The Intersection of Ministry and Giving Technology
Mission-based and faith-based organizations have more opportunity for mass appeal and outreach than ever before. This means that the vast world has opened to us all and we are all now able to engage and share our message with people around the world, but it also means that so can everyone else so the differentiation of your message becomes the name of the game. We’re all here to do God’s work, follow His plan and work together to spread the good news, so the goal is not necessarily to “out-message” or “win” at some global marketing war, but to find the people with whom your message resonates the most.
For example, a Texas-based ministry was in need of a small infusion of money to purchase supplies for their mission in Africa. With encouragement from a few forward-thinking consultants, this ministry pulled together its first ever crowdfunding campaign. Their goal was to send the message of Jesus across the wide world of the internet to attract new donors and bring in funding from new and varied resources. And, while they were successful at doing that, the online crowdfunding campaign really only resulted in a $3,000 gain from new donors. However, the effort of crafting a new message and the work they put into reaching new audiences ALSO attracted the attention of a lapsed donor, who proceed to make his first gift to the organization in more than five years - a $50,000 check arrived within days of the crowdfunding campaign’s launch.
A new breed of technological tools have cropped up (and some old tools have refined themselves) to help us do good, talk about it to people who really care about what we’re doing, and ask for support from this very specific audience, in whatever way they chose to engage with us.
Finding your global community is a lot of work - I won’t pretend that it’s not. But we now have the ability to manage the information that we have, and are constantly acquiring, to do just that. Further, many of these tech tools are being offered as technological ecosystems - software platforms that are all in one platforms or that integrate with other platforms seamlessly and robustly to allow you to work smarter, not harder. Ease of use and quick on-boarding is also crucial among donor management and communications technologies - along with price flexibility.
With an ever-expanding nonprofit marketplace, there is also an ever-expanding pool of resources marketed to mission-driven organizations. Which is great, because it means that your organization can be very intentional about selecting a tool that makes sense to YOU, the person or people using it, that is the right price and that has all of the functionality that your particular organization will require.
Now, I happen to be partial to BetterUnite.com, a fundraising platform that I co-founded, and is exactly the sort of technological ecosystem that makes the work of disseminating ministry messages and raising money easy. BetterUnite was created for small to mid-size nonprofits and faith-based organizations, and built by them. From the outset, we asked, listened and responded to experts in the fields of communications, donor relations, event planning and execution and nonprofit management to refine our system. We integrated with best of breed software where possible and innovated where we found it necessary. The result is a user-friendly, easily-implemented platform that provides all of the necessary functions for raising money and managing a nonprofit or ministry.
Then we did the extraordinary. We made it free to mission-based organizations. BetterUnite flips the revenue model on its head and, instead of asking the organization or ministry to pay a monthly fee or make a lengthy commitment to the software, we instead offer the donors the opportunity to provide a “platform tip” upon checkout. This always keeps us on your side and, when your organization succeeds, so do we.
As our work in the faith-based and ministry sectors becomes more prolific and more integral to the lives of so many on this planet, it is up to us to find efficiencies and adopt technologies that work with us (not against us) and free up our time to return to the mission work that we were called by God to do. Those technologies are out there and are becoming smarter by the minute. Go forth! Do good work.