Today, I’m giving you broad strokes for a big-picture look of where we’re going in 2014. Figure out where you are in these pictures I’m going to paint and then decide what is at least one step you need to do. (I’m going to focus on MPD, but you can use this kind of setup with other ministry as well.) I strongly encourage you to do as much of the entire series as applies to you. I believe I’ve set a do-able pace for this. I’d love to see hundreds of staff have all the pieces in place by December. If you look at the above image with the basic building blocks for staff, I can say that 98% of you have all four of these tools already:
- You’re keeping your names and addresses somewhere
- You’re probably on Facebook
- All Cru staff have a page on give.cru.org
Also keep in mind three different key words that we’ll come across frequently:
- Fewer clicks
Knowing these important guidelines will help you decide what you need to learn or change. Ask yourself: how can I have more social connection; how does my content look on a mobile device; does my reader have to do too many clicks to get to where I want them to go?
On this next image, you’ll notice I filled in the building blocks with my specific recommendations. These are the goals for the series:
- I recommend you send a regular email newsletter
- I recommend you have TntMPD or MPDx as your central database
- I’d like you to be in touch through a list of your donors in Facebook (or the social media site where they are most active)
- You must keep your give.cru.org site up-to-date; you should consider having a blog-type website.
Whatever pieces are missing determine to put them in place by the end of the year through the You-Can-Too series. We’ll also be connecting these building blocks together. They’re more effective as you sync them. A regular email newsletter The first thing I’d like you to think about is doing a regular email newsletter. This would be in-between your paper newsletters or maybe sent quarterly if you want to do it that way. It’s a nice-looking supplemental letter. Maybe it has a little more family information than you have on your prayer letter. Our financial partners have loved these for more connection with us. You have the option of using MailChimp, which I recommend, but I realize there’s a learning curve to use it. I’ll have lots of MailChimp resources on eQuipping for eMinistry over time. The communication portion of the You-Can-Too series started with The Who and How of Writing Well. Have a central database You should choose a database. I don’t want you to fall into the trap of having names in this spot and addresses over here and emails updated over there. That’s why I recommend TntMPD or MPDx to keep names and addresses all in one place. I use TntMPD because it syncs with MailChimp and with my email information. I keep much of my email history in it. So it’s really quite an effective tool that you should be using. We’re starting February 5th with the database posts in the You-Can-Too series. Also, on February 15th, I’ll present my research so you can choose the database that will work best for you. Interact with your donors on Facebook I have one good story that I think will convince you that you need to interact with your financial partners through social media. I was checking my MPD list on Facebook one day and saw that a $25 a month donor wrote: “Please pray for us and our daughter.” I noticed that she had written this three minutes before, so I decided to phone her. It turned out that their daughter had run away! They knew where she was; she was coming back the next day. I had that opportunity to minister to our donor and to pray and be a part of that family’s concerns that weekend. That’s just one story of many that I’ve had in being connected with donors through social media. The social media series starts March 4th. GIve.cru.org Does your page on give.cru.org have a quality photo and a description of your ministry? If you haven’t done this, everyone needs to make sure this page is updated regularly. This IS your website if you have nothing else, so make sure it’s attractive and informative. It won’t take you very long. Go to How Does Your Free Webpage Look? on my blog, eQuipping for eMinistry, to find out about all the steps you need to do to have an effective give site. Make your MPD website more social We’ll start working on web sites starting March 18th. I’ll be recommending you put an MPD website together that has a blog sending a feed of your posts to your readers. Look at how this next slide shows some of the building blocks working together.
With a blog and MailChimp option, as soon as you post in your blog (because you’ve set up these features) the post link appears in Facebook and Twitter and your donors read it in an email through MailChimp. You’ve done one thing and yet you’ve accomplished all this, including more interaction with your financial partners. Remember your readers are using mobile devices At least half of your financial partners are reading your email and blog posts on a mobile device. This fact should influence the decisions you may need to make about sending prayer letters electronically, blogging, and using MailChimp. In Summary You can do this. Have faith in God and in yourself. You may need skills, but we’re here to help you. Follow my blog or find mentors and other resources. Start small; add a little at a time; be consistent; keep at it. You can master these tools. You have a story and also people who want to help you get your ministry and that story heard above the noise on the Internet. They want to help you accomplish your ministry. Care about them; build your partners into a team and focus on these tools as a ministry to them (instead of thinking of it as a broadcasting of yourself).
Have you invited your friends?
- This is a shortened version of a 10-minute video recorded at CSU2013 and available for you on YouTube. I uploaded the PowerPoint that you see in the YouTube presentation to the e4e blog, so if you click this link you’ll immediately download the PowerPoint slides from the video and shared on this post. I also now have a transcript of the video.
- Read all the posts in the You-Can-Too series.
- To recap how we’re doing so far on the You-Can-Too series:
- I shared a lesson plan for the year on January 5th,
- I helped you think about your ministry & your preferred communication style to determine what tools might work for you.