Pushpay’s Annual State of Church Tech Report Shows Refined Use of Ministry Tools Among Catholic Churches
New results reveal the significant role that technology and digital solutions now play among parishes and diocese nationwide
REDMOND, Wash., April 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pushpay (NZSX:PPH, ASX:PPH, ‘Pushpay’ or ‘the Company’), the leading payments and engagement solutions provider for faith-based and non-profit sectors, today released its latest 2023 State of Church Tech report, specifically for Catholic churches. The annual report surfaces current adoption trends, considerations, desires, and barriers to embracing new technology among parishes and dioceses across the U.S. As the Catholic Church continues to evolve in a digital era, 96% of parish leaders believe technology is important to achieving their church’s mission.
“As leaders in the Catholic Church, we are living in an unparalleled time of change and challenge,” said Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR, a priest for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. “To reach our people and fulfill the mission of the Church, we must use technology—but the question is often where to start and how deep to go.”
Pushpay conducted the nationwide online study in September and October of 2022, surveying more than 170 parish leaders, representing churches diverse in size and geographic location. Priests accounted for the majority of participants at 37%, while other participants serve their parishes as business or finance managers (21%), communications (10%), administration and secretary (10%), and development (7%). Key findings include:
- Unified tech solutions are preferred: Parish leaders are no longer in a hurry to just add more technology to help evangelization efforts; instead, they are methodical about choosing digital solutions that are more unified, refined and purpose-built to meet the needs of their ministry. The average number of digital tools used by parishes decreased significantly since 2021—from 7.9 to 6.5 tools. This includes tools to perform tasks such as database management, online giving, church app, social media, etc. Looking ahead, church management and donor management software were chosen as the top ministry tools for the future.
- Digital giving and church apps are widely used: 59% currently use a mobile church app, up from 49% from the previous year. It’s also among the top three tech tools with an “extremely satisfied” rating and 50% say it will be strategically important in two to three years. Parishes primarily used their church app for content, church calendar, tithing or financial giving, and prayer requests. Mobile giving remains one of the most adopted tools, particularly among large parishes. In spite of the seemingly positive experiences, mobile giving dropped significantly from 2021 (91% in 2021, compared to 82% in 2022). Other popular tools include texting, ministry and volunteer scheduler, and event software.
- Livestreaming and hybrid church remain top of mind: The number of parishes livestreaming Mass and worship services in 2022 remained constant at 84% and ranks among the tools they are “extremely satisfied” with. Social media as a livestreaming solution is notably still the most popular way for parishioners to tune in digitally. Large parishes (92%) were significantly more likely than small (53%) or medium-sized parishes (73%) to livestream on social media. Leaders are looking for the ideal balance to transition to a hybrid form of worship in the future. In 2022, 74% offered hybrid worship services. In looking ahead, only 34% indicated they plan to offer in-person only Mass next year.
- Digital security is high priority: 87% say that IT security and data protection are crucial when contemplating new technology. Moreso, talks about digital security are gaining traction, with 58% of leaders indicating they discussed digital security with their parishioners last year (a significant increase from 40% in 2021).
- Exploring emerging tech for digital evangelization: Churches are more open to new, innovative forms of digital donations including cryptocurrency, with 50% of small parishes considering this to be strategically important over the next couple of years. Moreso, parishes and dioceses are more open to considering unique forms of engagement technology including church in the Metaverse, chatbots, marketing through geotargeting and more.
“Shifts in the religious, cultural and social landscape are driving leaders to rethink the way they engage with parishioners and strategies to reach the next generation,” said Molly Matthews, Pushpay CEO. “The digital shift of the traditional Church model is helping create more flexibility, while still maintaining the sacred traditions of the Catholic Church.”
Today’s announcement is further reinforcement of Pushpay’s commitment to meeting the digital needs of the Catholic Church. The release of the Catholic State of Church Tech report comes on the heels of several recent product innovations and enhancements to ParishStaq, Pushpay’s purpose-built technology suite for parishes and dioceses. Recently added features include sacrament tracking, multilingual capabilities, pledge campaign enhancements, and more. For more information about Pushpay and ParishStaq, visit www.pushpay.com.
Pushpay provides a donor management system, including donor tools, finance tools and a custom community app, a church management system (ChMS), and video streaming solutions to the faith sector, non-profit organizations and education providers located predominantly in the United States (US) and other jurisdictions. Our leading solutions simplify engagement, payments and administration, enabling our Customers to increase participation and build stronger relationships with their communities. Pushpay is an award-winning company. For more information visit www.pushpay.com/investors/awards.
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