Barry:      Yeah. Yeah, yeah. When you guys launch ... I guess maybe the final question on this topic. When churches launch, how do they usually do it? You mentioned from stage. Is it ... do we encourage the senior pastor to get up and say something? Do they play a video? Do they use slides? What's the method for getting the message out?

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. Definitely, I think ... and it depends on your church size and how everything's structured. But definitely the launch from the stage from, and I would say usually, and Caroline, correct me if I'm wrong, usually that comes from the senior pastor, especially at this time, or maybe location pastor.

Shirin Fletcher:  Then having all the information on screen so it makes it really easy. There's ... you can do cards on your seat, which we provide templates for so that people can even take the information with them and there's definitely people who love that. They just need to wrap their head around it and don't want that moment. And then, yeah, like you mentioned videos, we've seen some churches do that really well. Maybe they even launched from stage on a Sunday and then after that Sunday even there's a bit of a drip campaign or email campaign that goes out with a link to a video with the senior pastor talking about it and the blessing it's going to be, and where the church is headed, and walking people through that.

Shirin Fletcher:  Caroline, do you have anything to add about launching though?

Caroline:   Yeah. One of the things that I think is so important is, not just the presentation of it, but also the support. Being sure that your church is supported once this change is made and announced.

Caroline:   Actually, one of our other team members reported back to us and saying that one of her larger churches, and not just larger church, but this could work for any church of any size. But, once they launched, especially with the custom app, they actually had little tables set up outside in the lobby so if anybody had any questions, or if they had anyone who was like, I actually don't know where to find the app, where do I download this?

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Caroline:   Or, how do I get ... or even just having a laptop or an iPad or something out there to actually have a visual to show them and to spend that time. That's huge. That's huge to be able to provide that support for your congregation and I think that makes a difference.

Frank Barry:      Such a great idea.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Caroline:   Yeah.

Frank Barry:      You could have one person could be ...

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Caroline:   One person.

Frank Barry:      ... a small church of 100 people with one person that's in the lobby or main meeting room, or whatever, with an iPad that's just there to provide support ...

Caroline:   Yeah.

Frank Barry:      ... to anybody who's having an issue.

Caroline:   Yeah.

Frank Barry:      That's a great idea.

Caroline:   The other things is-

Shirin Fletcher:  You can do like a generosity Sunday even based around that so it feels like more of a celebration and this thing that's launching coinciding with other stuff is brilliant.

Caroline:   Yeah. My home church does a generosity sermon series, once a year. That's a huge time. The other thing too, piggy backing off what Shirin said about your goals and setting church goals, whether it's app downloads, whether it's actual usage, or if it's a monetary goal, but just communicating that goal with your church because people love whenever they ... it's like the thermometer that you fill in.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Yeah.

Caroline:   People love to see that. People love to be a part of something like that.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah. Totally.

Caroline:   So just communicating that goal with your church is going to be huge too. I think pairing that with a sermon series or even just one sermon could be really beneficial as well.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Yeah, yeah.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah, and my church does that as well. We do a vision builders thing, it's just what we call it, where we raise money that goes above and beyond. I think what set us up for success is actually talking about where that money is going. You're saying, having that goal of what we want to raise and then the blessing that it's doing around us and where their money that they've sown in has gone is ... it's really cool to see.

Frank Barry:      Yeah. Yeah. Amazing stuff guys. Well, we could talk forever, of course, because we love helping churches and there's probably so many good examples out there that we could share. But, for sake of time, we should probably cut this show, but we should share some resources.

Frank Barry:      Where can people go to learn more about Grow? Or just get any of the resources, even if you're not on Tithe.ly. What kind of resources do we provide that churches could use?

Caroline:   Yeah, so, we have a whole help center, which I'm super proud of because this is a relatively new thing, it feels like, to Tithe.ly, which is so helpful for every aspect of Tithe.ly. Whether it's a tutorial video for your app, or whether it's help articles, whatever it may be. Editable slides that you can use on Sunday morning. All of this is on our help center. I think it's help.tithely or tithely.help. I have it bookmarked, so I don't actually know it right now.

Shirin Fletcher:  They'll [crosstalk 00:37:44]

Frank Barry:      Yeah. we'll ... we'll put it ... yeah.

Caroline:   Yeah. Awesome. Yeah.

Frank Barry:      The Tithe.ly launch kit stuff and resource center.

Shirin Fletcher:  Exactly.

Frank Barry:      We'll make sure it's-

Caroline:   Our whole ... yeah, oh, sorry Frank, I didn't mean to interrupt you.

Frank Barry:      No, no, no problem.

Caroline:   Our whole step by step Grow Process is in there as well. And descriptions on what we think works best and what we've seen be successful. All of that is on their help center as well.

Shirin Fletcher:  And we'll post a link as well to a web page that has those steps outlined and some great videos and stuff. But if you also just type in launch into our Help Center, Knowledge Base, like Caroline said, you'll find a lot. And we're ... the list is growing, the resources are just coming out quickly and there's so much we want to do, so we're excited to keep that growing.

Frank Barry:      There's more resources to be created and more than we can probably ever make that's on our list.

Shirin Fletcher:  Yeah.

Frank Barry:      Well guys, this is awesome. Again, if you're watching on Facebook or YouTube, if you catch the recording, we'd love for you to give the show a like.

Frank Barry:      Shirin, Caroline, thanks for coming today.

Caroline:   Thanks for having us.

Shirin Fletcher:  Thank you. It's been so great.

Frank Barry:      Yeah, yeah, it's so good. We'll make sure this is posted up on YouTube soon. It'll be on our website. We appreciate everyone tuning in today. Thanks guys. Have a good one.

Shirin Fletcher:  Bye. Thank you.

Caroline:   Yeah.

Steps Every Church Can Take to Develop Female Leaders

hosted by Dean Sweetman and Frank Barry
This week on Tithe.ly TV, Dean and Frank are joined by Kadi Cole, the author of "Developing Female Leaders" and an international consultant for organizations. During the show, they'll discuss tips for gettnig started with developing femal leaders, practical ways church leaders can deveolp a leadership pipeline, and how women can balance home, work, and life in their local church.