This was the original post that inspired me to start CHURCHSMO.com. Because it was my very first post, it did not get much attention. So here it is again. My wife and I used this method to raise support for our mission and it worked wonderfully.
My life long friend Tony Coulombe is in the process of founding a new missions organization called the Mustard Seed Global Fellowship. They are headed for Japan and have an awesome vision of building Christian communities there. Tony has a lot of money to raise to be able to accomplish the mission so to help him I devised a viral fund-raising strategy using YouTube.
Step 1 Record Highly personal and direct videos that speak directly to prospective supporters
- Record in different environments: Try the park, a busy street or somewhere that reminds you of the possible supporter (Tony plans to record videos in little Tokyo)
- Be active in your recordings: Don’t just sit in one place, give the video some movement by walking around.
- Show your passion for the mission: Be authentic, be excited and don’t be scared to ask for money.
- Get them Engaged: Explain how you will continually use online video and blogs to keep them updated and connected to the mission.
- Make Hundreds of videos: The time it takes will make up for itself in the stronger commitments you will receive. (Givers gain)
- Use a cheap camera: No need for High Definition professional equipment here! Most digital cameras these days come with movie mode, use it!
- Keep it short: Between 1-3 minutes.
Step 2 Upload the videos to YouTube
- Files need to be under 1024 megabytes: Another good reason for using a cheap digital camera.
- Don’t worry about people seeing videos you have created for others, it will only serve to support that you are dedicated.
Step 3 Setup an easy way for people to give, whether that be online giving or a simple way to receive information on how to give via mail.
- Realize how important this is: Your videos will deeply impact most people, give them a way to immediately respond.
- Google Checkout: Free for 5013c Non-Profits
- PayPal: Takes a commission so I am not a huge fan…
- See your Bank for possible methods or have a web developer get it done.
Step 4 Email videos to possible supporters
- Make it very clear: You want them to watch this video and they are accustomed to receiving spam so make sure they know it is a video from you made SPECIFICALLY for them.
Step 4.5 Submit the videos to various online social networks and Christian blogs creating a VIRAL reaction to a unique idea for raising support.
- Getting a Viral Response: This Idea is very young and unique. There is a window of probably a year that it will work virally to raise funds so GET ON IT!
Two Examples of My Family Fundraising with YouTube
Transferring Inspiration, Passion, and Vision has been Stifled to Impersonal Mass Mailings
Raising support is getting harder and harder today. People are increasingly more difficult to engage and inspire about any specific cause or mission. On first reaction we could blame it on the laziness and depravity of the culture, but actually it is the recent evolution in communications. Though the mission maybe a very mighty one, the way we are accustomed to transferring inspiration, passion, and vision has been stifled to impersonal mass mailings. Lets change that. Lets start using Social Media to its fullest potential for the Church!