Social Media and Missionary Support Raising – A Facebook Strategy

In my last post I reviewed some basics related to social media and missionary support raising:

  • Missionaries need to overcome reluctance to incorporate social media into their support raising.
  • Missionaries need community to make social media effective.
  • Social media is an ideal platform for missionaries to share life and vision.
If you missed the first post, get it here:  Social Media and Missionary Support Raising – The Basics
Now it’s time to discuss a strategy for missionaries to incorporate social media into their overall fundraising efforts.  This isn’t the only way to do it, just a compilation of ideas that I have observed and used.
#1 – Open Your Social Media Accounts
I suggest starting with Facebook and either Twitter or LinkedIn.  If you are reading this post, you most likely already have these accounts and more.
The Facebook Decision

Using Facebook for fundraising is a bit controversial.  Just yesterday I had a missionary friend in my home who said,

“I don’t use Facebook for fundraising.”

I can respect that.  What she is really saying is that “I don’t like to raise funds.  I use Facebook for friendships and wouldn’t dare asking any of my friends on Facebook for money.”  But she does ask her friends for money face to face, and her friends support her.

The question is how will you use Facebook for fundraising?  I see three options:

  1. Using it to update your friends about your life and not mentioning your ministry needs, leading to basic exposure.
  2. Using it as a viable means to share your ministry and ministry needs, including prayer and financial needs, in the context of sharing with all of your friends what is going on with your life.
  3. Using it only for the purpose of fundraising.

Do you see the two extremes in 1 and 3?  I recommend option 2 as the way to go.  It is natural.  It is easy.  And it works.

So I encourage you to share about your life in another culture:  what you eat, what you speak, what you like and what you hate.  Tell stories from your ministry.  Relate how God is working.  Ask for us to pray for those with whom you are sharing the gospel.  And tell us what your financial needs are.

It doesn’t have to be overemphasized or grandiose.  Say that you are under-supported by $1000 per month because one giver lost his job, another partner died and a church is struggling financially.

Write that you are at 80% and that you need ten more people to partner with you at $50 per month before you can move to another culture to live out the call that God has placed on your life.

No big deal.  Share.

Crick and Mindy Porier of Converge Worldwide use Facebook effectively.  When they are visiting a church to share their ministry vision and they meet new people, they get their names and contact info.  That night they go home and find these people on Facebook and send them a friend request.  Here is how one lady responded:

“Thank you for friending me on Facebook.  It was so nice to meet you today.  I wanted you to know that I’m excited about your ministry and would like to support you at $25 per month.  It’s great that now I can keep up with your ministry on Facebook too.”

Perhaps this fine woman would have partnered with the Porier’s without the Facebook connection.  But following up the personal contact with an immediate Facebook friendship certainly encouraged this lady to communicate her desire to support them because:

  1. It reduced the time between the first and second contact.
  2. It made connecting simple.
  3. It made communicating easy with pictures and more information on the missionary.

Facebook is a great way to connect with past, present and future partners of what God is doing in your life.  Give it a try.

Using Facebook Lists and Groups to Segment Friends and Contacts

The nice thing about Facebook is being able to segment your various friends into different lists.  For example, you could have a list composed of prayer partners – people who you know pray regularly for  you.  You could post a prayer update only to that list, and only people on that list will see it.

If you create a private group, you can further segment certain users.  A group allows you to put certain users into one group, as if they were in the same room together.  You can then make a post to that group and they can interact with you and each other, as if they were in the same room talking with you and each other, while anyone outside of the room cannot participate.

You could also benefit from private messaging, creating events, tracking birthdays and more.

Facebook is a great start to your social media support raising strategy in being able to share your life and vision with those who want to stay in touch, give and pray.

Imagine leading a Bible study on the mission field.  Someone you’ve been sharing with chooses to follow Jesus Christ.  A portion of your Facebook followers have been praying for this person for over a year.  You come home, share the good news, post a picture and the world is a better place because you are keeping in immediate touch with those who care about you, your ministry and God’s work in and through you around the world.

God is glorified, a new disciple is in process – supported by a community with prayer, and you are grateful because others are participating with you in your ministry.

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