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Engaging Your Community with Electronic Communication


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Is your church looking to increase contribution levels? Are you asking your current members to donate a little bit more to help with your financial crisis? Perhaps there is a better way. …

Is your church looking to increase contribution levels? Are you asking your current members to donate a little bit more to help with your financial crisis? Perhaps there is a better way.

This presentation focuses on Electronic Communication to grow your church, to build your community and ultimately enable the church to increase contribution levels. We examine using your website as a marketing tool to attract new members. Once someone sits in your pews, using Social Networking tools to Engage them. Helping them be a part of your community and willing to contribute their time, talent and treasure. Finally we examine ways to make it easy for your newly engaged member to support the church financially.

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  • How people communicateExpectationsabout communicationWherepeople communicateWhen people communicate
  • The Internet has replaced paper and penThey text, not talkE-mail is even old school—Facebook is current.
  • The internet is a communication tool just likeTelevisionRadioPrinted wordOur collective voices.The internet is neither good nor bad.What’s good or bad is how people use it.
  • You have people with the required skillsYou are not necessarily going to create more work for yourselves. You may actually create less.You can afford the costYou need to communicate with you parishioners where they are and how they now expectSocial Networking isn’t one way communication its interactive communication.Its about:EngagementDialogActive ParticipationWeb 1.0 to Web 2.0; Church 1.0 to Church 2.0
  • You give your members a key to get into your WeGather “building”Letting them in gives them access to your general parishioner group, and also lets the see some other groups, with various security “doors.”Your mom’s group might have a fully open doSome groups, like maybe your festival planning committee, they can see the “door” and ask for the “key”—or membership to the group.or, they just have to click to see those messagesOther groups they can’t see at all—they can only enter the group if they are invited. Perhaps your finance committee is this way.
  • Donations increaseConsistent givingbetter budgetingConvenience Reduction in costs & timeprinting costspostage costscounting accounting/reconciliationSatisfaction of member demand
  • Transcript

    • 1. Engaging Your Community with Electronic Communication
    • 2. Today’s AgendaI. Welcome and introductionsII. Stewardship is not a dirty wordIII. Attracting new membersIV. BreakV. Engaging your current membersVI. Results of having an engaged church
    • 3. Bulletin Improvements?
    • 4. Stewardship is not a dirty word
    • 5. What if your members were…• 13 times more likely to have invited someone to attend mass at your church in the past month?• Were 3 times as satisfied with their lives?• Spent more than 2 hours per week serving and helping others in their community?• Tripled their giving to their church?• The key…
    • 6. How to grow an engaged church?• Attract New Members – You don’t get a second chance at a first impression – Building and grounds – Welcoming environment – Website• Engaging Current Members – How easy is it for a new member to know what service opportunities are needed? – Who do they contact? – Who can answer their questions?
    • 7. Attracting New Members
    • 8. Building a GREAT Church website
    • 9. Website Axiom• In Real Estate its “location, location, location”• On the Internet, we had one axiom, but may be developing a second: It’s all about conversation!
    • 10. Why You Need a Good Website• The next generation of parishioners are growing up online. Simple. End of Discussion.• Internet searches are far more common than Yellow Pages searches.• Your website is your online marketing tool.• If you don’t do it, others will try:,,,
    • 11. Creating a Good Website• Pick a Content Management System (CMS) that is simple to use.• Put someone in charge of it. You have a bulletin editor, do you have a website editor?• Keep the content fresh• Start small…just a few pages and then grow from there
    • 12. Why You Need a GREAT Website• The Internet is moving from a marketing and informational tool to an Engagement tool.• Not only is the next generation of parishioners growing up online, they’re more comfortable engaging there too!• Your website is your online marketing tool but can also be a parishioner engagement tool. Our goal is to drive engagement online and into Mass.
    • 13. Creating a GREAT Website• Start with… – Your Parish Mission and Vision…these will guide you – A theme…does your church already have a logo? Taglines? Color standards? Standard fonts?• Hire a professional or a volunteer, but make sure they’re up to the task – Unfortunately, well intentioned volunteers are the number one cause of outdated and abandoned websites• Design first, then build and then test…they’re all equally important• Don’t forget to launch…have a goal and stick to it
    • 14. Things on a Church’s Home Page
    • 15. What not to do• Attempt more than you can handle…start with a plan or start small• Blogging, Facebook, Twitter? Yes, but only if you’re committed• Pictures of people? Yes, absolutely, but only with their permission• Flash? Use it sparingly. Remember it doesn’t work on some mobile devices• No Pop-ups and no special effects• Music, Hit Counters and Busy Backgrounds
    • 16. Need a new website? WeConnect
    • 17. Let’s take a break
    • 18. Engaging New Members
    • 19. Social Media and the Church
    • 20. What is the oldest social network?
    • 21. What is the oldest social network? Religion
    • 22. What is a Social Network?
    • 23. Social Networking is not new,but digital social networking is changing the way we communicate.
    • 24. “The new technologies are not only changing the way we communicate, but communication itself, so much so that it could be said that we are living through a period of vast cultural transformation. This means of spreading information and knowledge is giving birth to a new way of learning and thinking, with unprecedented opportunities for establishing relationships and building fellowship.” Message Of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI For the 45th World Day of Communications June 5, 2011
    • 25. The Internet is Now Leading the Way
    • 26. The Next Generation of Parishioners is Growing Up OnlineAdapting and embracing thischange is the challenge thechurch is facing.The church must adapt to the newcommunication styles or be leftbehind.
    • 27. How does the church takeadvantage of the new digitalcommunication tools?
    • 28. The Challenge is Engagement (not technology)1. Plan to meet your parishioners where they are already gathering: online.2. Find the right people who know the technology and can earn your trust.3. In the end, it will save you time and free up staff for more meaningful ministry.
    • 29. . Mom’s Group (anyone can join) Invite members to join(give them the key) Festival Planning Group (ask to join) They receive access to your “lobby” Finance and general membership group. Group (by invitation Only)
    • 30. Let’s take a look at WeGather
    • 31. Online Donations
    • 32. Benefits of an Online Donation System
    • 33. • LPi’s online donation solution• Members set up their own accounts, online• Weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, quarterly or one-time donations• Donations deposited in your account twice per week• Set up multiple funds: – General – Building – Special Events
    • 34. Let’s take a look at WeShare
    • 35. WeShare Fees & Costs• No start up fee• Month-to-month agreement• Monthly Fee $29/mo**• LPi’s transaction fee = 1.5% + $.75 – Credit card pass through fee = 2.25%• Incidental and rare fees – NSF = $4 – Stop Payment = $4 – Chargeback = $5
    • 36. Parishioner Activation Program• Custom Posters• Custom Flyers• Custom Post Cards• Brochures for New Parishioner Handbooks• Bulletin and Pulpit Announcements• Bulletin Advertisements (for LPi print customers only)• Engagement Manager – Training & Set Up – Best Practices and Ideas – Assistance with custom materials
    • 37. Mike Stone Debbie FarinaInternet Product Manager Regional Marketing