Churches, temples, mosques, and other religious organizations will need to continue reaching their communities virtually. Here are four ways to keep your congregation engaged.
Whether you want to increase online donations or enable at-home worship, these tips will help you reach more congregants now and into the future.
1. Update your Website
Your website is your digital front door. It should be welcoming, informative, and easy to navigate. When people go to your site, is it obvious how to donate? Does the site work well on a mobile phone? Is it easy to find a list of services? If you answered "no" to any of the above, it's time to make improvements.
2. Accept Online Donations
If you don’t already have it, now is the time to set up online giving. Select a payment gateway such as Stripe, Authorize.net, or PayPal, and add a donate button to your homepage. Some platforms allow you to set up direct deposits to your bank account.
If you already accept online donations, make sure it’s secure and easy to find on your website and social media pages. Enable monthly recurring donations. Remind your congregation that it is easy and convenient to donate online.
3. Clean up your Digital Communications
Keep your email and social media posts succinct and clear. If you have lots to share, include a link to a webpage or digital flyer where they can read more. This ensures that the right people will read it, and will take the action you want them to take.
Send communications through the channels your congregants use most. That being said, email is the most effective way to reach all of your people. Social media can be used to expand your reach, complement your emails, and feature interesting stories about your congregation.
4. Embrace Virtual Programming
Are there any programs, services, or ministries that can be delivered online? Keep it simple and easy to participate. Zoom is great to facilitate interaction. YouTube or Facebook Live are perfect for broadcasting to a large audience. In this case, you can still invite viewers to comment in real-time. If you choose to live stream, make sure your internet speed is powerful enough to handle it.
Lastly, track virtual engagement and build on the programs that are most popular. Don’t be afraid to stop a virtual program that’s consistently underutilized.
We can help you engage your congregation from a distance. Click here to drop us a line.