We know that especially this year, it feels like every dollar needs to go further than it has before. In this episode, we are discussing 5 ways cash strapped churches can create instant savings for their organization. The best part - all 5 can be implemented immediately to experience the cost savings and benefits!
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You haven't because you ask that literally you are a 501 C three charitable organization that solely exists for the betterment of the community. You need to leverage this status people would love to provide a discount actually, it's embedded in a lot of software companies now have specific nonprofit discounts. Why are you not asking for a pastor turn tech leader and a millennial churchgoer, explore the intersection of technology, culture and faith, equipping you with innovative strategies to support you as you live out your calling leader churches with confidence to step into the future together. This is the give it up podcast. So at the time of recording this, it is 2023. And we know that everyone, churches, nonprofits, people, businesses are cash strapped. That's right, we got to save money, the dollar needs to go a recession. Is that what we're saying? I don't know. Yeah, if we got inflation under control, it's people love talking about this stuff. Is inflation under control. It's like the new What's the weather? Yeah, it's totally the new What's the weather? What's interest rates? Like? What about those egg prices? I love when people do that don't even know what they're saying was like, yeah, what's interest rates? Like a 7%. Yeah, that's crazy. And then the conversations. God bless, you know, but I want to talk about five things churches can do that are cash strapped right now to kind of offload some costs go, let's get creative to save costs, creative to save. That's us to give it up podcast. The first thing now me and my marketing team, we collaborated on some of these ideas. So like, I like that how we always say like our team. Yes. So key, that's a little pro tip. That's a pro tip. Even if your team has a team of one, you say hey, my team, expensive. Now they're not my marketing team. I'm part of the marketing team to correct it. I'm getting eyes from my manager right now. But the first thing that we decided to come up with for everybody is there's this Have you seen the Stanley Cups? Yes, I have. It's like all the rage. Serena. Serena has one? Yes. Well Serena is like peak Gen Z. I feel like so she obviously has one correct? Yes, she also complimented my focus. Anyways. Clouds are Hocus Pocus, right? Why? Oh, now you're gonna make me sound at because my orthopedist said I needed to wear them. You guys actually my podiatrist but orthopedist sounds way better. He's like you need to wear them or not. Anyways, this is not a way to save money. Okay, so Stanley mugs. Yes. Instead of buying all of these water bottles that are bad for the planet, bad for you with plastics and everything like that. Why don't you buy your whole team, a Stanley tumbler and a water jug situation for them to refill. Oh, you're going to brand it? Shall we brand it? Oh, for sure. Okay, so you're talking about instead of it being an expense, now you make an investment correct into the team? Oh, my gosh, you and now you encourage the team. This is actually interesting. This is actually interesting, because so now you go from having to buy those Costco pallets every single week. And then people have church product Correct. That will follow them. Exactly. And that can be cute. It's like when you you do a Mac screen and you put all your little decals on it. Yeah, it'd be the new church stainless steel mug situation too. So that's one way right there. I wonder how much that would save because like how much would you say is a Costco pallet of water? Well, considering I've never purchased a Costco pallet of water, the wife's not the best person as google it real time right now. Let's google it real time. So we got Costco. pallet of water, right? Yes. So Costco pallet of water. Whoa, look at that. That's so many palettes. Oh, this is my don't tell them the price we're seeing right that $650 $650 For stalls. Not that crystal? It's crystal geyser. Alpine spring, but how many is that? 123. Like, okay, look at look at that. How long would that last you think? Probably like, three, four months, depending on how deep your staff is. Okay. Well, let's say the worship team drinks that half of it say this last two months. Okay. Yeah, you have to do six of these. Yeah, we're talking 650 times six. Yeah, right. So we'll take out taxes for now. Okay, type six, that's $4,000 in water $4,000 in water. So you're saying that? Let's say your team is what? 200 people 250? Yeah. So you're saying okay, well 4000 divided by 250. So what is Stanley cost? A custom Stanley cost under $16. You think? Not a Stanley brand, but I was just giving an example. You can for sure. I don't know we gotta get granular here. No, we're giving real condensed stainless steel for real tips to save money. Okay, so, how to save? Branded? Some sort of branded? Yeah, okay, good. No, I mean, basically what you need to do is you need to find some sort of branded water bottle that's high quality so that people just don't throw it away votes and want to actually bring it to church. Yeah. Under if you're gonna save half the cost, it has to be under $8. Yeah, so I like that. Because I don't know if that's what we were trying to say. Yeah, great job marketing team. But you know, that's a clever way and also just don't have water bottles at church anymore. You can have refill stations, it is cluttery. I will say that the whole thing about everybody putting their water bottles under the seats and auditorium tuning and flip it. That's cluttery I agree. Yeah. So that's one. Okay. Number two love marketing team coming up with finance tips. This is great. This is awesome. Everyone is trying to stir creativity people. It's all about stewardship for us. Which brings me to number two. Okay, the Great Purge. Get rid of software. It's a horror movie. I know. The Purge hate it. Yeah. Not utilizing software. But what is horror are horrible. Is all the software that you're paying for that you don't use? Literally? Are you using text in church? And actually, here's a pro tip. The pro tip is this. Maybe you're using text in church, but you don't have to have 22 seats. Because not 22 people are actually using it. You just have your comms person using it. And do you know how SAS works Software as a Service these companies work by how many seats admin seats that you have they still in we work at a tech company. Yep. We purchased SAS products all the time. And our finance person shout out to Eric tells us all the time where do seats that's why I don't get any seats. Yeah, I'm just gonna tell everyone. That's why I don't get us. It's kind of like you. It's kind of like Netflix at overflow. We just share we share. We don't we don't do that. Everybody. We don't do that we pay properly for every single seat but reduce seats. Yes. Because not every single associate campus pastor needs Texan church. That's so true. Yeah. Not every single person needs admin rights on PCO. Right. I don't know what other church software's out there. But those are just her thoughts. Yeah. purge it curate. And here's, here's my new I would say you would probably save in the magnitude of 1000s of dollars a month. If you actually took a look at it. Depending on the size of your church, for sure. Yeah, but what's your take? My heartache is it's actually better to pay monthly for things. Oh, you don't want to do the annual with the CD? No, because you stop using it after three months anyways, sometimes Yeah. Most, most of the times when you're trying a new software, and you don't have enough understanding of it. Oh, here's another thing. Yeah. Always ask for try before you buy. Don't do that with overflow piece of software. Do try before you buy. Especially with like some of the I feel like there's dozens of engagement software's now everybody's trying to solve this like church engagement. Yes. Problem. Yes. I don't know who's gonna win it. I don't know who's gonna be the best at it. Yeah. So try before you buy these software companies, okay. They want your business or so. You have not because you ask no biblical people. Oh, my. He's really coming for you with how many with these verses? Okay, well, another one similar to try before you buy is ask for discounts. Yes. So this, my wife is the best at this cuz she's Asian. She's giving these Chinese specifically. But I will say, again, you have not because you ask that literally, you are a 501 C three charitable organization that solely exists for the benefit of the betterment of the community. Yeah, you need to leverage this status. Yeah, this is a coveted status, right? People would love to provide a discount, actually. It's embedded in a lot of software companies now Salesforce stripe, they have specific nonprofit discounts. Why are you not asking for them asked for them. If it's not explicit that they have one. Maybe you should talk to them about starting one. Yeah, at least for you. And here's a pro tip. If you have a contractor that needs to put a beam in your building to reinforce a wall, if you have a contractor that needs to do painting or repairs and they're doing a pretty significant project for your building that's maybe in the five figures, maybe even the six figures, you can actually work with them to see if they want to give their service in kind Wow. Because depending on the situation of their company, it might be better for them to do the service in kind for the church and you provide a charitable acknowledgement letter to them, and then being able to take a charitable tax deduction. It might actually be more beneficial for them to do that. And you then don't have to pay out of pocket for that service. I just saved the church six figures. I just said, I didn't know that was a thing. Give it a podcast. Maybe this should be good buy insider, like this is good stuff. That is you just you just gave away the goods this out one things that they don't want you to know. You know, they they don't they know those A's and stuff. Don't want you to know. Yeah. Okay. That's great. And another concept, does the marketing team, give it up? thought through was creating a filter of will this help funnel someone closer to God? If it does not right now, cut that thing out. The fog machine ain't bringing someone to Jesus, I think fog machines are out. In in the peak, I will say it did bring in the Shekinah glory. I was I was four and it made like the lasers look cool. Well, we do fund machines at our church anymore. I would say that we're clarifying this all the time, you know, to keep people engaged in church post church to hang and to cross connect and things like that. We were offering for a season three tacos. And nobody ate the tacos. Yeah, so annoying. So you know, it's just about evaluating iterating trying to identify okay, what are the things that are working or not working? And optimize, optimize, maximize? How you're allocating the budget? And I like that. Yeah. All oriented. I mean, obvious. This is obvious to all of us, but oriented towards what's people what's bringing people to Christ? Yeah. What is helping disciple people in Christ? What is helping people engage in cross connect, here's the thing, you want to actually have a disproportionate amount of your investment into how you facilitate somebody meeting seven friends, within the first two to three weeks. If they meet seven friends, within the first two to three weeks, they're in, they're in back door closed, retention solved. Wow, they're in this is actually the formula that Facebook used. When they first started the company, they called it the magic number, it wasn't, within a few weeks, it was actually within seven days, that you needed to make seven connections within seven days. And that was like the magic number to get full retention on the platform. And they did everything they invested a disproportionate amount of their staff to solve that problem. How do we optimize somebody making as many friends as fast as possible on our social media platform? And that's actually what led to exponential growth, you got to close the back power. Right. That's cool. And so yeah, those things that are investments into that, and then maybe taking it from budget where it's being spent on things that might not be maximizing that. Yeah, and first off, I don't find it ironic that seven was the magic number. Because we know it's the number of completion. Yeah, we're going to talk about this in another episode coming up soon. But what Gen Z is looking for is not flash in a pan anymore. They're they're more focused on the experience that they're having the personal encounter that they're having. Right, right, right. And so there's so much, I'm just gonna say it frivolousness. That's so irrelevant. The labels are relatively like a little bit of frivolity. Why do we like people? Because humans are made for novelty. So okay, well let it let it be novel one time and by? Yeah, well, what I think you're saying though, the deeper principle is, you have to be open to evolving your methodology based on the context. So I do think maybe middle millennial loved the lasers in the haze machine combo, and maybe Gen Z doesn't, right? Maybe Gen Z like something else. And so we can't be married to the method, sure. But we can be focused on our message and the goal. And so if it's not reaching the goal anymore, that's why you know, what we do at our church, and especially when I sat in the seat of CFO at our church, we started this thing called ROI mindset or return on investment mindset. And we would actually go department by department, look at the ways each department lead was managing their budget, and we were assessing it from a Hey, is it actually influencing our key performance indicators or KPIs? Is it actually influencing more new guests, more people getting connected into small groups, more people getting baptized is influencing that if there's not a direct correlation to that? It's either we got to dig deeper to find that connection, or it's up for debate on if it should stick around. Yeah, no, I agree with that completely. And I have first hand experience with this because my husband and I took over as the host team leaders at our church cool, which basically, instead of first impressions team or whatever you call it with like the Hey, welcome team, where they The ones that bridge that gap between Okay, now you're now you're part of something. And the method that I know that a lot of churches have taught for a long time is the way to get people plugged in, is to get to know them, then get them plugged in. But the turnaround time in that was very limited. It's like within the first one to two interactions, you should be telling him like, hey, this day is coming up for church or oh, this small group start then? Sure, sure. And from our personal experience, we found that that's very overwhelming. Sure. And not disarming at all right? It's almost forcing something like, whoa, hold on. I just got here. I don't even I don't even know if I'm bought in now I need to know about. So at the bulletin board, right. So what we started doing was we actually changed the name from host team to the field scene team. Cool. And so we now make it a point that it's going to take six interactions with us of knowing your name, saying hello to you every time you walk in, getting to know a little bit about your story before we're ever approaching anything else about what's going on at church, if it comes up organically, for sure. But we're not trying to push information about that connection, until we see that we're both building a rapport. Yeah. And that doesn't cost anything. Yeah, you know, the most hospitable person on the planet was Jesus. Yes. Jesus was a master at hospitality. Yeah. And the scripture says that he didn't even have a place to rest his head. Sometimes you think you need a super fancy home? Yep. And you need the fanciest charcuterie board. Yeah. And, and by the way, I love a good charcuterie board. I do think there's something to be said about pursuing excellence and giving God our best and showing off and showing out and making sure that people can feel at home and feel hosted. But you don't need to be limited. If you don't have resources for that yet, right? To know how to host Exactly. I think what you're telling me off camera earlier was one of the key things that you and your husband did was remember, remember names? Yeah. People love the sound of their own name. Yeah. And if you're bad with names, you don't have to be bad with names. This is not this actually. Something that is inaccessible. This is what you do. They tell you their name, and you use it three times in the first 30 seconds. Oh, so tell me more about that. Also, you're from Pittsburgh. So Oh, that's so cool. So that you just got married? Oh, so that's amazing that you guys are about to have a kid. Oh. Okay. But now I remember your name is Oh, and Zoey. And I remember never to bring this up again. And AKs overflow. No, but it's just like, you don't have to be bad at names. Yeah, that's fair. And something I will say that I have done. I love when people say this, because I immediately challenged them on the name front specifically said like, Who told you that? You're bad names, like nobody went up to set you and said you're about at names. And also that is, quote in Genesis three. But what I've started doing is actually holding a notebook in my hand. And so I'll start having a conversation with someone and literally after the interaction ends, I'd be like, Alicia wave, you hold a notebook? I do. You don't just put on your phone? No, because then it looks like I'm on my phone. Wow, I keep and there's something that happens when you're actually writing something down in the brain. I like that. Yeah. So if you are one of those people that thinks you're bad at names, even if it's right, as the message starts, just write down all the people that you had conversations with that day, I have not forgotten a single person's name since I did that. I mean, if you're writing a die, I wouldn't be surprised. That's amazing. I love that. So I think that was four. I think that was four tips we give Yes, we gotta give the fifth one here is the clincher people are gonna save you so much money right now. Do you know what you are paying for your merchant processing fees? This is the answer for 90% of CFOs. Executive pastors definitely lead pastors you don't know. Because we've talked to you. And we asked to see what your statements were. And you don't know where to be found, because your current payment processors are hiding it from you. But the problem is that you are paying too much for AIMEX, you're likely paying 3.5% and 30 or 40 cents per transaction. For debit credit, I'm talking Visa MasterCard, you're likely paying 2.9% and 30 cents per transaction for Ach, you might be paying half a percent to a percent sometimes. And then there's hidden fees. It's called Platform fees that these payment processors and these giving platforms are doing fully loaded, you're probably paying anywhere from three to 6% per transaction. So if you're bringing in a significant amount of money, that's six figures or depending on the size church you are that could be seven The figures and merchant processing fees that are going into the pockets of these payment processors, we have come, overflow has come to save the day, maybe not saved the day. But I mean, Jesus already saved the day. Yes, but we came to save you on merchant processing fees, we have created a system and exclusive partnership, we've created a full stack solution that allows us to save up to in most cases, 1% 1% is a lot of money for some churches, that seven figures for some churches that six figures, even if it's only five figures for your church, that might be a staff member, that might be an intern, that might be resources to be able to accelerate the mission and vision of your church. So do you know your merchant processing fees, if you don't, you got to check you got to ask you got to pull it. And you can see that you're actually spending way too much money, I'm just talking about merchant processing fees. But on top of that, you're probably paying subscription fees. And so fully loaded, you're spending, you know, 50,000 100,000, and the hundreds of 1000s for some churches, in fees that you do not need to be spending. And so this is one of the best ways to cut costs. And you know, it's not all about cutting costs. I'm a big believer in you get what you pay for, you want to make sure that you pay for the right platforms that you invest into the right platforms that can accelerate the vision and mission. But if fees are going or money is going to fees, that is doing nothing for your organization, might as well consider figuring out how to reduce those, we can help you at overflow or at least have a conversation of how you can figure out what you are paying, and what the potentials are to save. Yeah, and we're doing free cost analysis right now. Free 99. Now that is a deal, kind of like insider, kind of like Insider. Which by the way, if you don't know what insider is, it's an exclusive membership that's free for people to dive into getting more leadership content, more fundraising content, we actually put an extra podcast episode out every single month only to Insider members. So two things I guess we got to point out if you want to free cost analysis overflow.co. Co if you want to sign up for Insider, overflow, Dotco slash insider and yours, I'm gonna do the hat trick just because I felt like okay, if you're listening to this episode, if you listen to the end, this is why you should listen to the end people. If you're listening to this episode, you can reference this episode, email, email, Serena. At overflow taco, we'll put in the show notes. And I will personally mail you a copy of high growth fundraising for free. Your book for free. I'm just wondering, because I like things in threes. You're you're filling John. So we have the Trinity three families. Yes. That are free. Amen. Don't say we don't save your money. Okay. That's it for this week, folks. Thanks so much for listening to the give it up podcast if you want to receive even more insights on church innovation, culture and giving. Now you can sign up for free to be an overflow insider, where you'll receive exclusive content discounts direct access to Vance Roush to get your questions answered. And also invite only access to our monthly fundraising leadership forums, head to overflow.co backslash insider, or just click the link in our bio to sign up for free today. In order to get this podcast in the ears of even more church leaders. Could you please subscribe and leave a review for the show. This tells the podcast players what people are enjoying and want to hear more of and we are adamant about providing maximum value to even more church leaders. Thanks so much. We'll see you next time.