The Product that Generosity could be (3/7) — Current Apps

A Speculative Product Roadmap for Generosity — Market Survey

Phil Pawlett Jackson
34 min readAug 29, 2019

I would hugely enjoy to develop these ideas further. I’d love to be stretched in a Product/UX team, and ultimately I hope to facilitate far-reaching social change through super-charged generosity. Friends in fintech, faith, philanthropy or other, please do be in touch if we could work together.

I am otherwise looking to nurture a group of beta-testers, anyone who’d like to experiment in generosity-games, or for updates generally, leave your details here and I’ll be in touch.


On the market today, I can find a massive array of slick punchy giving-app competitors in GoFundMe etc. I can find sophisticated for-church giving-apps in etc. I can find church giving-apps integrated in social/comms platforms in top-down congregation management aspects of PushPay or Choyr. I can find intuitively integrated and visually attractive giving functionalities from within existing massive social networks FacebookFundraising, and inside the dashboard of challenger banks Revolut etc~ and these are players who need to be seen as the good guys beyond token CSR, and they want to monopolise winner-takes-all spaces, and as such they will have everything to gain from adding Gift-Aid, subsidising zero-commission and gaming a matched giving features (see AmazonSmile etc) — these value-adds will eliminate the market for the Just-Giving etc and Stewardship. I can find increasing expectations around impact transparency — mandated in corporate fundraising and incented in EA derived personal donations. I can find a growing familiarity with peer-to-peer financial micro transactions, bill-splitting and group pots.

I can’t find anyone doing for financial-need sharing in the way Prayermate or Choyr shares for prayer requests (~maybe RelationalTithe; or, exceptionally but illustratively, John Lewis Gift List conventions). I can’t find anyone doing personal financial accountability in the way CovenantEyes does for porn. I can’t find anyone doing what Makerble does for team-visible financial-to-social impact analytics in a context of personal/spiritual/church life. I can’t find any of the Pushpay, Gyve etc platforms addressing subsidiarity of giver/donor/decision-makers beyond occasional project-based fund-designation functionality. I can’t find any of the giving engines doing raw transparency for open-book church financial accountability in the way certain startups like Buffer, Gitlab etc have made a virtue of, and which Blockchain does by default, and in a way that, eg Xero will do to a limited extent and internally for employees. I can’t find any churches attempting the sort peer-to-peer payment which Patreon and Stewardship do as standard, and which Blockchain makes primary. I can’t find anyone majoring in peer-to-peer financial mentoring functionalities — despite numerous seminars pondering how to turn millennials into givers. And, in the YNAB and Monzo etc budgetting facilities out there, I can’t find any which are spiritually oriented towards sacrificial generosity goals.


  1. Stewardship’s current appearance and functionality
  2. Giving functionality competitors — Products offering giving functionality
  3. Other “stewardship” — Products offering functionality beyond giving
  4. Possible approaches to visualising personal and public money

1. Stewardship As-is

Stewardship Desktop Current (July 2019)

  • Audience. Who is Stewardship’s typical user? spread of audience/user-base ?— it feels like it’s not far out from a filofax, in functionality and aesthetic. This is potentially a really positive thing. First things first. Old school, unFlashy, unbreakable. Stripped down and elemental. Spartan Shaker robustness to a website. There is a deeply attractive integrity to a website lean and low-tech ~ masking nothing behind a more liquid UI.
  • User’s Stories / Persona’s Jobs to be Done. What are Stewardship trying to do for their community/audience? What does success look like? What are the jobs to be done, and what is the definition of done? Just organising tax-efficient record keeping? What is the big picture, long term ambition for this almost-banking product?
  • Portfolio. Who owns these domain decisions for the portfolio of,, — A bit chaotic, visually and conceptually. And, why for major donors only — what could be offer to smaller donors equally? And the latterly disowned ~ how did this not fit more neatly into the remit of Stewarding?
  • Reporting. Very static reporting format. Serving what certain people need — not for mobile, slow to load. Serving a legacy clientel who want pdfs to print into lever arch files?
  • UI doesn’t feel very interactive. I feel like I am between slides in a rigid deck. Quite mechanical transactions, quite brittle. Buttons have that cassette player depression look, logo looks a bit scientology, bevels and dropshadows are bit 90s — and the gradient gives it the look of a spooky face lit from below.
  • UX doesn’t feel very deep, or layered. Not much is hypertexted, there’s very little theology at the surface, or accessible behind the surface. I can’t customise what I see and do. I can’t interrogate what is presented. Much more could be taught, exegeted, enriched in mouseover text or a tutorial side panel.
  • Wallet. Wallet as wallet — is it? What is a wallet? Where does the money come from? How is it held? Payment processing — does the money have to go through Stewardship, or could it be tokenised? Escrowed? Stewardship is so very nearly banking-as-a-service, it tantalises the idea of a Christian challenger bank — or threatens to be compared to dreary imitator. See digital wallets and charity vs Paypal, Venmo, ApplyPay, GooglePay
  • Tone of voice . “you might also like..” “Your to-dos..” a bit directive and prescriptive; “current email address..” Who are “we”, who are “you”? Who is included, what are we (me+stewardship) on mission to do (together), what is mine as a gift to give? We could be more inclusive — we are all stewardship, the givers, the receivers, the partners, the developers. Including customers in a “we” would not extend security concerns of the payment gateway. Neither would the “we” to the consultancy side of Stewardship’s charity finance expertise, which is a private We ~ although, even that could be more Monzonauted — to the crowd wisdom of the priesthood of all clients. But, otherwise, Stewardship’s “we” can be everyone for everyone — mutually giving and recieving.

Stewardship Mobile Current (July 2019)

  • Straightforwardly, this is not a mobile site at all. In form and content, an ill-suited translation of a desktop site to an inappropriate medium. Rather than agonising internally about this lack of perfectly equivalent function on mobile, this non-function could be explicitly acknowledged, and a virtue could be made of it.
  • Stewardship for mobile could be a placeholder page, unburdened to be a replacement for desktop, unburdened to provide some on-the-go service. How much financial stewarding is soberly done on a mobile? In terms of enabling and encouraging both wise and responsive behaviours in Stewards — the mobile environment is inherently an attention deficit encounter ~ the functions installed there should have sensible buffers to steer decision making actions into times and spaces where more context can be more prayerfully considered. Perhaps?

Stewardship Beta Desktop (~Aug 2019)

  • The UI is liquid but scroll bar appears (viewed Chrome on Mac).
  • It’s very red. Hot red angry urgent danger stop-sign Red. Angpou-red-envelope Red.
  • It’s only red. Without over-reading poetry into this. The one-dimensional colour palette carries a certain analogue to the one-dimensional product offering. In another world, your money management and holistic stewardship could be in profit or loss, messages could be incoming or outgoing, tasks could be pending or complete. Here, there is only one function ~ Money-Out. It is a fire-exit sign for your finances. There is a risk that future functionality is shackled by the colour monolith, and the colour monolith is shackled by the function. Intentionally picking a secondary for the palette, will allow nuanced new things, and also will make integrations with external brands/functions easier to colour manage.
  • It is currently a dashboard with one dial, a game console with one button.

This year we have rebuilt our main customer interface and are following through with a programme for a new platform on which products and services can be added in a secure, agile and responsive fashion.

  • If this is a “platform” for products rather than a single monolith, it should signpost that pending multifunction visibly. The potential infrastructure of other functions is potentially the most valuable proposition in this change, and it is also potentially the most important UX problem to solve for — that most likely to divide opinion, that with most possible variations, that with the most potential to prompt the inflection point for growth. Future functions on the roadmap could be dotted-in in grey. If this adding-of-functions to a platform can be done onto this architecture ~ compared to say, the UI of which has the Trello-card appearance of containered microservices and panelised analytics reporting which conspicuously suggests how future products and components can be dropped into the customisable personalisable dashboard.

Stewardship Beta Mobile (~Aug 2019)

  • Great login function. Smooth and easy sign up. Too easy? Query if 2FA could be more obviously accessible?
  • A stripped down clean look — has lost some functionality in the clutter strip? Almost makes what Stewardship does look too simple? Not sufficiently sophisticated, adaptable, powerful or granular to justify my using this third tool?
  • Different Reds? Different red to Desktop? Different warmths between body block and top menu bar?
  • Feels like an app without going the whole hog. Would an app-proper allow more interesting functionalities, like offline functionalities, provide more interesting passive data, social-messaging integration, and allow for more two-way push-notified interactivity that allows the app to be ignored until an event triggers a need for engagement (eg a new fundraising campaign, or new balance limit reached)?
  • Obviously, I have no funds in my balance, so it’s not that interesting, but the decision to make the blunt figure the landing screen, rather than say, an in-progress report or chart, or the burn-rate, or a news-story from a beneficiary ~ the “Available Balance £123.45” in a big circle seems prosaic and less geared to the potential to spur creative engagement, prayerful celebration, or otherwise. Not sure.

2. and 3. Surveys of Existing

The survey below can’t pretend to be comprehensive, and doesn’t intend to be. In initial conversations earlier this year, where I mooted that Stewardship could be the answer to certain technological ills in society at large — I was encouraged to return with a more visualised communication of this potential ~ this was my own journalled visual survey of what I can find.

The below is a broadbrush portrait of precedents/competitors to say:

  • If-this-tech-is-already-possible-then-we-can do-equivalent
  • If-this-business-has-already-been-built-then-we-must either do-better or do-different.

2. Giving Functionality Competitors

2.1 Giving via Portal inside Banking apps

Revolut Donations Integration


This, I anticipate, will be the main Stewardship displacer/disrupter. The new generation of banking apps are the intuitive place to start to build out a sophisticated two-way marketplace for Giving/Raising. Seamless integration, variable/regular/roundup/one-off giving, share-to-social and record donations. However, it won’t displace Stewardship tomorrow.

There’s no Gift Aid integration that I can find. I don’t know what the interface looks like for WWF, and indeed, if there is a roadmap to create tools for such.

Further, I can’t find an equivalent functionality with Monzo yet ~ they do have less bad press to counteract than Revolut (clearly they are developing an extensive discussion around how people do giving; partnering with Charities eg innovating a functionality to resell BigIssues; dedicating blogspace to Charitable giving hacks; also hosting 10x10 charity Dragons Den suggests a more than cursory interest in charitytech). I can’t find an equivalent with Starling Developers asking their Customer Service, they said no and not soon, (some corporate giving to banking themed causes). In a skim search, I also can’t find an equivalent with Atom or N26 or Tandem.

2.2 Giving via Fundraiser Portals

Just Giving JustGiving

See Also Indiegogo; Donation Buttons; Podia; Memberful; Liberapay

They all look quite similar — is this how people expect to engage giving? ~ conscious that Stewardship owns ~ the question remains of how that giving experience interfaces with the Giving Account user experience.

Fundraisers generally seem to foreground a thermometer for a purpose, rewards in return, exposure to social, exposure to the open internet, the exceptional cases of extraordinary fundraising

  • Initial capital fundraise as investment to release a multiplied product (eg. one-off cost to record an album)
  • One-off Intrinsic Cause/Issue/Event Fundraising (eg. Church Spire or medical bills)
  • Organisation/Extrinsic Fundraising (eg. Marathon raising for Cancer)

In all there is a danger of the long tail, donor fatigue and noise ~ especially in more anonymous unrelational open crowdfunded kickstarters that almost-raise their target. There is a danger of subtly fanning a culture of competitive virtue signalling. There is a danger of manipulation and artificial/non-proportional rewards — the many layered congnitive disconnects between the warm fuzzy feeling, the irrelevant amount given, to an irrelevant activity, to a cause seeking to ameliorate a systemic problem ~ all subsidising a profit-driven agenda a mediating funding platform.

Facebook/Instagram Giving

Facebook Research
Instagram Engineering

It seems hard to believe that third-party giving platforms will survive the coup of in-social facilities to do the fundraise directly from/to your social profile.

2.3 Giving via Cause Discovery

Great Non Profits

It is surprising that this exists, but heartening. There appears to be sufficient people looking to support a good cause generically, and will search for such. And they are served by a portal with a rating system for causes. This is hardly the sort of impact algorithm that EffectiveAltruism (below) might desire, but it’s a tip towards transparency and accountability, in the vein of Glassdoor for third sector.

2.4 Giving via Individual Sponsorship


Very strong on donor communication, community, and tapered rewards.

The development of peer-to-peer sponsorship and patronage in this way offers an rare secular equivalent to missionary support, relational-to-the-person sponsorship, complete with the capacity for equivalent prayer-letter “Posts” and other support structures, and may subsequently demonstrate a strong alternative to traditional rails for prospective independent missionaries.

ThinkSpot (forthcoming)
The recent controversies around de-platforming and role of payment mechanisms in policing ideology should, minimally offer some caution to those, as Stewardship, presuming to offer such a service to agents as ideological as Christian workers and missionaries. ThinkSpot’s censor-proof proposal may yet add the sorts of discretion and privacy that Patreon lacks for more controversial Christian work.

Give Directly

GD have solved for the peer-to-peer giving relationship, albeit typically very minor amounts ported to faraway places. But it allows one to imagine a potential structure for a relational basic-income provision UI for causes/individuals closer to home.

Another possible visual interface for giving, with emotional discovery-led faces and facts with feedback ~ you could discover and catalogue causes and individuals in a Stewardship Giving Account this way.

2.5 Giving via Round-Up integrations

making giving accessible, affordable and feel-good. Our digital charity box is all about giving your small change a big purpose, and making a meaningful difference..” The life-hack approach to passive giving seems to capture the imagination, and equips retailers to game the near-passive altruism as a CSR value-added for them at no cost. It has something of the tithing your mint dill and cumin about it.

This is one of many services with the Round-Up function, whether for saving or giving. Positively speaking, especially if, with a not-totally-automatic UI, one positions the decision-making action in a mindful way, the little-and-often approach could create consciousness of a cause given to, rather than obscure it.

IFTTT Round Up Monzo

IFTTT HQ and Monzo
Monzo+IFTTT integration
~ you can customise the If-Then conditions for anything in app ~ so giving to a pot.

Gyve Generosity App

Gyve’s Round-Up feature in its Generosity App

2.6 Giving via Hardware Integrations

Good Box


There are physical rituals we have for giving to charity through coin boxes, and to church through the collection plate. These were invented at some point, and have not really be adapted.

The physical embodiment of gathering as church is non-trivial practically and symbolically. There is scope for such as Stewardship to consider the artefact that mediates generosities from/to/through church in a digital age.

Square, Sumup, iZettle

Square and Square Engineering; Square; Sumup; iZettle
Plenty of fresh-born players in the physical payments game ~ if nothing else, showing there’s room for innovation (/imitation) in the charitable and church facilities for this. Reducing the cost of person-to-person giving in person suggests a church environment where virtual money could move sideways to whoever has needs amongst them, seamlessly.

3. Alternative Stewardship Functionalities

Expanding the remit of stewarding beyond just giving finances, to managing finances, and managing all resources ~ there are technology companies who have already established that there is a demand for a range of services, and an audience familiar with how to interact with digital products which enable this.

Below are demonstrated various ways to be generous with what you have, wise and ambitious with what you have, transparent with what you do online/offline financially and otherwise, caring-for and coordinating-with contacts you know.

Under the bonnet, tech has changed in that only very very recently have we been able to verify instant global atomic transactions. More interesting than this invisible change, however, the whole UX of money itself has changed.

We expect that there is a dashboard for everything, that organisations are transparent by default and that everything is accessible as-a-service everywhere. The context everywhere has changed such that Stewardship is no longer a neat way to file giving, it’s a lacklustre version of a challenger bank.

3.1 Giving via Lending

Giving via Investment Bonds — Green Pastures

In the noble tradition of Victorian 5% philanthropists, there is blueprint for dignifying both parties in a giving transaction by engaging a mode of mutual self-interest, rather than lopsided paternalism and dependency. Green Pastures makes this a clean diagram.

Of particular note is the facility to vary the interest on the investment and get an estimate of both the financial return to you, and the social-good done by them. It’s rare to see anything like this in a donation platform, and the UI makes the whole transaction feel mutual, transparent and secure.

Giving via Microloans — Kiva

Accountability, progress reporting, and infinite re-investability. The diagram of doing good is really punchy.

Notably also Kiva is itself a charity and never takes a fee from lenders. This is astonishing, even unlikely, compared to Stewardship and other donation platforms’ need to cover costs.

The use of field partners also hints at a triangulated structure to enable strategic access to hard-to-reach needs.

Giving via loaning in-kind via Peer-to-Peer Sharing — Freeconomy/Streetbank (defunct) (archived)
~ Streetbank and equivalent continue this mode of portal for making resources available — both one-off items and ongoing skills made available for the commons.

3.2 Giving via Church Congregation Management


Pushpay Tech
(see also integrations)
Targeting top-down church staff teams, with a numerical growth and revenue growth angle. Solving for the pain point of admin in mega churches. What is the smallest scale this level of infrastructure is affordable to? Technical education, and honed efficiencies are commendable prominent strengths. Transparency, self-limiting sustainable growth, horizontal churchmanship, and delegated missionary support type features are not apparent, but, given the rails Pushpay has, those niches would be intuitive goals to absorb vs Stewardship’s USP — re small missionaries, and smaller giving contexts, more intimate forms of support-raising.
Ostensibly ditto Pushpay.


Ostensibly ditto Pushpay.

Go Gyve
Ostensibly ditto Pushpay.
We are only mobile giving app that combines the power of rounding up your transactions AND providing one-time donations, recurring donations, text-to-give donations, kiosk donations and online donation services.”

More is made of the giver-experience, than in Pushpay. The categorisation of givers into four types is really interesting. Dustin Bosscher’s Generosity Culture podcast for Gyve offers some nuanced analysis of the dangers and opportunities of Big Data. Some of their social feels a little more exploitative.

Interesting to see such an elaborately all-at-once developed social network for churches with intelligent variable giving-to-pots function, prayer request and rotas integrations etc. Sample profile is attractive. Impossible to gauge the adoption — all their social is dead since last year.~ I suspect the adoption cost is prohibitive given the direct overlap with existing social networks.

Choyr is striking as a British example, and for the attention given to channeled giving, but it is equivalent to the rest of a massive ecosystem (eg) services connected to platforms which all presuppose the large-central-church as client.

Stewardship’s potential to be a properly decentralised approach to Christian generosity is radical by comparison. If, also, difficult to scale adoption for this same reason ~ unless that growth can be hacked another way.


White-lable product, foregrounding it’s ability to serve giving into multiple pots

Mission Tech Team (defunct?)

Missionary Support App
Unclear the demise of this alternative peer-to-peer missionary financial support platform. Unclear branding? Difficult to locate critical mass or complementary services?

Give Lively

Give Lively
White-Labelled Giving functionality has an elegance to its robustness. Particularly to note the widgetability of porting its functionality into other interfaces.

3.3 ThirdSector Giving, CRM and Impact Metrics


Payment rails, impact metrics, total integration, CRM. Heavy-weight, if somewhat bluntly so. See in use at HTB giving, for example.

Very much back-end, but really clear about resourcing through integrations. What integrations does Stewardship have? What bespoke services for churches are currently reducible to APIs?

None of the other apps in this survey above seem as nimble, customisable, as team-sensitive, or as attractive as Makerble. Tailored for the benefits of giving team-visibility to impact recording by field-workers and for field-workers. Pick any metric and graph for it, on a customisable dashboard. It is generic in a good way, attractive not in a merely cosmetic way, and vitally useful in the cooperation of a distributed team solving social and personal problems together, in financially constrained, support-raising contexts. Already built with Stripe functionality. More power to them.


When would this be the best solution to solve a church’s problem — re customer service, sales, giving?

Salesforce also interesting as digital product which has created a sister industry in accrediting trainers to train trainers in their product ~ a similar product+training approach should be considered in the infrastructural stewardship needed for equivalent church/charity management.

And as a true platform it has created a plugin market place ~ appexchange.

What would salesforce-for-life look like? A personal version with lead-generation, sales-targets and CRM.. Stewarding your life as resource and optimising for eg. evangelism etc?

3.4 Budgeting / Personal Finance Management

“Stewardship” suggests managing, that is, exercising influence over incomings and outgoings — the apps that service this are often from a debt-management or savings perspective— none of which seem to be oriented for generosity or playing with transparency.

11:FS considers Personal Finance Management to be a crucial frontier in the development of Fintech. See:

  • Open Banking will eliminate any friction in where you are able to see and manipulate your financial life, creating a competitive market for dashboards.
  • Aggregation services, machine-learning and sponsored/subsidised interactions from, eg. Utilities companies or Mortgage providers, will incentivise the development of very sophisticated portals to nudge where spend for those recurring costs in life.


CSV import, manual/automatic data input and categorisation. Know what you have, plan you need etc.

YNAB’s approach is more heavily shepherded than simply categories + guesses → pots-as-rules. Rather, their strategies are to be a month ahead, to give every dollar a job, and to structure spending prioritisation and then to do bank reconciliation ~ carrying forward a surplus, repeat with forecasting.

Monzo Budgeting

Typical in this new school of portioning-categories-and-running-burn-rates-on-each-of-them. It would be interesting to have qualitative data on the psychological effectiveness of this near universal approach. How people feel about breaking their own rules? What spend patterns vs generosity does a spend-up-to-the-line psychology have? It appears strong as a self-regulation tool, but tempered by scarcity and guilt. With these app-banks, it’s also inherently difficult to see multi-variate issues in the context of wider issues on a screen the size of a phone. The function and interface is tailored to a lowest common denominator, as customisation is dev-time and in-app-friction. It feels like a computer game.

CAP Budgeting
Anecdotally, debt management via centrally renegotiated debt restructuring followed up by pastoral debt coaches is where CAP find real impact — whereas budgeting tips on their Money Management course is a lost leader. The course nurtures a congregation’s interest in the debt issue and from which basis of concerned awareness they can be led to support the creation of debt centre at a church. They aren’t saving souls via the Money Course’s budgetting, and accordingly the tech is not a priority.

The Money Course Budget Builder
Similar to CAP’s budgetting mechanism, this looks elegant, but is not functionally more responsive than paper grid template. Notably this budget includes a giving category and interestingly makes provision for multi-personal budgetting. Not clear how to use projected and actual spend. Perhaps this is a light weight facilitation tool for use at in-person events to enable a discussion. Perhaps more makes sense in app than in browser?

3.5 Aggregating/Reporting/Combining

Mint (US)
Fundamentally, people want APIs to all their financial products in one place. The Aggregators are going to be the foundation of ‘stewardship’ ~ but stewardship will only properly happen if the apps achieve to help people not only know-what-they-have, but also to prioritise-what-they-want. Frequently referenced (eg chat here) as a shortcoming in the slew of ‘Budgeting’ Apps ~ that these budgeting tools don’t really serve active strategies in the way that YNAB has made so core to its proposal.

My Money Dashboard (and Yolt, Onedox,
David Sheridan; sync.
Having dipped into a few of these free services. Interesting possibilities ~ rather than reinvent this, could Stewardship build towards hand-in-glove integration with such a portal ~ as the social-impact layer for all these dashboards.

Bud (b2b)
Aggregation-as-a-service? Again, Stewardship don’t need to invent aggregation, you can plug-in a backend, and create the user experience for generosity on the front end. (defunct)
Reporting/combining ~ with a particular angle on owning your data — which moneydashboard et al are a little coy about ~ their free business model presumes they will be able to monetise what they know about you.

3.6 Reporting

Google Maps
Reporting and mapping insights. People are curious to visualise their movements geographically, with monthly summaries, timeline, edit on/off, total distance travelled. None of the financial dashboards have achieved this level of texture in their reflecting back my passive data to me.

Screen Time

Reporting/limiting. People are concerned to steward their time. And to restrict ~ the emphasis is on mitigating negative behaviours more than promoting positive behaviours.


Fitbit Design
Tracking exercise, sleep, etc by day/week progress. Stewarding my body as a resource, towards self-knowledge. Integrations allow for rewarding positive behaviours, if eg linked to insurance app

3.7 Delegated access/accountability

Covenant Eyes
Disclosing/Open-sourcing your web history through recorded, shared, obscured screenshots sent to a trusted partner, along with a list of sites. In principle this promotes a consciousness and modifies behaviours.

There is a market for accountability re negative behaviours, and there is a business model which seems to support this subscription service ($15.99/mo).

Understanding Stewardship as a realm of urgent-habit-breaking and mindful-habit-forming. And finding that there is already a Christian/other community who have an openness to using relational tech to have that conversation through, suggests a similar accountability play could be made with your bank statement to form positive behaviours? Perhaps with the exact figures blurred? Perhaps via ephemeral messaging?

The ethical imperative to make-multipersonal the attention given to your finances centres on the “Stewardship” of your finances being, in fact, Stewardship of someone else’s money. So surveillance for the sort of due diligence of a business or charity, reporting on the care and good-use what has been given to you to Steward.

Charity accounts have dual authorisation for cheques. Monzo have a gamble-block facility. These might be a place to start, but they are negative-behaviour prevention, rather than the positive-behaviour championing that could equally also be nurtured by tech.

Location Sharing Apps

Find My Kids; Find My Flock; FindMyFriends; GoogleMapsSharedLocation

Location sharing apps can vary the degree of accuracy that the location is shared at. It can be time-limited. It can show multiple parties in relative location to one another, which enables all manner of useful coordination of things. So to then, finance in groups.

Delegated accountant access to Quickbooks/Xero etc
Xero accounting app and Intuit QuickBooks
In business contexts, there is a professional service being rendered, and the exchange of vulnerable information is infact abstract and transactional only. Nevertheless, the rails exist, and the precedent has an intuitive format which has a dual front-end, for the consumer and for the advisor.

If one treated personal finance as with the same level of accountability, integrity, rigour, and drive to optimise, it would be obvious to invite advisors to offer guidance.

3.8 As-Group Giving and Social Saving

Kiva — Teams Giving

Kiva; Kiva U.S.
Giving collectively, it wouldn’t have to be this tribal, and doesn’t have to be competitive unless all the players in that game felt inclined to. But, engaging common interests like this suggests a way, perhaps to incent more giving, and certainly to pool wisdom and coordinate action around corroborated causes.

Bunq — Shared Saving Goals.

Again, see one another giving into a commons has precedent for UI and adoption. Displaying relative contributions to a shared objective.

Monzo — Shared Pots (not live)
Ditto Bunq.

Gift Round — Group Giving
Items pre-made to be given through shared giving. Pay as you can. Suited for leaving gifts.

Leetchi — Group Giving
Leetchi UK
Funds pooled for anything. Transferred as cash with transaction fee only or directly via retail partners for zero fee.

Bankuet — Itemised raising
Pick items from static list of Foodbank foods combined into parcels for clients. Runs as a for-profit. Benefits from economies of scale and zero waste

Relational Tithe
Elaborate needs-sharing network combined with teaching on Christian commons — adoption is unclear.

Clutch 3dm App (WIP)
Speculative project to collaborate as spiritual formation groups through 3DM’s discipleship rubric.


Andy Geers
Prayer requests ordered for habit formation and mindful attention to a commitment to pray for certain subjects. Receive prayer-letter formats and devotionals. Contact integration. Journalling.

Paid subscription options for individuals and churches to create messaging streams.

PrayerMate Share solves for disclosure with contacts in secure small groups in a non-financial realm ~ an equivalent with money could use the same interface?

3.9 Pledging, Public Covenanting, Secular Tithing

Effective Altruism

Pledging & Impact. A fine line between virtue signalling and normalising living-on-less by giving-by-default. The exact role of public covenanting in making this accountable and aspirational could be tweaked, but largely it is a strong indictment of vague Christian commitments to generosity. See: Give Well; Open Philanthropy; Good Ventures; Founders Pledge; Giving Alpha

3.10 Blockchain Altruism Impact/reputation tracking

Variously Blockchain projects general are highly philosophical, with these experiments in giving tech all facing teething issues — network benefits can only be realised with critical mass adoption by a network, end-to-end transparency is only possible if both ends have adopted the technology.

In principle, on a Blockchain, programmable money can be committed contingent on results and transferred frictionlessly and transparently, directly to the beneficiary. The tokens exchanged can be as simple as signifiers of traditional currency — but they equally can be tokens of co-ownership more akin to shares giving access to non-fungible privileges. Accordingly, an organisation could mint non-fungible tokens as representations of benefits, which were given in reward (and to incent) for loyalty or in-kind contributions. See, for example, Galia Benartzi’s Bancor prototype “heart” currency tokenising the exchange of favours like childcare and volunteering.

These projects demonstrate with an academic purity what decentralised trust would/will automate — they are more immediately instructive as harbingers of the sort of impact metric transparency which conventional fundraising will increasingly be expected to offer given this challenge from the fringe.


Alice - blockchain for social impact
Goal-oriented impact-measuring fundriasing

See worked example with St Mungos

Little Phil

Little Phil
Similar proposition — adoption hard to gauge.


I observe in startups solving for transparency tend to work from worst-case scenarios — enabling a donation to be perfectly traceable into the most unbanked and corrupt regions of the world. This is obviously the case to test for, however, I wonder that middle-ground cases, of giving to relationally closer candidates would present different challenges of awkwardness, but also create a seedbed for donor/beneficiary relational innovation.

3.11 Salary Transparency

Buffer — open salaries

Corporate financial transparency — most churches are boring black boxes by comparison. There is a cost to administrating this to ensure that bare transparency is interpreted appropriately and not made a distracting source of contention. But it is easy to over state that cost. The possible benefits are deep trust and

Universal Tithe

Rhys Lindmark
Personal financial transparency — Rhys’ work has a prophetic extremism which is deeply attractive and deeply convicting. Suggesting in the abstract that one could publish one’s tax return sounds fraught with dangers of self-aggrandisement and shame. And yet, Rhys manages to make doing such seem easy in a winsome and unassuming manner. I invite everyone to tune-in to the earlier Humanist Blockchain pieces and consider that a church with such frank, vulnerable, ernest ambition would change the world.

4. Visualising Money

4.1 Sankey Diagram — flow of funds In/Out
PPJ’s suggested functionality of a Shared Stewardship Giving Pot flow
Sankeymatic automatically flags imbalance of input/output

Illustrated to the left/above a suggested flow chart of multiple sources to multiple causes mapping.

I cannot find this in use anywhere, except occasionally in static, retrospective portraits of the national electricity grid..

I cannot think of a better way to convict action on the basis of proportionality. And to illustrate non-intuitive mechanisms like restricted funds, subsidiary elective giving pots, and to generate visualisaton to show imbalances of need/opportunity.

Such a flow could also use process/decision junctions in a modified UML flow chart (eg).

4.2 Barograph — Runway, Burn Rate, Funding cycles

Popular on all the challenger banks as the key visual for your monthly cycle of funds, akin to the daily run-down of phone battery.

The same could be employed for corporate money pots ~ what’s in the tank of say, church finances. How’s it being used, and where are the spikes in activity.

It shouldn’t need to wait until an annual giving day to catchup on a shortfall, or to ponder the blessing of a surplus. Everyone should be able to see the trendlines at all times — if it can be visualised in a sufficiently easy-to-interpret way — accounting for annualised expenses etc.

4.3 Funds Needed Thermometer

Widely adopted in digital fundraisers as the icon of filling up a fund to 100%. It is a bit all-or-nothing. It is a bit all-in-one-pot. Rarely visualised as parallel options, rarely visualised as minimum/standard/stretch goal levels of giving towards variable products ~ instead it is binary: either the roof gets fixed or not.

4.4 Geolocated Expenses

Needs and opportunities have a placial dimension, especially given that local church giving is a peculiar geographic phenomenon, a crowd aligned to a node, it seems intuitive that one would incorporate mapping for multivariate needs as a counterpoint to the single thermometer mode of target-making.

Could be a heatmap, could list project/donor density or intensity locally.

See also FixMyStreet — civtech super-powering eyes on the street.

4.5 Pie Chart of expenses

HMRC Tax Return shows this by default. How much more easy and how much more pertinent for the local church to display the pounds and pence used in each activity to all its intimate stakeholders to make informed decisions. It could be live-updating. And it could be interactive — you can elect to give to where it is needed most.

4.6 Under/Over/On-budget Pie Chart

Budget bulls-eye target pie, where Angle of pie slices to indicate intended budget. Radius of pie slices to indicate under/over budget. As-is or Speculative, by-channel, department or KPI. Shortfall / Necessary / nice-to-have.

4.7 Voting by tokens for cash/percentage

Waitrose Community Matters; Asda Shared Lives

Elemental democracy, tokenised and universally understood. Gives agency, ownership, transparency and real-time feedback. Gamifies in helpful and unhelpful ways. Could we do this with live ammo ~ real money in a real church budget? What risks?

The idea in the case of a digital equivalent, would be to enable the curated (or unlimited and open-source) creation of sub-pots, to support the emphases of a church, financially. Eg. a soup kitchen channel.

Is there a danger of the long tail? Is there a danger of the sympathy vote? Is there a danger of anarchy? Do you give blind, or do you give conscious of what’s been given before? Is there a danger of the unwisdom of crowds? What sort of things would be low risk to have de prioritised by this method — vs the soup kitchen feeling unvalued..

4.8 Analogues for Cash — Virtual Gifts

See Oxfam Unwrapped makes giving tangible through a tokenised representation of the gift — which they make (somewhat) clear doesn’t mean you have literally given a goat.

In terms of creating a UI to support a missionary, or fund a soup kitchen — this sort of iconographic method could be done less gimmickily, and could be do without forcing restrictions on funds raised, and could make the interaction with supporting appropriately calibrated and appropriately emotional.

Oxfam does it

Christian Aid does it

CAFOD does it

4.9 Substitutes for Cash — Actual Gift Lists

As with sponsoring a goat, but in the far more explicitly literal and broadly familiar rubric of the Wedding Gift List. Another way to make giving more practical and personal, and less abstract and transactional.

4.10 Other UI concepts for Personal Budgetting, Cooperative Giving and Impact Measurement

4.10.1 Markup texts/objects for review/comment


Annotating comments to a dynamic object. Has the analogous appearance of the month-in-view burn-rate chart of bank balance, or a linegraph of expenses ~ which could be modified to enable comments, encouragements, questions, criticisms etc.

TurnItIn or Genius

Marking and Marking up and Hypertexting ~ facilities for jointly attending, teaching, correcting, admonishing, one another

In the case of TurnItIn, the comments are corrections advising on a better way to write/budget/spend by an authority figure or a peer.

In the case of Genius, it is the wisdom of crowds that embellishes, enriches, contextualises and interprets a given rap song, sacred text, or bank statement..

4.10.2 Collaborative Co-Design of a Joint Project

Figma or GoogleDocs

We can all work on one document at once ~ each part of the body playing a role in a symphony of cooperative elements. So, co-designing the church’s expenditure.

4.10.3 Chat/Cheer function on your Progress

Race One
Sharing/commenting/tracking from a literal cloud of witnesses

Layer: SmartCoach
Goals, tests, reports, competitions and cooperations on body metrics, so then likewise in your financial life, Iron sharpens Iron

4.11 “Powered by Stewardship”?


Could be an opportunity to push “Powered by Stewardship” as a brand, like Stripe. Opening the secure payment rails facility with GiftAid to others as a plugin/widget/portal in a few lines of code.



Phil Pawlett Jackson

Illustration, Copywriting, & PM for Digital Product and Architecture for Social Good. Keen to learn & collaborate on projects & mischief