In February of this year, Trinity Episcopal Church decided to make a big change.
Like many churches, Trinity collected tithes in the traditional manner—through collection plates at church services, through collection envelopes mailed in by parishioners each week, and through annual pledge drives.
The historic church, located in New Orleans, is home to an active and growing congregation that brings together people from all across the city. Their mission calls members to worship and prayer, lifelong education, spiritual growth, cheerful giving, and active ministry in the community.
Yet in the midst of their tight-knit community, Trinity Episcopal was faced with the realities of a changing world. Technology connects individuals in ways once unimaginable, and younger generations are growing up in a time where it’s hard to imagine a world without it.
While the traditional approaches for collecting tithes and pledges are still successful to an extent, as a member supported church, Trinity Episcopal depends on the generosity of annual pledges to support day-to-day operations.
The support of every member of the congregation counts.
To reach more parishioners, Trinity Episcopal made the choice to incorporate @Pay’s Text-to-Give technology to make giving as seamless as possible. Not only is the process easy, but it can be completed from anywhere, at any time.
Kriste Buck, Publications and Database Manager, shared her insights on the difference Trinity Episcopal Church experienced with @Pay’s technology:
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“We wanted to remove any obstacles to giving. Many young parishioners do not carry checkbooks or cash, which would make giving during the offertory impossible. Now, with @Pay, we are able to make giving easy!”
This dilemma of this obstacle to giving is not unique to Trinity Episcopal. In fact, many churches are confronted with the same problem; how can they respond to increasing mobile trends?
As parishioners begin to carry less and less cash, only offering one channel for collections won’t cut it. If churches do not recognize the transition to mobile devices, the amount of money churches bring in will decrease, which then threatens a church’s ability to carry out its mission.
Trinity Episcopal’s proactive response was to turn to @Pay’s Text-to-Give.
The church was assigned a long code that parishioners text, for example, “10 tithe” or “20 offering” to. They immediately receive a link back in their text message which will take them to a mobile web site with @Pay buttons in different amounts (it can be a custom amount, too) to select from. Upon selecting an amount, a “payment email” pops up on their smartphone. All they have to do is press “Send” to confirm, and they receive a receipt in their inbox immediately. If it is their first time, parishioners will have to fill out a short, standard payment information page–but they will only have to do this once.
Trinity Episcopal incorporated this new way to pay a pledge or to give to the church. Since their introduction of @Pay’s Text-to-Give and other mobile giving options, their parishioners have embraced this new way of giving, with an average of almost $200 per gift. Compare that to your standard gift amount and it becomes clear just how comfortable people are with giving from their mobile devices.
The parishioners who have used @Pay’s Text-to-Give have had a very positive response so far—members have noticed the decrease in effort required to give. And now, Trinity Episcopal has plans to further promote the technology with their year-end giving. They currently only promote their Text-to-Give number in their Sunday Bulletins, but by expanding their parishioners’ awareness of how easy it can be to give, the church expects to experience even more success in the months to come.