Digital giving is boosting the church’s bottom line—as well as companies like Pushpay and Tithe.ly, who process the donations.
A crowd of 1,300 gathered last May in an auditorium in Dallas to hear megachurch pastors and ministry leaders talk about casting vision, building church community, and promoting spiritual growth.
But even with familiar names like Life.Church pastor Bobby Gruenewald and Catalyst president Tyler Reagin on stage, this wasn’t just another ministry conference.
Pushpay—a tech company that made $98.4 million last year processing mobile giving for churches—put on the event, its fifth summit.
“It not only gives us an opportunity to see our customers and talk to them,” said the company’s chief ambassador, Troy Pollock, “but it creates an environment for people to grow in their jobs, which goes beyond digital giving.”
The popularity of online tithing coincides with moves to incorporate more technology and strategy into church operations.
Congregations have offered digital giving options for well over a decade, often relying on marketplace tools like PayPal and online bill pay (which still involves banks sending checks each month). But the latest batch of resources has more specialized, high-tech options to cater to churches in particular.
Companies like Pushpay, Tithe.ly, easyTithe, and SecureGive let members tap their way to a tithe through smartphone apps, text messages, websites, or kiosks at services.
Many congregations are now eyeing new technology as mobile payments become mainstream and paper checks fade from regular use. Plus, these tools can track giving trends, send off annual receipts, and integrate with programs for managing volunteers and communication.
Though most churchgoers still give the old-fashioned way, by cash or check in the offering plate, 15 percent now pay through their …