Guerrilla Marketing

Churches must do more marketing to become visible to their neighbors. While people see church buildings, they may not have a personal contact with that church. Here are some cheap ways for church members to interact with their neighbors and hopefully draw them in.

  1. Post Cards:create attractive post cards which members can hand out at work and to neighbors
  2. Elections: set up a table at the polling places at or around the church. Have a volunteer staff the table giving out post cards and drinks of water or hot chocolate, depending on the weather. On the water bottle or cup, put labels with info about the church. If there is a line to vote, the volunteers can interact with the voters. By definition, polling places are where your neighbors are – leverage that!
  3. Free coffee: hand out $5 Starbucks cards to people at various local events or at Starbucks itself. $250 will get you 50 cards which is 50 families. Include a card inviting people to your church.
  4. Free cookies: give away boxes of Girl Scout cookies with a label on them about the church
  5. Kids’ Events: give post cards and water and snacks at sporting events for kids. Set up a tent and distribute sports drinks and/or water to kids and post cards to their parents.
  6. Magnets: put church info on magnets and distribute those at some of the above functions. People tend to not throw away fridge magnets. You can create your own fridge magnets pretty cheaply or have them made professionally.
  7. Pens: get pens with your church info and distribute them to nearby restaurants. Waitstaff always need pens.
  8. Windows: give volunteers rolls of paper towels and window cleaner. Then, descend on a shopping center in your neighborhood (not a mall) and ask if you can clean the windows of the local businesses. Tell them you just want to be a good neighbor and you appreciate them being in the neighborhood.

​A negative experience is re-told a dozen times; positive experiences are re-told five times. By giving things away ​you’ll be creating positive stories about your church which will have a ripple effect.

These are cheap ways to get your church’s name in front of people in the community in a positive, wholesome way. There are no downsides to these strategies (well, except #4 if you eat too many). And the super-duper secret is to do them in waves, not continuously. Use the church and social seasons as to when to be active: November & December for Christmas; February and March for Easter; July and August for back to school.

Lead On!

Steve

 

The Sting (part 3 of 3)

In prior weeks I told a rather unbelievable story that happened to me many years ago. Embezzlement happens in some church in America every week. Be aware of the opportunities for theft and prevent them.

 Here’s my suggestion for all churches: that the church treasurer and the church financial assistant/accountant coordinate each year to do a test of the cash handling by the tellers using the system outlined above.

On 3 or 4 pre-selected weeks, the church accountant put in the offering plate $50 in cash (1 twenty dollar bill, 2 ten dollar bills, 1 five dollar bill, and 5 one dollar bills). Before putting them in the offering plate, the bills must all be photocopied to capture their serial numbers.

After the tellers have counted for that week, then church treasurer and church accountant will go through the offering together – it is vital that this be done jointly to ensure there isn’t a potential for a false accusation. They will compare the actual cash received to the photocopied bills to ensure the cash was received in the offering plate.

  • If the photocopied cash was in the counted offering, then all is well and they can use that same $50 for the other weeks of the operation.
  • If the photocopied cash was NOT in the counted offering, then they need to bring a couple of lay leaders and together determine a course of action. That action should include continuing the photocopied cash when different members of the tellers are not present to eliminate suspects. By all means, keep this quiet – if it got out, it would be disastrous for the member’s confidence in the church’s financial operations.

Lead On!

Steve

 

 

The Sting (part 2 of 3)

The story below happened to me. I wrote it up as a case study for a class I taught. Every word (except the name of other people) is true – including the twist at the very end. I promise it isn’t made up. As you read it, think about what you would … [Continue reading]

The Sting (part 1 of 3)

The story below happened to me. I wrote it up as a case study for a class I taught. Every word (except the name of other people) is true – including the twist at the very end. I promise it isn’t made up. As you read it, think about what you would … [Continue reading]

Personal Investing

My family asked me about my personal investing. I’ve done well in the market – I’ve averages over 8% returns per year for the past 11 years (2007-2017) which includes several down or flat years. It's all in mutual funds in Vanguard I … [Continue reading]

Questions re Accepting Credit Cards (part 5 of 5)

Churches which do not have online giving often have several questions which hinder them from proceeding. Here are some of the concerns I’ve run into over the past few years: Commercialism Some fear that by accepting credit cards, the church … [Continue reading]

Questions re Accepting Credit Cards (part 4 of 5)

Churches which do not have online giving often have several questions which hinder them from proceeding. Here are some of the concerns I’ve run into over the past few years: Promotion To be successful, there must be a … [Continue reading]

Questions re Accepting Credit Cards (part 3 of 5)

Churches which do not have online giving often have several questions which hinder them from proceeding. Here are some of the concerns I’ve run into over the past few years: We’ll Get That Money Anyway Some people feel that money given by … [Continue reading]