Better Connections, Bigger Collections

Published on: March 1, 2014

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This month, we’re taking a look at all the ways your community can financially contribute to and support your ministry. From online giving to text-to-give to good, old-fashioned direct mail appeals, one truth remains: your fundraising efforts are only as good as who knows about them.

Making it easy for your donors to give is absolutely important, but actually asking them to give takes precedence. Typically, your best donors—those who give the most and the most often—will be people you already know, people in your community. While emerging social media make it easy and fast to reach new people, your “bread-and-butter” funds are more likely to come from someone you have a bit more information for: mailing address, email address, full name, etc.

When you set up a new fundraising campaign or “pass the basket” at service (whether in church or online), you should reach out to your community through every method available. Plan your mail, email and social media campaigns so that they complement each other, overlapping dates to highlight each other. For example, if you have a fundraising campaign going on every Sunday in February and via a letter to your congregation members, communicate that opportunity to give via email and, of course, on your active social media channels as well.

It seems like a simple idea. But in order to be ready to ask those in your community, you have to have their contact information and, in some cases, their permission to reach out. How are you collecting email addresses for those who attend your Sunday services? How about for those who watch online (either real-time or via the archives)? Those whom you’ve found via social media–are you asking for email sign-ups periodically?

Social media allows you the potential to reach farther audiences but it doesn’t consistently allow you to reach 100% of your fans. On average, a Facebook post is only seen by 16% of those that “Like” the page. It’s best to have other channels to reach out to them, too.

When you share your message with new audiences—via archives, social media, etc.—be sure you’re collecting some contact information to take the next step in that relationship when you need it.

Jessica & Ogun

Jessica Best
Digital Marketing Evangelist at emfluence
Jessica Best is digital marketing evangelist at emfluence, a digital marketing firm in Kansas City, Mo.
Ogun Holder
Digital Marketing Evangelist at emfluence
Rev Ogun Holder serves as the senior minister of Unity on The River in Amesbury, MA. He is the author of Rants to Revelations: Unabashedly Honest Reflections on Life, Spirituality, and the Meaning of God and co-host of the Pub Theology Live podcast.

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