4 Ways to Use Social Media During Capital Campaigns

It’s interesting that we live in a digital, multi-media world of RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., until we go to church. Even some of the strongest users of these platforms in other areas of their lives fail to see the impact technology can have in church life.


A capital campaign is one of the most intensive and comprehensive tasks a church chooses to take on. It requires a tremendous amount of communication to keep everyone up to date and on board. And the six-month campaign also comes with an 18-36 month pledge fulfillment period which means the energy of the first six months has to continue until the final dollar is raised.


Thus, a capital campaign is the perfect opportunity to introduce technology as a way to manage communication with the larger church membership. (And social media isn’t just for young people. The fastest growing group on Facebook is women 55 and older as seen here.)


Consider these four ways to leverage social media and technology to support the communication and funding efforts of your next (or current) capital campaign.


1. Announce upcoming events. People forget. They have a lot going on in their lives. It’s difficult for the church leader to remember this because they are so close to the situation. Most of the people who occupy the pews of our churches only interact with their church once every seven days in 59 minute segments. Don’t expect people to rush home and put everything in the bulletin on their personal calendars. Make it easy for them to remember. As participation increases so does funding.


2. Share personal testimonies. Giving is an emotional process. Stories are emotional by design because they are grounded in our human experience. Don’t wait until Sunday to share how God is speaking to someone or moving in someone’s life as a result of their commitment and participation in the capital campaign. Personal testimonies are a great way to keep the momentum rolling. All you really need is a Flip Video and access to YouTube. Don’t forget that link to online giving.


3. Create an electronic photo gallery. (Think scrapbook.) Remember those albums your Mom kept of you from the time you were a baby until today? You can easily see the progression and re-live specific moments in your past by glancing through this collection of pictures and captions. It’s the same with a capital campaign. Use an online photo gallery as a scrapbook so that people can remember the campaign from beginning to end. It also becomes an easy way for others to share about the ministry of the church with others. The saying is true, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” People are looking for churches who are investing in Kingdom impact. It’s not unusual to see numerical growth as people are attracted to the energy a campaign creates.


4. Remind people to give. Make it easy for people to give. A capital campaign is designed to raise a large sum of money in a short period of time. People don’t attend church as often or as consistently as they have in the past. We live differently and our schedules are much more sporadic and unpredictable than they have ever been. Reminding people how they can support the campaign and making it easy for them to do so online increases the opportunity to maximize the giving capacity of your congregation.


The people who sit in your pews already use social media. Maybe the church should consider harnessing the power of this communication platform, too.


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  • http://www.joshhunt.com Josh Hunt

    Probably true of many churches. In my church half the folks don't have Internet.

    Josh Hunt

    Good Questions Have Groups Talking
    http://www.joshhunt.com

    • Ben Stroup

      Josh,

      This is where it is important to know who you are talking to and how they want to communicate. While social media and technology offers some wonderful features and attributes, if it's not part of the communication process of the people you are trying to reach and need to fund the ministry, then it's not a good option.

      One thing to keep in mind is that incorporating technology allows people to view and participate in your church's ministry without being present. The web is also the first place people go when checking out a new church. Using technology in a campaign helps spread the word even beyond the people present in the pews each week.

      I still remember a shut-in I used to visit when I pastored a small, rural congregation. She was 98 years old and lived with her laptop by her side. By the time I stopped by for a visit, she had already listened to the sermon online and was ready to discuss it. Her family was scattered around the world. She kept up with all of them via e-mail and blogs.

      While I will agree that not everyone uses technology, this is such a fast growing medium for communication that churches won't be afforded the "10 year" curve to figure it out. At the rapid pace of change that exists today, church must learn to leverage this medium as a critical funding and membership building tool.

      Blessings,

      Ben

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