I was talking to a young colleague in the GC building recently. As a millenial, he claims that there are many young people who would like to give offerings, but who never carry cash. Everything happens via their mobile phones! The offering plate at church is therefore redundant for them. By the time they get home, they may have forgotten that they had wanted to give. Wouldn't it be great to have a mobile option for giving so that right then and there, in church, people are able to give in a number of technologically up-to-date ways? I wish to share two ways that Adventists around the world ARE making use of mobile technology for giving!
"As a millenial, he claims that there are many young people who would like to give offerings, but who never carry cash. Everything happens via their mobile phones!"
Kenya and the M-Pesa
By William Bagambe, ECD Stewardship Ministries Director
In 2013 already, The Economist published an article called, "Why does Kenya lead the world in mobile money?" To quote their article, "M-PESA was originally designed as a system to allow microfinance-loan repayments to be made by phone, reducing the costs associated with handling cash and thus making possible lower interest rates. But after pilot testing it was broadened to become a general money-transfer scheme. Once you have signed up, you pay money into the system by handing cash to one of Safaricom’s 40,000 agents (typically in a corner shop selling airtime), who credits the money to your M-PESA account. You withdraw money by visiting another agent, who checks that you have sufficient funds before debiting your account and handing over the cash. You can also transfer money to others using a menu on your phone. Cash can thus be sent one place to another more quickly, safely and easily than taking bundles of money in person, or asking others to carry it for you....Electronic transfers save people time, freeing them to do other, more productive things instead."
See the full article on: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/05/economist-explains-18
As the ECD Stewardship Ministries Director, I can confirm that Adventist members are making use of the M-Pesa system to return faithful tithes and give offerings. I believe that this modern technology can help maximize the convenience of giving and provide no excuse for anyone, as giving is as easy as clicking the right buttons as the offering plate comes by!
South Pacific Division e-Giving and App
By Rodney Brady, Treasurer, SPD
"We realized that we needed to develop a website and a mobile giving app that addressed how people were managing their finances today."
We learned from the tithe-studies done in our region that many people don’t really choose not to return tithe or give offerings. They just don’t get around to it or don’t have the money with them when they get to church. We realized that we needed to develop a website and a mobile giving app that addressed how people were managing their finances today.
We’ve been rolling out the online and mobile options over the last three years. In the first year, we had about two million dollars in tithe coming in from that source, but now, we’re reaching almost two million dollars per month! We think that a lot of that increase has to do with being able to access the e-giving website and app. When we looked at the reports, the internet site usage goes up on the days that most people get paid, and on the offering side, i.e. the mobile app, the usage spike occurs during the Sabbath worship service time. It has become part of their worship.
Since younger people and even older ones don’t go around carrying cash anymore we definitely need to engage our younger generation in this way, otherwise it’s going to prevent them from giving. Stewardship is about planning ahead!
We are in consultation with a few other divisions in this regard. The app has more than recovered the cost of its development. We are grateful for the vision and dedication of our IT people, and our administrators’ support of the project.