Online Fundraising – Tips For Online Marketing On A Tight Budget

The World Wide Web is a tool with endless limits. Creating and maintaining a business presence online is more practical than ever before.

Give us a call today at 623-322-3334 to talk about your needs and how we could help you find a path to success on the internet. Find out more about us, visit us at www.pathmakermarketing.com

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“Floyder, What am I going to do with 365 Bibles?”

It was a legitimate question. In fact, I suppose one could wonder what anyone would do with 365 Bibles. Not only did I not have an answer to Jim’s question, I had no idea what he was talking about!

You remember Jim – – my friend who is typically a day late and a dollar short when it comes to Small Business Marketing Strategies for the Internet. He is always on the lookout for Online Marketing Tools, but seems to misinterpret most everything he tries. He has had some luck in promoting his Sporting Goods Store, especially with Social Networking. Due to my relationship with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing, he usually shares his ideas with me to get my take on it. This also usually results in my clarifying the points he is a little short of understanding. Today, however, it seemed that he had something other than Internet Marketing Ideas on his mind.

“365 Bibles?” I asked, recognizing the lack of intelligence in my question.

“Yeah. You know that contest that you and Pathmaker were working on for the New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible?”

Nodding my affirmation, I listened as he continued.

“Well, I went to this site and entered the contest – – and I won!!!”

“You mean you won the trip for four to the Holy Land?” I asked, the excitement in my voice causing enough commotion that everyone else in the place began to start paying us a little attention.

“No, I was too late for the first contest. I am,” he went on, “entered for the Grand Prize for the current contest – – the trip for two to the crystal clear waters of Oahu’s North Shore. No, that’s not what I won – – what I won was one of the Daily Bible Give Aways. Saaaaay, I’m not going to be disqualified because I know someone who works with Pathmaker, am I?”

I assured him he wasn’t, and then asked, “Why did you ask about 365 Bibles?”

“Well, I won a daily Bible, and there are 365 days in a year, so I guess that means I won 365 Bibles.”

I took a deep breath and decided I would have to explain to him how the contest works.

“Jim, the Daily Bible Give Away doesn’t mean that the winners get a Bible daily, it means that each and every day of the contest someone is chosen and they win a Bible.”

I watched Jim for a moment, always intrigued by the metamorphosis his face under goes when the truth about a situation sinks in. This time was as enjoyable as ever. He was a little deflated, but rallied quickly.

“You know, Floyder, I checked that New Living Translation Study Bible out, and it is really pretty neat. After reading it, I seemed to understand God’s word a little better than I usually do. Winning one was a pretty sweet deal.”

He began to beam again, preparing for his parting salvo.

“Besides, Floyder, what would I do with 365 Bibles!?!”

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The New Living Translation Study Bible Sweepstakes

If you aren’t already participating in The New Living Translation Study Bible Sweepstakes you need to correct that situation immediately! Designed by Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing, the Sweepstakes is an excellent example of one of their Small Business Marketing Strategies for utilizing Online Marketing Tools. Benefiting both the participants and the sponsor, the Sweepstakes was designed to help allow the sponsor to achieve certain milestones, and reward the participants as those milestones are met.

The Sweepstakes started on March 16, 2010 with multiple milestones in place:

First Milestone: 1,700 Fans on the NLT Fan Page

The prize for this level was a 32G iPod Touch and a Life Application Study Bible, with a retail value of $300.00. The rapidity with which this milestone was reached is nearly unbelievable, as within twenty-four hours, on March 17th, the 1,700 Fans goal was reached.

Second Milestone: 3,500 Fans on the NLT Fan Page

A Kindle DX and a Life Application Study Bible was the prize when this level was attained, and it didn’t take long to realize the goal! On March 27th, a mere ten days later, this prize, worth $489.00, was awarded.

Third Milestone: 5,500 Fans on the NLT Fan Page

It only took a week to add the additional 2000 Fans needed to reach the Third Milestone. The prize awarded on April 3rd was an Apple iPad 16G and a Life Application Study Bible, valued at $499.00.

Fourth Milestone: 9,000 Fans on the NLT Fan Page

To date, the prize for reaching this level, an Apple iPad 32G and a Life Application Study Bible worth $599.00, has not been awarded, as the needed number of Fans has still not been reached. As well as the four gifts/prizes listed, there is also a Grand Prize – – an Apple iPad 64G and a Life Application Study Bible, which has a value of $829.00.

The fact that neither of the last two prizes has been awarded is why you need to, with great dispatch!, enter the Sweepstakes and the Contest associated with. Just click here and follow directions. You will also want to enter their Contest and Daily Bible Giveaway by visiting this site and, again, follow directions. The Grand Prize for the Contest is a trip for two to the Crystal Clear waters of Oahu’s North Shore!   Good luck in both, and enjoy the New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible.

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You Mean I Won’t Get 4200 Leads?

It’s a good thing that my friend Jim is my friend, or we would probably come to fisticuffs every time we talk about the Internet. I have been working with Randall Mains and Pathmaker Marketing for some time now, and as a result Jim seems to have taken it upon himself to stay abreast of my new industry. Since we discussed his endeavors with his Blog on fishing, he has begun to use it as an Online Marketing Tool, and he has actually had some success with it. He has another friend, apparently, who is also sharing Small Business Marketing Strategies with him, and either Jim isn’t listening closely enough to what is being said, or the other person doesn’t really understand what they are talking about, as Jim frequently comes to me with his facts slightly askew. Let me give you another example.

Jim called me on the phone the other night and asked if we could get together and talk about this great Internet Marketing idea he had regarding the Search Engine Optimization Services that Pathmaker offers. The excitement was so evident in his voice that I agreed to meet with him the very next morning. I had no more than sat down and ordered a glass of OJ than he fairly flew into the restaurant and proclaimed,

“I am going to get 4200 leads this time, Floyder!”

Everyone in the place was enjoying his enthusiasm, so rather than trying to thwart it I steered him over to a booth that was at least somewhat isolated so we wouldn’t interrupt too many people, and listened to what he had to say. He repeated, even more excitedly than the night before, that he was going to be getting 4200 leads with his next venture excursion into Online Marketing. When I asked him how he knew he would be getting 4200 he simply said, “Well, that’s how many were in a Roman Legion.”

It stopped me, I’ll have to admit. Even knowing Jim the way I do, I couldn’t quite bridge the gap between Small Business Marketing on the Internet and the Roman Army. Sensing my perplexity, Jim quickly said, “Floyder, I’m setting up a Legion program, and since there were 4200 soldiers in a legion I figured I will get 4200 leads.”

I couldn’t help it – – I was still baffled. Heaving a big sigh, I confessed my ignorance of his latest endeavor and asked him what a “Legion Program’ is.  Now it was his turn to heave a big sigh. He shared with me that this is where you proceed by Targeting Keywords to send people to your Landing Page, and then those people can contact you about your product. See, he finished up, it’s a legion program.  I shook my head slowly back and forth, as it dawned on me that he was referring to a “lead gen,” or lead generating, program. Now, this is an excellent way to use Internet Marketing, and many of Pathmaker Marketing’s clients use such a program to glean leads as often as they try to actually make a sale. Nodding that I now understand what he meant, I corrected Jim’s conception of what he was embarking on.

He wasn’t devastated, but he did become a little glum. It was apparent that he had his heart set on those 4200 leads, and the fact that it wasn’t as guaranteed as he thought it was took a lot of the air out of his sails! H perked up, though, when I assured him that it was possible he would still get the 4200 leads, and maybe even more. Almost back to his earlier jovial self, Jim headed to his shop and I decided to tell you all about his “Legion Program!”

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Strategic Web Communication Principle #5: Integration

Integrating your online and offline communications is our strategic non profit marketing tip for today.

One important mistake that many ministries make is to consider online communication to be separate from offline communication. But these days, savvy marketers put their web addresses on all printed materials and even in their radio and television ads. Likewise, your website should contain toll-free phone numbers and mailing addresses. Cross promote as much as possible. You should also put your web address in your catalogs, on your brochures, business cards, in your radio or television program. You get the idea. 

Another good strategy is to cross-pollinate your monthly direct mail appeals with an online fund raising effort. Our typical email fundraising approach, when synergized to snail mail, is to start Split Testing 10 days AFTER the snail mail arrives in homes, then go to full blasting 3 days after that. The email will stand on its own results, plus give LIFT to your snail mail this way.  After re-blasting and remarketing for another week, you can have your email eFundraising efforts done in 10-13 days total, and be out about 1 week before the next fundraising snail maill effort arrives.

The combination of the two channels – direct mail and email fundraising — working in tandem with each other to promote the same initiative will raise the water table overall on your results. Combine telemarketing in this mix and you have a powerful one-two-three punch for your fundraising efforts.

This topic — maximizing your nonprofit fundraising efforts by combining traditional channels with online marketing tools — is quite detailed and I plan to expand on it in future blog entries. For now, I’ll wrap up this series by again leaving you with these words:

A strategic online communication plan will use integration to strengthen existing donor relationships while building new ones to enhance your ministry and expand its outreach.

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Top Ten Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet: Church Blog

Four years ago, I was a wreck.  I was an arrogant, self-involved person who proclaimed that she had no need for God.  I did not see the value of reading the Bible or being in fellowship.  Faith to me was nothing but psychological gibberish masked as religion.  I believed that the only person I should have faith in was me.

Fast-forward to today.  I am changed person.  I have become a person whose basic principles and beliefs are centered on the Bible.  I am an active member of the church who often volunteers to make sure its activities go well.  I sing in the choir, host Bible studies, share the Gospel and invite my family and friends to church.

So, what happened between now and then?  Well, I literally and figuratively searched for God on the internet and was led from one website to another.  Finally, all the information I collected in my head translated into spiritual grace moving in my life.

I believe that I was not the only one searching for God at that time.  I am blessed that my search led me to my salvation.  But, wouldn´t it be a shame if there were someone like me in your area searching for your church but you could not be found?

This is why we are writing this – to make sure that your church is able to use the World Wide Web to upgrade your church outreach on the internet and to help your congregation grow both spiritually, in number and in resources. To that effect, we’ve compiled this list of Top 10 Internet ideas for Church Outreach and Online Marketing.

 1. Launching a Ministry Blog to Expand Your Outreach and Find New Friends is our 1st of 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

A blog is an online commentary that can be read by an infinite number of people at any given time. There are many people out there who follow a couple of blogs on subjects that are of their interest.  Chances are you also read the blogs of your family, friends and mentors regularly.

To maintain a ministry blog is a exceptional way to speak and minister to a diverse, often international audience.  By writing down your current spiritual insights, excerpts from your sermons, or devotional thoughts, you can communicate powerful messages that would help your readers grow in their faith.  Additionally, you also get a chance to interact with many people as they share their own reflections or their point of view in your blog´s comments section.

Truly, a church blog is a wonderful way to enlarge your online ministry and get to know the thoughts of people both within and outside your congregation.  That being said, you must remember that there are over 50 million blogs out there.  Your ministry blog will easily get lost in cyberspace if you do not use the proper techniques that guarantee that you reach your target audience. So, how can you leverage your blog to expand your outreach while also establishing new friends?

Unless you have plenty of time to search engine optimize (SEO) your blog, you should avail yourself of a premier blogging service from Pathmaker Marketing.  It has costs associated with it, but it excels in so many ways beyond the free blog options available on the internet. The compended system in a effective internet marketing tool that helps you write keyword-rich blog content in a search-engine friendly manner. This powerful tool allows you to write one blog and then it populates (compends) your content across multiple “keyword” blogs, thereby saving you enormous time and effort.

It also automatically provides search engine optimization services for your blog (and each keyword blog), making them all friendly to Google, Yahoo and Bing.  Plus, you can have as many users as you’d like on your blog system, meaning your staff, associates, youth pastor, deacons, elders can participate too.

The goal of this church outreach tool is to get your blog to display in the Top 10 search results on your target keywords so that people find you online in internet searches. When your blog shows up in a Google display of results, you get reader traffic that can become new ministry friends, new church visitors, etc. As your church blog shows up in Google results, your blog truly becomes an outreach onto the internet, ministering to new people even as it encourages them to become ministry participants or church visitors. For examples, see:

Dr. David Mains´ blog is a 20-Keyword compended blog rich in keywords and spiritual content.

Or examine the Pathmaker Markering blog to see a 50-Keyword compended blog system in action.

You can also Google: Premier Blogging System

For a free demo: Call Pathmaker Marketing at 1-623-322-3334

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Social Network Sites and Nonprofit Marketing

Social networking has grown up very quickly. It was just a couple of years ago that Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace were mainly used by high school and college kids. But as more and more people discover the ease and convenience of the Internet—whether it’s to connect with family and friends, stay up to date on news and information, or donate to their favorite nonprofit organization—social network sites are now firmly in the mainstream. So if you haven’t already incorporated this area of Internet marketing into your nonprofit outreach ideas or small business marketing strategies, you should give it serious consideration.

You might be thinking, “Well, most of our organization’s supporters are older. They prefer traditional direct mail, and probably don’t know what a tweet or blog post are.” Think again: According to the Inside Facebook website, the fastest-growing population of Facebook users is women over age 55. Over a six-month period, from fall 2008 to spring 2009, the number of users in this category rose by 550%, to 1.5 million.  

Many older people are joining social network sites to keep up with their children and grandchildren. Others are finding fellowship and community that they might not otherwise have. In a recent New York Times article, a housebound 73-year-old named Paula Rice, who spends up to 14 hours a day chatting online at Eons.com, says that the site for older baby boomers “gave me a reason to keep on going.”  

Furthermore, if your supporters are older, what better way to introduce your organization to young people—whole new generations of potential supporters—than by utilizing these sites?

“Okay,” you’re saying. “But we already have a web site. Why do we need to create pages on another site?” One big reason is for the new marketing channel.  If people—whether older or younger—are already spending hours a day interacting on Facebook or receiving Twitter updates, you can easily reach out to them right there. No need for them to make a special visit over to your site to see what’s going on. Non profit organizations are creating pages on Facebook and Twitter that allow followers to instantly see their latest news, ask questions, and interact with each other. Twitter is a site that’s quickly gaining popularity as a new channel for posting brief updates for your followers and supporters and allow them to respond.

Still not convinced that social networking sites are a must-have online marketing tool? There’s a Web site and an e-book (available for $5) titled The Reason Your Church Must Twitter. Perhaps its author, “technology evangelist” Anthony Coppedge, can convince you. (Disclaimer: I haven’t read the book myself yet, just came across it while Web surfing.) Aside from that, here are a few immediate examples of how not for profit organizations and ministries are harnessing the power of Facebook, YouTube, and other social networking sites:

Compassion International has a Facebook and a Twitter page. The Facebook page features profiles of staff workers, sponsored children, and children still in need of sponsors. The Twitter page includes updates, prayer requests, and posts that link to longer articles.

Compassion Facebook
Compassion Twitter

World Vision posted a short video that graphically illustrates what it would be like to only have dirty water available—the situation facing millions around the world. The video went viral and helped increase traffic to World Vision’s main site by 11%.

World Vision Facebook

Here’s the Facebook page of the Forefront Church in New York City:

Forefront Church Facebook 

    If you have any questions about how to get started using social networking sites to spread your message, contact Pathmaker Marketing at 623-322-3334. As specialists in effective Internet marketing, Pathmaker can get you going in the right direction in no time.
Or for further information visit our Twitter accounts:

PathmakerServes Twitter account on church outreach ideas
_pathmaker Twitter account on general business marketing promotion online
RandallMains Twitter account on internet marketing ideas

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