Last year was record-breaking for #GivingTuesday with $274 million raised online. This year, experts predict that we’ll see a 21% increase in online gifts and raise over $330 million in total. While it’s taken a while for this global day of generosity to catch on, the impact noticeably grows year after year.
That’s why there’s no better time to launch a church app. Providing your congregation (and those throughout your community) with a better way to connect to the church ignites giving during this season of generosity.
With a simple download, people can go to one place to listen to sermons, receive prayer requests, tithe, register for events, and view your church calendar. Plus, they can do this on a device they carry with them everywhere they go—their smartphone.
While launching an app before #GivingTuesday is a smart choice since there’s an uptick in attendance and giving, it’s essential that you have a plan. Below, you’ll find the best practices for launching a church app before the giving season kicks off.
Customize the app to your church’s brand
With apps like MinistryOne, it won’t take long to familiarize yourself with the control panel and manage your church’s brand. Seamlessly add giving options, sermons, your church’s logo and colors, events to the calendar, and images. The more you customize the technology, the more comfortable people will be adding it to their smartphone and using it to engage with the church.
Plan a dedicated launch date
Once you’ve customized the app, it’s time to choose a launch date. Select a day that lets you promote it both in person and online. Here’s a checklist to ensure you maximize the launch:
- Have greeters hand out pamphlets showing how to download and use the app
- Give a short demonstration before service and share slides with simple instructions
- Dedicate a staff member to spend time with those that aren’t familiar with the technology
- Share the link to download the app on your website and social media
- Send invitations via email and social media asking people to add the app to their phone
- Write a blog post listing popular features that can be accessed and share the post online
Some churches find they have more success when the launch occurs over a weekend. On Saturday, inspire people online to download the church app using Facebook, email, and your website. Then on Sunday, encourage those that have added the app to their smartphone to share the experience and features with the person sitting next to them.
Select a small group to test the features
Before launching, select a small group of volunteers or staff members to go through the process of downloading the app and using the features. Have them test the quality of media and other functions. This gives you time to correct any issues or to further customize the app to ensure the best experience for new users.
Continue your efforts beyond the launch
After the initial introduction of the church app, continue your efforts to grow engagement. At the end of services, remind people they can listen to the latest sermon as well as their favorites any day of the week from their smartphone. Share information often on your website and social media that inspire people to take the simple steps to access the features. Soon, you’ll better connect with your members beyond the walls and inspire them to engage and participate in furthering your church’s vision.