A new app out by Oven Bits allows for electronic donations to your favorite charity. If your church hasn’t gotten involved with online donations, this might be something worth checking out.
When you install the app on your iPhone or iPad, it prompts you through a very simple 3-step process.
The first is to choose what you are “giving up”; the second is to select the dollar amount; and the third is to select a charity of which to donate.
Of course, it’s really just a fun way of saying “how much do you want to donate to your favorite charity?” But, here’s the idea behind the app:
We all consume things that take up money and give us a “quick fix”, which we generally end up regretting later. Take the screen-shot below, for example.
Here “food” has been selected, but it could just as easily be fast food. “Instead” of buying that hamburger, the app encourages you to donate the cost to a charity of your choice. Clicking on the button brings up a list of local charities that are suggested.
Of course, Oven Bits hasn’t created this from a purely altruistic motive. They take a 5% cut of the donations for “lean operations” (fancy for company profits) and 5% for credit card processing fees. 10% might seem pretty steep, but remember that it’s not designed to replace your normal church offerings. “Instead”, think of it as a supplemental source of donations.
You can download Instead from the iTunes App Store
Getting Members On-Board
While the idea behind this app sounds fine, it is pointless if none of your members know about it. How might you get church members on-board with using Instead?
Of course, with anything, communication is key. Begin by promoting this as a seasonal challenge. For instance, challenge members to give up their daily coffee during Lent and donate the money to the church. Give them multiple ways of donating the money, but be sure to mention that iPhone and iPad users can download the Instead app as a quick and convenient way of making their donations.
An even better approach would be to designate the donated funds to go to a particular missional cause. People give to causes more than the dreaded “general budget”!
Adding Your Church to the List
I know what you’re thinking right about now. “How hard is it to actually set your church up on this?” Well, as I found out today, it’s very easy!
After downloading the app, I quickly found the “Suggest” button. It brought up a screen asking for the organization’s legal name, address, website and your email address. It took me all of about 20 seconds to complete and hit send.
About an hour later I got an email saying my church was approved! A search for my church quickly brings it up in the list for anyone to donate to.
Have you already tried this app out?
What has been your experience?
What ideas can you think of for how to promote this as a viable way of donating money to the church?