Top Ten Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet: eFundraising

Sending monthly email fundraising is our 11th of Ten (BONUS IDEA) Top Ideas for Church Outreach on the Internet.

A friend of mine once received a genuinely well-written email about a Christian orphanage in need of money so that they can send a few kids to school. My friend, so touched by the story, sent some money and was extremely happy to know that she has helped her fellow Christians in need.

There is a multitude of possibilities to reach possible donors, supporters and beneficiaries through the World Wide Web. With the advent of online paying systems, it is very easy to give and receive financial help.

Your church should grab this opportunity because there are many people out there who are willing to support various Christian causes through online giving. As long as you have a strategic e-fundraising campaign, your resources will continuously grow. Thus, it will contribute to the fulfillment your mission to share God´s glory and enlarge His territory.

Pathmaker Marketing has solid experience in assisting non-profits and churches raise funds via the Internet. One recent email campaign in June 2009 yielded over $30,000 in gifts from 375 donors. a 13-month campaign for another not for profit organization raised $192,000 in gifts through the email fundraising channel. We have a proven track record of increasing our clients´ funds multiple times over in proportion to what it costs our clients.   For more details on this subject, visit this Pathmaker webpage.

Schedule a meeting with the Pathmaker Marketing Team to discuss and learn more about how you can make your church outreach on the internet grow even larger. This small chat may unearth many ideas that you can use to save more lost souls like mine was.

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Top 10 Outreach Ideas for the Internet-Autoresponders

10. Creating an Auto-responder Spiritual Campaign is Our 10th of Ten Top Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

One successful example of this church outreach strategy is the Gregory Dickow´s From the Inside Out program. Through his ministry´s website, he was able to ask thousands of people to “fast from wrong thinking” with him for forty days. Between his pulpit, TV show, and the 40 subsequent inspirational emails that people received once each day, over 100,000 people were participating and committed to setting aside negative thoughts and putting on Biblical, right thinking in regard to their everyday lives.

Since then, he has used the email auto-responder process to launch two more successful fast from wrong thinking campaigns, and thousands more people have taken part.  As far as church outreach ideas go, the autoresponder campaign is one of the best. It has high ministerial impact, runs automatically year round, and can be a subtantial effective internet marketing tool for your church.

For a free demo on how to install a Spiritual Campaign or church outreach with Autoresponders, contact Pathmaker at 623-322-3334.

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Top 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet-Pay-per-click

9. Begin Local Pay-per-click Advertising to Get More Sunday Visitors is our 9th of Ten Top Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

One good way to increase your internet presence is by launching a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising plan for your church. Having such a plan is a sure way of reaching out to people who have performed any online activity related to finding a spiritual home.

To illustrate this, imagine that you are searching online about “family dinner ideas phoenix”.  To the right of the search results, you will see catchy advertisements related to the search subject. The advertisements might be about dinner recipes, local restaurants or dinner etiquette.  Once you click on an ad, you will be led to the advertiser´s website where you will get more information.

This is how pay-per-click advertising can work for your church outreach. If someone searches for: “churches in Phoenix”, your local PPC ad can display in the results and potentially get them to click on your ad which will bring the searcher to your church website where they can see service times, and get more information.

Pay-per-click advertising is a good use of resources because you only pay for the times that your church advertisement is clicked on. Click costs can vary but are often under 25 cents. Plus, when someone clicks on your ad, it generally means that he/she had genuine interest in what you are offering.

If you are able to capitalize on the pay-per-click advertising by having a reasonable budget and experts who can make sure that your ads have the right keywords, it is likely that searching souls would find their way to your church.

Several big search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have this online advertising option. However, it takes know-how to craft good ads that appear in related searches frequently. Plus, you need landing pages that can convert your traffic into qualified leads, if you want to track results. Consider consulting with experts like the Pathmaker Marketing Team to learn more about this fruitful local advertising opportunity.

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Top 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet-the eNewsletter

8. Communicate About Your Ministry with Regular E-newsletters is our 8th of Ten Top Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

Sending regular and updated e-newsletters is more than just giving relevant information to your subscribers. It is also a signal that you have an active church outreach that exerts effort to communicate with its members.

Oftentimes, churches fall short in reaching out to their members by overlooking simple and efficient solutions like sending out monthly, easy-to-read, interesting email updates or reports.  You would be surprised at how many members (even the most active ones) would be thankful of being reminded of events that they have forgotten to pen down before or how they love reading about how your mercy ministry is doing.

E-newsletters are relatively easy to launch. You need to have a nicely designed template coded into HTML using no CSS. Then you need a email blasting system of which there are many. A simple one to start with which we use at Pathmaker is called iContact. Once your design is done, coded and installed, your church secretary could probably swap out copy and pictures each month.

For examples, check Hungry Souls e-newsletters for are good samples. Or call us for more help at 623-322-3334 and we’ll be happy to install a system that your church secretary can supervise and maintain.

Church eNewsletters are also a fundamental church marketing 101 component.

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Top 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet-eWelcome Series

7. Developing an Electronic Welcome Series for Your Church Visitors is our 7th of Ten Top Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

Whenever you welcome someone new to your church, it is likely that you have a team ready to make sure the new person feels welcome. They serve him coffee, exchange sincere pleasantries and ask for his contact details. Your church does this to make sure that the newcomer comes back to your church and becomes a regular attendee and active participant.

Using the same analogy, your church website can strategically welcome and interact with your first-time and returning visitors by offering them something “ministerial” in exchange for their basic contact information.

There are many ways to do this. For example, you can offer free Christian e-books, spiritual gifts tests, MP3 files of your best sermons, invite them to read your ministry blog, or install a prayer wall where they can leave their prayer request (like we mentioned in an earlier post). In exchange, the website visitor would simply have to provide basic contact information: First Name and Email Address.

Typically, once they have requested your special free offers, your system will have a triggered set of email messages that automatically go out at pre-established intervals: one week later, two weeks later, etc. Each email is designed to get those newcomers further acquainted with your church and encourage them to return, possible even get further involved.

Each auto-responder email message is designed to welcome the newcomer to a different aspect or your church or ministry, and of course, encourage them to get involved. Why not collect email and snail mail addresses on church visitors in exchange for a Welcome Kit about your church, then place those emails into your electronic welcome series?

Some good real-time examples of this practice can be found here:

Gregory Dickow Ministries (Or, see Sign up Now box upper right on Home Page)

Gregory Dickow Store

Jewish Voice Ministries

By developing an incentive-based e-welcome series, you can be assured that you will remain in contact with people who have shown in interest in your church outreach in person or on your website. This may not yield instant results in increased church membership, but you are establishing relationships with newcomers, who as long as they remain on your email list, are indicating that their interest remains. Plus, typical results show that for every 100 emails you acquire, 63% of those will also give you their full name and mailing address in exchange for a Welcome Kit from your ministry!

For a Free Demo on how this process works, contact Pathmaker at 623-322-3334.

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Top 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the WEB-elearning discipleship

6. Launch an E-learning Module to Conduct Online Discipleship is our 6th of Ten Top church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

E-learning has often been considered the realm of the college and university marketplaces, but it’s becoming increasingly cost-effective to establish your own e-learning center for people to take teaching material online. A good example of this kind of emphasis is found at 12 Day Rehab.

You may not be able to access their materials online, without a purchase, but you can see how this website ministry to Christians with drug or alcohol addictions is designed to take people through a online learning process that they can master at their own pace and leisure.

For a free demo on e-learning modules, call Pathmaker at 623-322-3334.

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Top 10 Online Church Outreach Ideas-Facebook Bible Study

5. Enlarge Your Teaching Ministry with a Facebook Bible Study is our 5th of Ten Church Outreach Ideas for the internet.

The beauty of the social networks online, of which Facebook is the largest, is the capacity to reach new people with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the best examples of how this can happen is the Book of Romans Study Group. Get connected to that group just to see how a bible study leader can use a teaching curriculum to instruct a class of eager learners, comprised of part church attendees and part new comers from all around the world.

You can also enlarge your church outreach and teaching ministry online using the tools resident in your Facebook account. Following this study class, led by e-learning professor, Vickie Isaac, will give you some insights into how you can pull this off for your church. If you need further help, don’t hesitate to contact Pathmaker Marketing for assistance, and we’ll be happy to train you in the ins and outs.

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Top 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet: Tweet Away

4. Expand your Teaching Ministry via Twitter is our 4th of 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the internet.

After two weeks on Twitter, my friend´s personal account has had over 100 followers. This means 100 people (whom are both friends and strangers) have been receiving updates about her activities, beliefs, thoughts and anything that she wants to inform her followers about.

Having a church social media account in sites like Twitter is an efficient use of your resources to reach out to your target audience. People who have personal accounts in these social network sites usually visit them at least once a day — many have their “tweets” sent right to their cell phones. Instead of finding out whether their acquaintances have started dating or broken up, wouldn’t it be more spiritually constructive if you communicated the new spiritual insights you are having as a pastor?

The beauty of using social media marketing for church outreach is that it takes minimal effort on your part to use their built-in features meant for virally spreading information. However, before signing on to just any social network, you should develop a strategy on what would be the most useful content to provide and how to leverage these opportunities wisely.

Since Twitter opens up an international audience for you, of which most of your followers will not be able to visit your church, you need to develop an appropriate strategy to use this tool. One strategic way Pathmaker uses Twitter @PathmakerServes is that we autoflow our blog content into our Twitter networks. This way, since we are committed to creating fresh content on our blog, that content is also populated across the internet via Twitter every time we update our blog. The bulk of our content is developed on our blog, while Twitter posts allow us to drive interested traffic to our blog site for further reading.

Churches should have a members site on Twitter for generating news of interest to current churchgoers, while opening up a second site with is specifically geared to be more “evangelistic” in its outreach, dealing with subjects of general interest to everyone, anywhere in the world.

For help in this regard, reach Pathmaker Marketing online, or for more assistance, cal 1-623-322-3334.

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Top 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet: SEO Your Website

 3. Search Engine Optimizing (SEO) Your Website so Prospective Churchgoers Can Find You is our 3rd of Ten Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

I challenge you to open your web browser and type the following: churches in (name of your city).  Did you find your church website on the first page of results?  If not, ask yourself this question:  If you were a new family who recently move into the community, and you were Google searching for churches in your area, would you have the patience to browse through each and every page of the 800,000 results that showed up?  Most likely your answer would be no.

In order to maximize your church outreach, you must make sure that people know your church exists in the first place.  One of the best ways to do that is to SEO your website.  Having a website that is rarely visited by people outside your congregation is like owning a great book that you never got a chance to read just because you cannot find it.

An excellent way to ensure that your website shows up among the top results in web searches is by employing SEO techniques in your websites.  These steps include modifying your site content and code to be optimized for your targeted, relevant search terms (aka Keywords). It also includes link building to establish your website firmly within local searches on the internet.

Since SEO requires some technical expertise, it would be good stewardship to invest in hiring a search engine optimization agency like Pathmaker Marketing who can perform the necessary keyword research, copy and HTML code modifications, and submit your website to the search engines. The main takeaway here is if your website doesn’t show up in a Google search for: churches in (name of your city), then how is anyone going to find you online?

Rabbit Trail: if you Google search the name of your church and find you are listed at the top, don’t get too excited. Google would be remiss to NOT list you on a search for your name. It’s their entire job in life to deliver the most relevant results for the search that is performed.  The more important issue is when someone searches: church in (your city), or churches in (your city), or best churches in (your city), etc, etc, do you show up. If you don’t it’s time to SEO.

Get your church website search engine optimized so that you show up in the list of Top 10 results, where people can find you, and enjoy the visitors you receive as a result.

For a free consultation in this regard, visit this Pathmaker webpage:

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Top 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet: Prayer Walls

2. Installing an Interactive Prayer Wall to Expand Your Prayer Ministry is our 2nd of 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

A prayer wall is an interactive site where people can write down their prayer requests or praise reports. Installing a prayer wall is a good way to both expand your church outreach to the unchurched as well as to develop deeper fellowship among your members.

Good prayer walls are easy-to-use, interactive and have features which ensure that spam robots do not post unrelated matters. Through prayer walls, your church has the direct opportunity to reach out to those who are clearly seeking prayer support, guidance and direction.

A prayer wall can also be used to ask your members and followers all over the world to pray for specific requests. Examples of these specific intentions include praying for the church leadership, seeking guidance about planting new churches or praying for missionary families.

You and your church leaders can also use this wall to see what matters concern your church greatly at any given moment and that may even enable you to strategically choose your next sermon series or outreach emphasis.

Prayer walls have great outreach possibilities if planned and executed well. Good examples of prayer walls online include those of the following not for profit organizations:

Gregory Dickow Ministries
Presidential Prayer Team 
Jerusalem Prayer Team

For a free quote on a Prayer Wall installation for your church, call Pathmaker Marketing at 1-623-322-3334.

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