Working on the first set of posters for the 2013 GROWSFL Campaign
Well, it finally came. This past Sunday [May 30, 2010], we [the Magnolia Park church of Christ] officially rolled out the One capital fundraising campaign for the congregation. After months of first planning, then sitting on our thumbs, then really picking up the ball and running with the fundraising idea, we finally got to present the message to the congregation. I had been developing a giving campaign outline for some time and it was great to see it finally get to play out as I had initially thought it up.
Now, the reality is that the campaign, as it was presented today, was more in line with the way I had initially thought it up a few years ago; a folio, presentation graphics, and a giving pledge card. This had always been my plan in terms of the best way to present the campaign to a smaller congregation. We also have the component of the giving report which will be delivered once we’ve actually begun the full-fledged giving campaign. I’ve already built the system for tracking information and also reporting on the giving that i developed initially for general layby collecting.
We made the plans for this 5th Sunday to present the plan because this is traditionally our friends and family day where we generally see our largest crowds of the quarter. Everything went as planned with a short presentation complete with background information on the congregation, our short and long-term plans for growth and the final plea to the congregation as we look to begin the campaign in earnest in late summer.
I ended up developing a presentation based on the information found in the booklet which ended up serving as a rather simple solution to the problem of being unable to develop a serious video presentation at the last minute. I believe that, moving forward, I’ll be able to work on a more refined presentation or at the least be able to take a more formulaic approach to developing a more complete package. Until the next time I’m asked to work on anything of this type though, i’ll be looking develop new strategies for the system.
Back when I wrote my first post about Layby management, I was really just beginning to hit the surface on what I really thought could be done. I’ve since done more research on various implementations and variations on the set, both paper and digital forms. Which basically brings me back to the reason for this new post.
I’ve thought about how to make the system more user friendly. In looking at the current state, I’ve decided that the best way to make things as accessible as possible, I should build an application that will allow the process of filling out the form pretty much automated.
We’ll see how the whole system begins to come together once I have the prototype of the forms.
Okay, while the last article dealt with the overall need to put marketing principles in place at your congregation, this time we’ll delve a little into specifics.
In today’s environment, any great marketing system has to first address the overall identity of the congregation, and what better way than to have an identity system as the cornerstone. Now, an Identity system, at its core, is simply a stationary set that provides identification for your congregation. In most instances an identity system consists of a coordinated letterhead and envelope set and a business card. In more substantial cases, there are various labels and note cards and other collateral pieces that are used. The key, however, is the seemless transition from one piece of stationary to the next. This is achieved through 2 specific factors; The Logo and the color scheme.
The Logo – The logo, while important, is as simple to create as utilizing a stylized font in spelling out your congregations name. The key is consistency in usage, the fact that every time people see your name at your congregation it is always neatly displayed with the same characteristics, be it the same color and font, or any other way that generally sets your logo apart. At the Magnolia Park Church of Christ, there is both a primary logo and a secondary one. The Primary logo consists of a stylized spelling of “The Park”, the congregations name, with the title Magnolia Park Church of Christ directly underneath. This is done with the specific purpose of people associating the both the nickname and the congregation name. The nickname presents a friendly feel and is, in a sense, welcoming when seen and disarming, but at the heart is always the congregations name as to always remind people that The Park is a church. The Primary Logo is used mainly in-house for the members on all publications and there are plans to utilize it more on information that goes out to visitors and others.
The secondary logo is a much simpler logo that is just a styled capitalized M & P that appears on everything from the church bulletin to announcements and visitors cards.
The Color Scheme – It’s important to have a set of colors you work with when designing congregation materials. For one, with a defined color scheme, you’ll be able to always achieve a level of familiarity with those that receive your materials. Also, as an added bonus, you’ll not have to spend a lot of time with colors that may not work well. One of the prime points of creating a color scheme is great color usage. Think about it; on your bulletin board, which bulletins stand out? And which announcements wash out with their bland black and whites. Even if you’re pressed for money, a pre-designed letterhead with spot color will achieve both recognition and consistency in presentation.
Keep this in mind – The more time and effort that is spent on creating a smooth and consistent image for your congregation in print, the more likely it is that people will respond positively when your name is presented to them
In Part 3, we’ll look at utilizing the bulletin as a ministry tool
There’s a trend spreading nationwide that involves the marketing of congregations. Now, the idea of “Marketing” a congregation is one that many people object to on the basis of misinformation. They look at the word marketing and automatically think in terms of people who are trying to pilfer and sell bills of goods to members. The exact opposite is the case here. In marketing, the local congregation has an opportunity to have their message at the forefront of their audiences mind. With the plurality of congregations who basically look the same on the outside, the proper exposure is important for congregations who want to present the truth.
Now, the concept of congregational strategic marketing involves defining the resources that are available to you and building a strong set of practices around those resources that will greatly enhance the percieved profile of your congregation.
There are a few necessities that every congregation should have in building this strategy;
In Part 2, I’ll provide actual examples of how to implement a marketing strategy at your local congregation
My yet unamed Layby Package for the Magnolia Park Church of Christ is currently being delivered to the members beginning Thursday.
The Layby Package [i'm just going to go with that name] is a really a set of database and merge document that allows a congregation to deliver to its members an overview of their giving, either quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.
The key to the whole package is the record keeping. At The Park [The Magnolia Park Church of Christ], the leadership was planning on implementing a giving campaign to coincide with the already existing building fund plan. The result was a system that was first implemented at the Hallandale Beach Church of Christ – the Victory Campaign. Their plan included a campaign brochure, a presentation, and a pledge card. For The Park, I designed a campaign folio, a presentation, a pledge card, a reminder card, as well as the quarterly statement which outlined each individuals giving for the quarter as well as where they stood in relation to their initial pledge.
Now, the Quarterly statement really began in December, 2007, as we were trying to roll out the official yearly statements for members. We decided that in addition to giving them the official statement with the church seal and everything, it would be nice to let each member see exactly what they gave each week. This, in turn, was well received, as many people were surprised to see the peaks and valleys in their giving throughout various times of the year. At the start of 2008 a decision was made that the initial statement would be developed further to include many elements that would be useful to the member. The Following were added for the first quarter statement:
In the Future, we look to build an internet application that shows the same information for each member.