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Smartphones & Mobile—and One Church’s Bottom Line

According to a June 2013 report from consumer research giant Nielsen, more than 61% of mobile subscribers in the U.S. owned a smartphone during the three-month period running March-May 2013.

Impressive smartphone usage stats aren't confined to younger generations. Smartphone ownership was highest (78%) among millennials aged 25-34, according to Nielsen; meanwhile, three out of four mobile users aged 18-24 already own smartphones. At 42%, penetration of smartphones remained lowest among Americans aged 55 and over, Nielsen adds, "but this group is catching up fast, as penetration among this demographic has nearly doubled over the past year."

When it comes to giving, Marty Baker, lead pastor at Stevens Creek Church, a member of the Church of God denomination located in Augusta, Ga., whose Sunday service attendance averages 1,700, says, "Mobile is definitely the wave of the future." He is also founder/president of SecureGive, a provider of kiosks, online, and mobile giving solutions for churches and other non-profit organizations.

An extension of the company's online giving and kiosk applications, SecureGive's mobile giving app enables donors to make one-time and recurring donations utilizing their smartphones or tablet devices.

First-time users of the app select the organization they wish to donate to from a list or via search; the app will remember this choice every time it is launched thereafter, taking the user to the organization's SecureGive home page. Tapping a "Make a Donation" button, meanwhile, takes users to a secure login page, where they can make a one-time donation without logging in, or log in and create an account for recurring giving.

Among other features, the system allows users to specify where they wish their donations to go (such as tithes, missions, campaigns and/or specific ministries); to send a brief message with their donation; store payment methods (i.e., debit or credit card); and view historical transactions.

So far in 2013, between 40%-50% of Steven Creek's income has come through digital means, i.e., via mobile, online, and kiosk channelup 15% from last year, according to Baker.

Find a full report on smartphones and mobile giving impact in the Fall 2013 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine, in a report entitled, "Giving Report: The Influence of Smartphones & Mobile," by Martin Sinderman.

www.securegive.com; www.stevenscreekchurch.com

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