Humanitarian organizations use text messaging to collect donations after a disaster. Some ministries house all their assets online for advocates to download and share. Churches have giving kiosks in the lobby to cater to the new generation of cash and checkless givers.
Many ministries and nonprofits are successfully embracing technology to market, fundraise and minister, and it’s no surprise why. The statistics about the modern supporter’s growing use of technology are staggering. Consider these stats on mobile usage alone:
- 98 percent of text messages are opened (usually within minutes of being sent)
- Every 24 hours, 6.4 billion text messages are sent
- People look at their phones over 150 times on average per day
- 70 percent of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour
- 62 percent of 18 to 32-year-olds would donate through a mobile phone
So how does your ministry embrace technology? We are conducting a research study on how Christian ministries and organizations are using technology to tell their story and expand their missions, and we’d love to hear from you. Take our Online Survey by Dec. 15 – HERE. You’ll receive an exclusive executive summary of the results in January.
For many ministry leaders technology is still intimidating – uncharted territory defined by lack of clear understanding and risk. Those unfamiliar with their options or daunted by the task might find themselves asking if it’s all really necessary. However, embracing technology isn’t just about crafting the perfect tweet or jumping on the latest trend; it’s a strategic and important part of your mission:
1) It lets you reach more people in more places.
Where traditional forms of communication are limited, modern technology lets you communicate with your audience whenever they are available and wherever they are. Where weekdays were once considered strategic communication times, studies now show that mobile email readership is at its peak on Saturday. With email, text, social media and smartphones, your audience is now available and listening to your message throughout their daily activities.
And technology isn’t just a powerful marketing tool; it’s a powerful ministry tool. Everyday ministries are using technology to reach corners of the world that would be unreachable otherwise. From site replication platforms that translate websites to online media libraries with truth-filled content, technology is bringing “the ends of the earth” a little bit closer.
2) It enhances, not replaces, proven methods.
Many organizations that shy away from technology do so because they do not want to abandon tried and true methods that have sustained their organization for years. Fortunately, we don’t have to get rid of the old to welcome in the new. The principles of human connection and engagement remain the same, but with more options for communication, it is now critical to embrace all channels, making your organization accessible for all people, no matter how they communicate. Look for ways you can add digital elements to the core of your marketing and fundraising strategy.
3) It keeps you relevant.
Not only is technology an effective way to reach new audiences, especially younger generations, but it’s an important part of your brand positioning. As legacy organizations face the challenge of connecting with younger generations, showing your tech savvy helps your organization be perceived as fresh. Having a great-looking multi-media rich website, with tools that are easily shareable, and options for connecting online will make it easier for multiple generations – both one that has been raised on technology and those who have fully embraced it – to connect with you. The result? A greater reach and impact.
Kristen Pope is an account manager/strategist at The A Group, a marketing and technology agency. She works with ministries to develop and implement marketing plans, including how to incorporate mobile, social media and digital tactics into overall communications strategies.