As any missionary or small nonprofit organization knows, raising the funds to stay in the field, much less chase after the extraordinary vision God has given them, can be a tremendous challenge. While we offer a wide range of services for the missionaries and nonprofit leaders we serve, there are five basic pieces that everyone should have who relies on financial support from others. These are true from the largest nonprofit organization with thousands of employees to small two or three person nonprofit organizations all the way to the independent family missionary.
Our team would love to talk with you about how we can create a comprehensive fundraising package of these essentials plus numerous other services to help tell your story in a way that encourages people to invest and support the work you are doing. Get in touch today for a free consultation!
Five Essential Fundraising Resources
1. A Website
This is probably not news to you, but online giving is increasing by nearly 30% every single year. Not only this, but the statistics for repeat giving, the size of gifts, and more are also increasing significantly annually. Every nonprofit and missionary should have a web page with a blog. There is simply no reason not to, and it is definitely hurting your giving if you don’t. (Also, don’t rely on Social Media. While it is important… see below… you don’t own it and the landscape could change tomorrow.)
Our team is busy writing some helpful tips and articles, as well as other resources, for you on maximizing your missionary or nonprofit website in the coming weeks and months (so be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter), but here are the basic things your website needs to have to maximize fundraising and donations.
- A custom and easy to remember domain name
- While the prevalence of “Google” is slowly eroding the need for an easy to remember domain name, it is still very important to have a domain name someone can remember and easily type in. No one will remember or type in your website if it is www.freedomainname.com/missionaryjohnandsally/webpage…. see, you’re already skipping ahead. Purchase a custom name at a .com, .org or other. If you’re not familiar with how to do this, we’d love to help! Get in touch.
- About You Story Section with Photos
- Don’t just write your basic information, instead, share your story. Where do you serve? Why are you serving there? What do you love? What are the challenges? Be real. Don’t sugarcoat the section. Share the mission and vision God has given you and how you are working towards that goal. Be sure to include some photos of you, your family, your team and photos of where and who you are serving.
- Donation Page
- The donation page is more than a page for someone to put their credit card. This page should convey how people’s investment with you is going to make an impact, as well as where the money goes. Check out these ten tips our team has compiled for maximizing your donation page.
- A Blog
- A blog is how you keep your current supporters and donors up to date with stories and photos of what you are doing and how their investment is being used to impact people. Using a blog in conjunction with social media allows your donors to feel like they are part of your story and not simply sending money to someone living somewhere who they see once every few years. Our team is busy compiling some more tips for blogging, so check back soon!
- Mobile Responsive
- 51% of people (and growing) will view your website on their mobile device. Make sure that you have a site designed that is responsive (meaning that it fits any mobile device) so that people can quickly view you and learn more about you!
2. Social Media Profile
Social Media is quickly becoming the go-to place for where donors and supporters can keep up with what you are doing and how their investment is making a difference (again, you need a website as your home base). While Social Media and Websites are similar and should compliment each other, Social Media also gives you a wider range of interaction possibilities. From the ability to post shorter and quicker updates and photos, to being able to communicate directly with supporters, the possibilities are only increasing.
We recommend having at least a Facebook Page (this is different than a profile and better for you to share updates with supporters). Additionally, as you get comfortable consider jumping on Instagram which is quickly reaching the same engagement, if not higher, levels as Facebook. Twitter is still also a great resource, though waning a little.
We’ve put together a few resources for you on Social Media, and have more in the works!
Our team also loves working with you to make your social media channels stand out, as well as helping you create and manage content. Whether you are looking for a one-time consultation on maximizing your Facebook page or would like to explore having our team manage your social media accounts for you so they are always up to date, we have a solution for you. Get in touch today for a free consultation on what we can do for you!
3. A Story Video
A video allows visitors to get to know you or your organization personally, as well as catch a glimpse of how, where, and who, you are serving. This video should be short enough to keep people’s attention, but long enough to tell your story, we recommend 4-6 minutes. It should introduce who you are, where you are serving and why you are serving. The video can also be used to show to Churches and other groups when you speak, as well as send to those groups when you can’t be there in person.
Echo Your Story has traveled around the globe working with missionaries and nonprofits to capture their story on video. Not only do we produce a 4-6 minute short version of your story, but we also create a variety of videos for you to use in any setting. Whether it is a short video for Facebook, a video to send to Churches who support you, a longer documentary-type look at the work you are doing, or a fundraising advertisement video we are ready to serve you!
We can work with any budget, so get in touch today for a free consultation!
4. Business Cards
Business cards are an inexpensive (think $20 for 1,000!) way to make sure you always have basic information with you when someone asks about what you do. There are countless opportunities missed for someone to learn more about you and your mission, and potentially invest in your work, because they don’t have something to take with them to look you up. As much as we wish we could remember everyone’s name and website – the truth is we most likely will forget it before getting to a computer.
Your business card should include your name, email, website, social media links and if appropriate your phone number. Additionally, we recommend always using both sides of the card and using the back to tell a bite-sized version of who you are and what you do – think your mission statement, and include a photo!
Our team LOVES designing personal business cards for missionaries and nonprofit leaders that reflect your mission, vision, and story. Get in touch today to see how we can help you!
5. Postcard Sized Snapshot
Another piece we recommend all of our missionary and nonprofit clients having is a well-designed postcard sized snapshot of their mission and vision that they can keep with them to hand out to people they meet or when they speak at events or Churches.
While similar to a business card, this larger size allows for additional story space as well as a few photos that reflect your mission and who you are. The front of the postcard should feature photos and a quote or brief piece of your story, with the back featuring a paragraph or two of who you are and ways to get in touch. This piece also makes a great “refrigerator” hanger for those who are supporting you to keep you close by.
While there are countless other resources missionaries and nonprofits can utilize – email newsletters, brochures, look books, snapchat, newsletters and more, we believe these six are essential. Our team will be producing additional tips and training for not only these five but also other things that will help you maximize your story to generate support, so be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter and check back often!
Echo Your Story is passionate about helping missionaries and nonprofits leverage their story to generate support. Get in touch today for a free consultation on how we can help you chase your dream!