2017 Stewardship Conference Recap

Our trip to Nashville was a success! Subsplash was proud to be the official app and giving sponsor for Dave Ramsey's Stewardship Conference. During our time there, we got to meet tons of amazing people, hear some amazing messages about stewardship, and we definitely ate way too much Chick-fil-A....if that is even possible. Here are our three biggest takeaways from the conference:

 

We are managers, not owners

Dave Ramsey and Louie Giglio both had awesome messages about the heart of financial stewardship. Both rightly pointed out that we are not owners of our finances, but managers of it. Everything we have - our health, wealth, and material possessions, belong to God. He has given everything to us as a gift and it is our privilege to wisely manage what he has given to us while we are here on earth (we wrote more about this here). Subsplash is super thankful for our partnership with Dave Ramsey and EntreLeadership. His financial training has benefitted so many people (including Subsplash...we've gone through many Dave Ramsey trainings as a company!) and it was awesome to see so many pastors there to learn how they can be the best stewards of the resources God has entrusted to their ministries. 

 

We love meeting our clients

There's nothing more fun for us than meeting pastors and leaders who use the Subsplash Platform and hearing them share stories of how God has used it to bless their congregation. We got to hang out with a handful of clients during our time in Nashville, and it was so cool to hear what they had to say (and to actually meet them face to face!). We got to spend some extended time with Jameson, the Creative Director at Church of the City. He shared some awesome stuff about what God is doing there and how they utilize their app, and we will be sharing that with you soon! As Brady said in the video above, the eternal value of what we get to do is something special. The fact that we get to create software that God will use to draw people closer to him is absolutely mind-blowing! Getting to meet our clients in person is a great reminder of that.

 

We also love southern food

Seattle is heaven on earth for the foodie. Every neighborhood is fully loaded with a plethora of incredible restaurants. But one thing we don't have here is real southern comfort food. Good news: Nashville has lots of it, and we got to partake in the blessings of bbq chicken, cornbread, banana pudding, baked beans, and more at Edley's Bar-B-Que. After the first bite, we all agreed that there will be an Edley's in heaven. Trust us, though, you don't want to wait until the afterlife to experience this goodness. Praise the Lord for comfort food!

 

Make sure to check out our video above to see a small glimpse into our time in Nashville. We hope to be back soon!

Protecting Your Church in the Digital Age

One of the hallmarks of the Subsplash culture is care. Care for employees, care for our city, and care for the customers we serve. That care isn’t just confined to the products we create or services we deliver; the holistic success of our church partners is what makes us tick. That’s why we’re taking the time to address an area in which we feel the church’s collective guard has been let down: digital security.

Many churches have spent decades drafting best practices for ensuring the physical security of their buildings and the emotional security of their relationships. But digital security has caught many off guard. We understand that you may not be able to devote the time and attention that faultless protection requires. But these three basic guidelines can go a long way in establishing a culture of digital vigilance among your staff.

Email is not secure

Consider these events: Sony’s scandal-ridden premiere of The Interview, the 2016 US Presidential Election, and the 2017 French Presidential Election. The common denominator? Radical disruption from simple email mistakes. The bottom line: email is not a secure mechanism for sending personally identifiable information. Here are a few of the cards you should keep close to your chest:

  • Social Security Numbers

  • Dates of Birth

  • Bank Account Numbers

  • Credit Card or Debit Card Numbers

Think of your next email as a handwritten note, one left of the bus for all to read. What would you write in that note? Rather than sending sensitive information over email, use the secure web portals established by trusted vendors like Subsplash. If that’s not possible, go old school: make a call.

Pause before clicking on an attachment

If email is a note left of the bus, an attachment from someone you don’t know is a mysterious package left on the sidewalk. Only open attachments from people you know and are expecting to receive information from. Hackers sometimes use hacked accounts to send virus-laden emails to contact lists, in hopes that the recipient will open the mysterious attachment based on the sender’s name. Listen to your gut. When in doubt, send your contact a text to make sure they’re actually behind the attachment.

Protect your passwords

In the wrong hands, a single password can open more doors than your building’s master key ever could. Bank accounts. Confidential communications. Contact lists. The prevalence of passwords doesn’t make them inconsequential. It makes them integral to your security. Here are our four tips for password mastery:

  • Use different passwords for different accounts.

  • Create a strong password by using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numerals, and characters ($&@!#>), or use password management software to generate and store passwords.

  • Change your passwords every six months.

  • Use two-factor authentication whenever possible.

  • Don’t give out your password; no reputable company will ever ask for it.

  • Don’t write passwords down where others can view them.


There you have it: three simple tips for establishing a culture of digital security among your church staff. At Subsplash, we’re dedicated to keeping your information secure. To learn how we safeguard our digital assets, check out our Giving Security page.

3 Tips for Encouraging Generosity

We're in Nashville this week! Subsplash is proud to be the official app and giving sponsor of Dave Ramsey's Stewardship Conference. With that in mind, we thought we'd share some tips for encouraging generosity in your church. 

We're in Nashville this week! Subsplash is proud to be the official app and giving sponsor of Dave Ramsey's Stewardship Conference. With that in mind, we thought we'd share some tips for encouraging generosity in your church. 

Have you ever heard it said that the last thing to get converted is a person’s wallet? Unfortunately, that saying is often true when it comes to stewardship in the church. Many people are eager to attend on Sundays, get involved in a small group, and maybe even serve a few times each month, but cringe when the topic of financial stewardship comes up. If you are a pastor or church leader, you’ve probably scratched your head thinking of ideas to encourage generosity within your congregation. Money is a touchy subject. You need your congregation to be generous so your church can reach more people with the gospel, but even one well-intended sentence has the potential rub people the wrong way. It’s hard to find a balance, but we hope to help you with that today. Here are three ideas to help you encourage generosity in your church:

 

Define stewardship biblically

Psalm 24:1 says “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” Simply put, everything in this world belongs to God. Any earthly possessions, including our wealth, has been entrusted to us by him. It’s so easy for us to forget that. We often slip into believing the lie that we own all of our possessions and can do as we please with them. “How dare someone tell me what to do with my money!” Many people who are uncomfortable with the idea of sacrificial giving are operating on this false foundation. As a leader in your church, you have the opportunity to lovingly help your congregation see that they are not owners of their wealth, but managers of it. God calls us to be wise with how we manage our money (Matthew 25:14-30), and the Bible also teaches us that we will give an account for how we manage it (1 Corinthians 4:2). Sacrificial giving becomes more joyful when we realize what a privilege it is to manage the resources God has entrusted to us.

 

Tell your congregation where their gifts are going

Stewardship is a two-way street. God calls us to be both generous and wise with the wealth he’s entrusted to us. This applies to both individuals in the church and the church itself. People aren’t going to be as excited to give if they think that their money is simply funding your pastor’s family vacation. To be sure, your team needs to make a livable wage and have time to relax (and parts of your church’s donations should be going toward that), but sharing stories about how your church’s generosity has helped spread the gospel will have a huge impact on your congregation. If you are supporting missionaries, share updates about their work. If you have a building campaign, share updates about how that new space has impacted people once it’s been built. Additionally, focus on the communal aspect of giving! Supporting the church financially is a team effort. How awesome is it to be able to tell your congregation, “Together, we were able to fully fund this missions project”?!


 

Lead by example

This may be an obvious one, but it’s extremely important. Your congregation isn’t going to give sacrificially if the leaders of the church aren’t doing so themselves. By practicing what you preach, you are showing your church that everyone is in this together. When you lead by example, others are more likely to follow suit.

 

We’ve been talking about stewardship a lot recently, and for good reason...Jesus talks about it more than anyone else in the Bible! There is so much that goes into financial stewardship, from getting good processing rates all the way up to the message from the stage, and we are passionate about providing you with resources that help your church increase generosity. Speaking of resources, we've recently published a free webinar and eBook about getting the best processing rates, which you can access by clicking the links. And as always, if you have questions or would like additional resources, drop us a line at hello@subsplash.com!

4 Questions to Ask Your Online Giving Provider

There’s been quite a bit of talk about effective giving rates around here recently, and for good reason. Over the last few months, we’ve encountered many churches that are simply overpaying their online giving providers, and most of them don’t even know it. On Tuesday, we hosted a webinar about this very topic, and Pastor Russell Korets joined us to share about his church’s recent experience in shopping for a new online giving provider. During the conversation, he mentioned an important question that he asked all the providers his church was looking at. You can check out that portion of the webinar here:

If you’re unfamiliar with what an effective rate is or how to calculate it, we’ve covered that exact topic here. Simply put, some online giving providers overcharge churches by either failing to offer volume-based discounts, or by adding hidden fees in addition to their processing rates. This causes a high effective rate, which means that the church ends up keeping less money from each donation. Finding your effective rate is extremely important because it allows you to see a common-ground comparison between all of the giving providers you are looking at. It also allows you to see if you are currently overpaying.

 

So how do you get a low effective rate? Great question! And speaking of questions, here are four that you can ask each giving provider you talk to.

 

If John donates $100 with his card, how much money will our church be left with after ALL fees are taken out?

This is a simple question to ask, and it will help you get to the bottom line in terms of finding your effective rate. Pastor Russell mentioned that he continued to ask this question until he got a clear response from the companies he was looking at, and his persistence with this question ended up saving his church quite a bit of money.

Will we be charged any fees in addition to your processing rates?

Like we mentioned above, some companies actually charge more fees in addition to their processing rates. These could be labeled as security fees, batch fees, merchant account fees, or even monthly fees. There is no reason your church should have to pay for any of those things on top of your processing rates.

Do you offer volume based discounts?

A good provider will reward your church with lower rates as you grow with them. If your church processes just $50,000 per month, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start seeing your processing rates drop to the low 2% range (even below 2% if you are processing well over $100,000 each month). Having volume-based discounts in place will ensure that your giving solution is a good fit long-term.

Assuming an equal mix of debit, credit, and ACH donations, if we process $10,000 a month how much will end up in our bank account each month after all fees are taken out/paid?

This will help you get even more clarity about what your effective rate will be, as some companies charge different rates for debit, credit, and ACH transactions.


Want even more resources to help save your church money? We’ve got you covered! Click here to check out our full webinar. We’ve also got an awesome eBook that dives even deeper into the topic of effective rates. You can download it for free by clicking this link. And if you want to make things even easier, Subsplash offers a free analysis of your current giving statement. No fluff, no sales pitch, just a free consultation to help your church save as much money as possible. Give us a call at 206-965-8090 or drop us a line at hello@subsplash.com, we’d love to help!

Hidden Fees Exposed. Find Out What You're Really Paying for Online Giving

Is your church overpaying for online giving? You very well could be....and unfortunately, you might not even know it. Despite having decent processing rates, many churches are still paying extremely high effective rates for online giving, and that's where the problem lies. This could be due to a number things including hidden fees, lack of volume-based discounts, and more. 

Register for the Free Webinar to Discover More

On Tuesday, April 25th at 11am PST, we are going to pull back the veil on hidden fees and bad effective rates, and we'd love for you to join us! This webinar is completely free, and will arm you with all of the resources you need to help your church get the best rates on the market. Here are a few things to know in advance:

What will I learn?

You will walk away from this webinar with a greater knowledge of where the money you pay your online giving provider is going, how to calculate your effective rate and find out exactly how much money your church is paying for online giving, and what questions you can ask online giving providers to get extreme clarity about the rates they charge. We will be bringing in our very own giving expert, Christina, to define some terms and teach you how to calculate your effective rate. We also have Russell Korets, founding pastor of City on a Hill Church in the Seattle area, joining us. He will be discussing his recent experience of shopping for a new giving solution and sharing how his church avoided paying a high effective rate. 

What resources will I get?

Everyone who signs up for the webinar will get a free eBook with additional information about finding your effective rate as well as a copy of the video. We are also offering a free analysis of your church's giving statement to confirm that you are getting the best rates possible....no fluff, no sales pitch, just a quick, easy consultation to help your church save money. 

Speaking of a sales pitch, is there going to be one in this webinar?

Have you ever signed up for a webinar with the hope of learning something about a topic that's important to you, only to get slapped in the face with a 30 minute sales pitch? Super annoying, right? Good news: we're not into that. There will not be a sales pitch in this webinar, or any advertising for that matter. We're much more concerned about providing your church with resources that will help you find the best online giving provider at the best price. 

 

If you are shopping for a new online giving provider, thinking about shopping for a provider in the future, or just want to make sure that your church is getting the best rate possible, then this webinar is for you! We hope you will join us and hope that this resource is a blessing to your ministry. Sign up here: http://bit.ly/2okAmXJ