The mission field is exploding right now. Many areas of the earth are being reached with the gospel and experiencing a double digit percentile growth towards Christianity. The humanitarian work that many over sea ministries and missionaries are doing can be hard for us (Americans) to stay connected with, because their experience is outside of our daily purview.
When missionaries come stateside for furlough they usually spend a lot of that time visiting and updating their home or support churches. It is a great time for them to garner support, but what happens when they return and are no longer a face for congregations to connect with? Thankfully, in the digital age there are some great ways missionaries are keeping the spotlight on their work and connecting with a support base.
Connecting Year Round
When a congregant hears from a missionary it is usually a powerful experience for them and they feel inspired to support their work. That is why it is critical for missionaries to find ways to connect with their support network frequently. Keeping a personal blog about their experiences is a must. There needs to be a place that donors can experience their mission in real time. Information is on a 24 hours cycle these days and waiting 6 months for an update from the field feels archaic. Blogging or social media can keep supporters informed. There are some important best practices for a mission’s blog to sustain a constant stream of support:
1. Cross Publishing
Your blog will help grow support for your missionary team. Utilize all the websites from your support churches or provide blog posts and articles for their newsletters and bulletins. Let them hear about the amazing things you are doing consistently. Make sure you always link to how they can donate.
2. Link to Your Giving Page
This giving page would usually be connected to the website of the missionary’s home church. Whatever online donation software your church is using should be able to set up a customized giving page for each missionary your church is supporting. DonateQ allows your church to have multiple giving pages at no extra cost. This allows them to publicize a direct way to give specifically to a missionary. Not only is it clear where their money is going, donors won’t have to navigate a churches giving page wondering how they can make sure their gift is directed to you.
3. Recurring Gifts and Categories
Ask the churches you visit to customize their giving pages with a drop down category with your name or ministry listed as the option. This will allow their congregants to easily donate to you. Donors can scroll through the names of missionaries on their own home church page and select you as a recipient of their gift. Encourage your donors to set up a recurring gift of $XX dollars monthly. Give them some context as to what that dollar amount accomplishes. $25 a month will help us do_______(fill in the blank). This takes one more to-do off your donors list, and allows you to have a reliable stream of support.
God is moving worldwide and we know that an American dollar often gets a bigger return on investment in impoverished nations. Online giving can help you stay connected to the support and provide real time connection to your donors. If you or your church are interested in customizing your giving page to support your missionary teams connect with us we will be happy to help.