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lifewayAccording to “Giving USA” over $390 billion dollars was donated to charities across the country in 2016.  While this may seem like an astronomical number, it’s only a little more than 2% of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or in layman’s terms; disposable income. According to Philanthropy Roundtable, while the monetary amount of charitable donations have increased year over year, the GDP has stayed put at around 2% for over 60 years. This is interesting because as a country we’ve gotten wealthier that one could assume that the percentage that we as a nation donate would increase as well.


According to iDonate; 10% of someone’s wealth is cash while 90% is in the form of goods such as stock, cars, clothes, and other items that they own. So they decided to make it easier for nonprofits to accept donations outside of the traditional cash donation. The digital fundraising company is making it easier for nonprofits to raise more money with less of the hassle. Because of their unconventional perspective on fundraising they have become arguably one of the most trusted fundraising platforms in the nonprofit sector.   

Together they have teamed up with Lifeway Christian Resources who specialize in providing Christian resources for Churches to create a solution called Lifeway Generosity that focuses on delivering coaching, support, and technology to churches around the United States.  

In Use:
iDonate and Lifeway Christian Resources came together to create a solution that allowed Lifeway’s benefactors to give to the organization in more ways than just the standard cash donation. When asked how iDonate can help Lifeway thrive, iDonate CEO Ray Gary stated, “LifeWay was very aware of the challenges they face with changing demographics, changes in giver attitudes and behaviors in giving.”  Out of this need for different means for charitable donations, Lifeway Generosity came into fruition, a solution debuting in the summer of 2018. “We will serve as the lead organization, working 100% with the customer in terms of sales, onboarding, and success,” Todd McMichen, Director of Lifeway Generosity and Digital Giving noted. While Lifeway Christian Resources will handle customer-facing questions, iDonate will work behind the scenes as tech support. Gary echoed McMichen’s sentiment, “Lifeway knows the Church better than anyone in the industry. It only makes sense for them to take the lead.”

Technology Used:
Lifeway Generosity’s users will notice a change in how easier it will be to donate to their church. “The giver will be able to make a contribution by downloading the free mobile app, sending a text, or giving online at their church’s websites,” McMichen explained. He also stated that the solution will also feature an event registration page, a unified back office and the ability to do peer-to-peer fundraising.

Ease of Use:
From McMichen’s description above it seems as though iDonate will take care of the technical support in case any issues arise within the solution. And with Lifeway’s dedication to coaching and training users on how to use the solution, it appears that users will have many resources available to them in case any issues arise.

Recap:
Lifeway Generosity was born when Lifeway Christian Resources realized that as their demographic changed, the way they fundraised had to too. Lifeway Generosity is a solution that specializes in generosity coaching and support to local churches all around the country.  The solution is set to be released in the summer of 2018, but so far the reception has been positive.  Gary praised, “Lifeway brand is very strong in the church market and well respected. Their position as a trusted advisor is already showing in this initiative.”

Advantages:

  • Both of these providers are highly respected in their given fields. Lifeway Christian Resources in the church market and iDonate in the technology sphere.

  • According to both Lifeway and iDonate this is a long-term partnership

  • Both of these companies are aligned in their mission and their goals for Lifeway Generosity

  • Disadvantages:
    Because the solution has not debuted yet, it’s hard to say what some disadvantages might be. The biggest disadvantage on Lifeway Resources’ end would be not listening to their constituents in their needs and wants. But considering Lifeway Generosity came about because of their constituents need for different methods of donating – it’s safe to say that will probably not be the case. On iDonate’s part it would be to ensure that all technical problems get solved as soon as possible and making sure that Lifeway Generosity is their number one priority.

    My Opinion:
    According to both iDonate’s CEO, Ray Gary and Director of Lifeway Generosity and Digital Giving; the early reception of this solution has been positive with churches all over the country excited to use it. I think this idea of two companies coming together to build a solution that betters the nonprofit community is overdue. If the partnership between these two businesses succeed, I would expect to see more company crossovers as time goes on.


    Last modified on Monday, 19 February 2018
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    Danielle Loughnane

    Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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