As crazy as it might sound you need to know what online shoppers mean to your next capital campaign. More and more people are doing all their shopping online. Last Christmas at our house not one gift was given that was not bought online. We never entered a mall! In fact I can’t remember the last time I was in a mall. If you think about it you are probably no different.
“But what does that have to do with capital campaigns,” you might ask? Without an online campaign supporting your capital campaign you will miss connecting with 25% to 50% of your potential donors. Just as shoppers are leaning more and more upon online information as well as buying online, a huge segment of your donor base thinks and behaves the same way.
Why would your members need to adjust how they do business when it comes to their church?
Specifically you need all campaign information that would typically be printed formatted as pages on your church website. A significant amount of your donors will only access and read information online. They might read an email you send. You can be assured they will toss any print piece immediately in the trash. So cater to their desire and communicate in the format of their choice.
Yet there is one more thing you must do to truly have an online presence for your campaign. Allow anyone to sign a pledge online AND to certainly give online. You might not think it a huge deal but many in our society are almost totally paperless. Why should they adhere to our preferences? My advice is to connect to this segment in the ways they like to become connected.
We are in the midst of a cultural shift driven in part by the internet. Everything has changed. Everything! Look at the current political scene here in America. The old approaches are not working. Jeb Bush spent millions of dollars in my state of South Carolina on TV ads only to fail miserably. TV ads are not working like they once did. Other candidates are making the same mistake as they are doing what they have always done, what was in the past successful. Past practices are being thrown overboard. From marketers to major department stores to political hacks everyone is scrambling to figure out this new reality. We in the Church must do the same.
One churches successful online campaign. A year ago we had a church, Mount Pleasant UMC in Terre Haute, Indiana raise over two times their annual operating budget in a capital campaign. There were a lot of elements to the success of the campaign. One aspect they did well not simply leading up to pledging but throughout the build out of the project was utilize Facebook. I call Facebook the front porch of America. It is where your people spend hours of their time. So, Mount Pleasant ran their campaign information through Facebook. It was a brilliant and successful way to connect with their members. Take a look by scrolling back at how they did this at their site, Mt. Pleasant Facebook Page
Are you prepared to meet the new expectations of your members in terms of how they process information and do commerce? If you are not you might find your campaign struggling to attract anyone under 50 years of age. When it comes to a successful campaign, what all of your members can do together is greater than what a few can do. Think digital to connect with all your members!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach