The Digital Giving Strategy

 The Importance of a Story When it Comes to Giving

This is the second in a series of posts; all directed to help you create a Digital Giving Strategy.

I’ve helped churches raise a billion dollars for Kingdom work by helping them understand the importance of a story when it comes to giving. If you want to be fully funded you need to StoryBoard all your giving appeals! In our first post in this series, I wrote about two key components of a successful digital giving strategy. Here is a direct quote,

“Systems and Stories. Our goal at Gyve is to provide you have the best systems in place for increasing generosity. We give you all the tools you need. At the same time, we are working to provide you with a strategy of how to establish your own Digital Giving Strategy. The best way to increase generosity is by telling the story of generosity.”

I learned the power of storyboarding from my nephew. Sterling Gates, my nephew, is a comic book writer and one of the lead writers for the television show, The Flash. He taught me the importance of Story Boarding every giving appeal to increase giving. I learned from Sterling that comic book writers develop the book from start to finish before they ever begin writing. They work off what they call a storyboard. The writer and the artist layout their thoughts from start to finish. Then they collectively work to tell that story.

I advise my clients to each quarter think through their “story.” Why? Because I know that,

If you want to be fully funded, you have to tell the story of what that funding does. I call it connecting the dots. Show people how a dollar given to your church changes the world. I focus a lot on helping my clients craft stories of life change that will help motivate people to give. I have a mantra that I continually repeat to my clients that says…

Get a story, work your story, tell your story, and people will give to support that story!

The question is, how do you get your story heard? If people don’t hear about your story, how can they give to your story? Thanks to Social Media, any church can share the stories of life change.

America is on Social Media; why isn’t your church? Consider these startling statistics,

  • Total active social media users: 3.484 billion
  • Daily time spent: People spend 2 hours and 23 minutes daily on social media browsing and messaging. Additionally, 98.55% of people use at least four social media channels daily.
  • Facebook: Over 2 billion monthly active users and more than 140 million businesses. Over 100 billion messages and 1 billion stories are shared on Facebook daily.
  • Instagram has over one billion monthly active users and 500 million daily Story users.
  • Twitter has 330 million monthly active users. 134 million users access Twitter daily.1

The Church must take its message to where people are, and they are on Social Media!

8 Keys for Social Media Success in Giving

  1. Set it up. Have accounts for every platform your members typically use. At a minimum, I recommend accounts for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
  2. Make it worth visiting. I like to do two things with Social Media. I want to inform and inspire them about the positive things you are doing in missions and ministry. My goal is engagement. To that end, you want to,
  3. Encourage engagement. You want your members to like and friend your sites. You want them to share your content across their platforms, which extends your reach. Make sure your Social Media sites are listed in all your communications material from your website to the weekly bulletin.
  4. Keep it fresh. The mission and ministry of your church never rest. So, keep telling your story daily on Social Media, what is coming up, what is happening now, and what has just happened. Fresh content keeps people coming back.
  5. Keep it short. A picture is worth a thousand words, so keep your text short and focus more on the pictures that tell your story.
  6. Have a plan. Don’t just throw stuff up on the sites like spaghetti. Have a purpose behind the posts. I advise you to preview what is coming up. Then live stream what is going on. Finally, report back on what happened.
  7. Make the “ask.” I advise at least one post a week with text that says to the effect, “Your generous gifts make missional moments like these possible. Please give now to support missions at http://YOURCHURCHNAME.ORG/GIVE.”
  8. Thank people. Part of your reporting out of events is to simply say thank you. For instance, you could say, “12 Students accepted Christ at summer camp this past week. Thanks for your generous gifts that allowed this to happen!”

My suggestion is for you to start spending some time storyboarding out what the message for this summer will be. I would use my staff or a special team for this task.  Here is what I recommend,

  • List out every mission and ministry initiative for the upcoming summer from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
  • List each of the stories of that event. For instance, Vacation Bible School could be about reaching poor children or those from minority groups within your area. It could be anything but list out what that event’s focus or vision is. That is the story. Some events can have more than one story.
  • Is there a common theme that can tie all of these together? Last year one of my clients used the theme, The Summer of Caring. It encapsulated all they were trying to do.
  • List out how best to tell each of the stories as well as the common theme. You will want to think about the various platforms upon which your members process information through.
  • Use last year’s stories of success as a means to gain excitement about this year’s summer initiatives.
  • Think outside of the box. Consider ways to get your point or story across to your members.

Connect the dots! The goal is to get people to WANT to give to your story. So, help them realize what gifts to your church accomplish.

Know how generous your church is today to know how life-changing it can be tomorrow.

Take the test to see where you’re headed!

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