Health and Growth

Boost Your Church’s Instagram Reach: 5 Tactics You Can Use Today

Here are a five simple ways you can use Instagram to engage your church throughout the week and reach your community.

Boost Your Church’s Instagram Reach: 5 Tactics You Can Use Today
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There’s a chance you’re overlooking an easy to use outreach tool: Instagram.

If you're not currently leveraging Instagram for churches, an amazing social media platform, you'll want to start using it after seeing these statistics:

  • 70% of Instagram users in the US have a post-secondary education
  • 35% of Instagram users in the US are between 30-49 years old
  • 60% of Instagram users are 18-29 years old
  • Users under 25 years old spend at least 32 minutes a day on Instagram
  • Users over 25 years old spend about 25 minutes per day
  • Users spend more time viewing "Instagram Stories" than regular posts

Although Instagram may not reach a lot of people who are over the age of 55, it's wildly effective for people from high school to 50-years-old.

Over the past year, more and more churches are leveraging Instagram because it's working. Churches have found that outside of using a custom church app, Instagram is arguably the second best way to engage your church throughout the week.

Here are five simple ways you can use Instagram to engage your church throughout the week and reach your community.

#1. Use Instagram stories

Users spend more time viewing Instagram Stories versus regular posts—so post stories on Instagram throughout the week.

The beauty of stories is that you can pre-record them and then post the best take or picture and import it into your stories.

To help you get started, here are some ideas for you to consider:

a. Share the news!

Have someone share brief video updates about what's going on at your church.

Nothing fancy—just find some good lighting, stand in front of a recognizable place in your church, and talk away.

Are baptisms coming up?

Do summer camp registrations close next week?

Is there an event your church is preparing for?

Talk about this kind of stuff and make it fun.

b. Create live tutorials

Are you preparing to launch Tithe.ly? Maybe online giving is new to your church.

Post step-by-step tutorials on how to give online or how to give with your church app. Show people fun video clips of all the different ways people can give.

Do you have a parking problem at church? Be creative and show people where to park when your lot is full.

Are the people in your church not sure how to respond in worship? Have fun, and create a video showing the members of your church what to do with their hands.

 

The possibilities are endless with live tutorials and using instagram for church!

c. Give behind-the-scenes access

One of the most exciting aspects of Instagram Stories is for people in your church to go behind the perfectly designed and curated images your church posts.

Introduce a new team member, take people through a day in the life of your lead pastor, or let people see the work that goes into getting ready for your worship service.

d. Department takeovers

Most people don't know what church staff does throughout the day, and many think that we just sit around all day (I’m joking). Showcase your different teams and give backstage access to your church.

Pop into a creative meeting and have the team walkthrough planning a service or show a clip from a fun part of your staff meeting

e. Offer sneak peaks of what's to come

Are you getting ready for a big community event? Is there a big announcement you’re preparing to make? Give people a sneak peak of what's to come using instagram for church.

Surveys show that this type of fun, spontaneous content is what people in your church want to watch when viewing your Instagram Stories.

The best way to find out what resonates with your people is to get a small group of people together and ask them what they’d like to see and what they want to see more of.

Related: How to Create Your Church's Social Media Strategy in Minutes

#2. Instagram posts

Use the good 'ole classic Instagram post.

Post inviting images of your worship services, small groups, and lobby experience. The most liked photos on Instagram are engaging, fun posts of people.

Here are some post ideas for you to consider:

  • Share scripture or quotes from this past week's message
  • Promote an event or a sign up for baptisms
  • Highlight a volunteer or share what you're doing in the community
  • Share images from your worship services
  • Advertise an upcoming sermon series
  • Ask questions—you'll be surprised at how many responses you get
 

#3. Free apps to create scripture art

Not a trained graphic designer?

No sweat.

Creating great looking scripture art for your instagram for church account, as shown above, is really easy.

You can use apps on your iPhone or Android device like Adobe Spark or Canva.

Search the app store on your phone to download these apps. Once you've downloaded the apps and created a free profile, it takes no time at all to create scripture art or a sermon quote from the past weekend.

#4. Use Instagram Business for boosting your profile

You won’t need to take up a special offering during your service to promote your church on Instagram. It’s super affordable to advertise your church and reach new people for Christ.

To get started, you’ll need to use an Instagram Business account to boost and promote your church's profile and your posts to people in your community. You’ll be able to set how much you want to spend, and you can get away with paying as little as $5 a day to show your post to a few thousand people in your community.

Is football huge in your city? Make a post inviting people to church before the big game on Sunday and target it based on your location and interests like "football" and "sports."

You don’t have to boost your posts all of the time. But this is a great way to highlight an Instagram for church post about an upcoming event, capture the attention of your community, or invite people to your worship services.

Additionally, keep an eye on your Instagram analytics. This info will help you to see what content is resonating with your audience.

Your turn

Are you a newbie to Instagram?

If so, check out this post on Instagram for churches to get up and running.

Also, don’t feel afraid to ask for help! There is bound to be someone in your church who knows their way around Instagram. After to talking to people in your church, you’ll quickly learn what type of posts generate good responses and likes.

Do you have questions about any of the tactics I mentioned above? Drop a line in the comments below, and I’ll be more than happy to help!

Eric Bryant serves as the implementations team lead for Tithe.ly. He has spent the last decade in the local church as a creative pastor. He lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and two dogs.

Why Write Church Donation Letters?

In a previous blog post, I shared the different ways your church can thank donors—from automated emails to year-end giving reports. Printed donation letters also play an essential role in your church’s stewardship efforts.

Donation letters are the Swiss Army knife of your church’s gratitude arsenal. It may not be the most powerful—but it’s versatile, handy, and gets used often.

Your basic church donation letter can serve many different purposes, including:

  • Acknowledging that you received a donation
  • Thanking the giver for being generous with their finances
  • Sharing other ways the person can support your church
  • Allowing the donor to write the gift off on their taxes
  • Encouraging supporters to make recurring donations
  • Requesting future donations from church members

A single, well-crafted donation letter can pull together several of these things simultaneously. Better donation letters lead to more giving, which leads to more donation letters—thus creating a cycle of on-going church generosity.

Church Donation Letter Samples

Here’s the good news—you don’t have to write an individualized letter for every person who gives to your church. That would be tough to do for even smaller churches. And most donors don’t expect you to. They’d rather you be putting their gift to better use in the community, instead of ceaselessly writing thank you notes.

With the possible exception of some unique circumstances, your church can use template language for the majority of your church donation letters. You’ll have to add in custom details like the donor’s name and gift amount, but you can write everything else in advance.  

To make this even easier on you, here are a few basic church donation letter templates you can copy and paste. Keep in mind that not all of these have to be in print—you could just as easily turn some of these samples into email appeals.

1. Donation Acknowledgment Letter

The Donation Acknowledgement Letter is a basic way you can confirm and affirm a monetary gift to your church. Sending these is standard practice in church and nonprofit culture.

Dear [first name],
I want to personally thank you for your donation of [gift amount] to [church name]. We’re honored you would bless us with your generosity. Donations like yours make a big difference in the work our church is doing in the community.
Without givers like you, our church can’t have an impact or influence in our community. With your support, we’re partnering with local nonprofits, sending out global mission trips, and hosting small groups on topics that help real people like you. Together, we can make a difference.
Because we’re a tax-exempt nonprofit, you also get to write this donation off on your taxes. This letter serves as official proof of your donation, so keep it in your records come tax season. At the end of the year, we’ll also send you an annual recap with how much you’ve given to the church.
Thank you for supporting [church name]!
Sincerely,
[your name]

2. Donation Request Letter

Not every church member realizes the importance of giving, or understand Bible verses about tithing and giving.  So a Donation Request Letter helps to spread that awareness and encourage a spirit of generosity.

Dear [first name],
How are the finances in your household? That was a rhetorical question, so you don’t have to answer—besides, this is a letter so we wouldn’t hear you anyway. But we still want you to think about that question.
Money is a uniquely human issue, one we all struggle with to one degree or another. Even if you’re financially blessed, you still have the burden of stewarding your money wisely. And we believe that one of the best ways to invest your money is into the local church.
Tithing (giving 10% of your income) on a regular basis not only supports the work we do at [church name]. It doesn’t just support local missions and community growth. It also shows an obedience to God by making his work a financial priority in your life.
So if you find yourself ready to put God first in both your heart and your wallet, we encourage you to make a one-time gift or sign up to make recurring donations. That way, you won’t have to ever wonder again about the financial status of your household.
Sincerely,
[your name]

3. Monthly Giving Letter

Many church donations aren’t just one-time gifts. Plenty of givers contribute monthly—and that should be acknowledged.

Use this template to correspond with recurring givers.  

Dear [first name],
Thank you for being an active and faithful member of our church community. By giving to our church on a monthly basis, you’re showing that our church has a meaningful place in your heart. We just wanted to write this to let you know that you’re in our heart, too.
Donating to the church monthly allows us to preach the gospel, make disciples, and support others in our community who need help. Others like the local food bank and the nearby homeless shelter. We’re answering the cry of the needy, and it’s all thanks to contributors like you.
We earnestly appreciate your ongoing support and want to let you know we’re here for you. If there’s ever anything we can do for you and your family, don’t hesitate to reach out. You are a valued member of our church family. And you’re financial support is making a difference.
Sincerely,
[your name]

4. Year-End Giving Letter

At the end of each year, it’s customary to give your church supporters a summary of their gifts. The primary reason is for tax purposes, but it’s also a way to recap everything your church has done over the past year with their support.

Dear [first name],
You’re getting this letter because you gave to [church name] at some point during the past year. That might have been a one-time gift, or recurring donations. Either way, we want to thank you for your generous support. Every contribution helps.
One of the official reasons for this letter is for tax purposes. That’s right—you get to write these donations off on your taxes. Which is why we’ve included a summary of all the contributions you’ve made to our church this year.
But the other reason for this letter is to let you know what we’ve done with the money you gave. We take stewardship very seriously, which means we value spending our time and resources wisely.
During the year, our church supported local nonprofits, sent global missions teams, and baptised quite a few people. It was a great year for us—thanks in large part to donors like you.
So thank you for your support of our church, and we hope you’ll consider continuing to contribute to our mission in the coming year.
Sincerely,
[your name]  

5. Church Fundraising Letter

Sometimes you need to make a more significant financial push using tried and true church fundraising ideas. Some churches call this a Stewardship Campaign or a Church Capital Campaign. Either way, the goal is to raise a certain amount of money for a big project. And typically, a solid letter of appeal is an integral part of that.

Dear [first name],
God has a plan for everyone and everything. That includes you, and it includes [church name]. None of us can fully know God’s plan—the best we can do is pray and listen for clarity. Our church leadership has been doing just that and are excited to announce our latest church project.
[Detail the outline of the major church project—this could include a building campaign, or raising support for a global mission trip. Anything specific to your church that requires a fundraising letter. Be sure to include a fundraising goal so everyone knows what you’re shooting for.]
But we can’t pull this off without your support. Whether you give to the church on a regular basis, or just attend on occasion, we’re asking you to consider contributing to this massive undertaking prayerfully. It’s something we need our entire church community’s help with.
Even if you can’t make a large gift, know that every little bit helps. It’s more about coming together as a community united behind a common cause. We hope that you’ll consider making a donation towards this great step forward that we’re making together.
Sincerely,
[your name]

Tips when writing church donation letters

It’s not enough to just copy and paste this content and send away. The key to an effective church donation letter is a touch of personalization. Follow these tips to take your donation letters to the next level:

  • Examples: Add specific examples of how your church will use the donation. Tell a story about the work your church is doing in the community and connect that with giving.
  • Personalization: For regular donors, don’t be afraid to add a short, handwritten personal note. This shows that you’ve singled them out with praise.
  • Timeliness: Sending donation letters quickly reminds people you’re thankful for them. But this also takes organization and efficiency. All the more reason to use pre-written templates.
  • Storytelling: Everything is better with stories—including donation letters. Weave in a specific narrative of how your church is making a difference and how the money will be used.

There’s no one right or wrong way to write a donation letter or request contributions. You’ve got to do what is right for your church and congregation. But if you stick to these general tips, you’ll probably start to see some traction when it comes to giving.

What’s next?

Most people don’t love talking about money in church. But it’s a necessary and vital part of your church. And maximizing your efforts when it comes to donation letters will help make those conversations more comfortable. So what do you do next to put this into effect?

  • Customize these letters: Take the samples above and make them work for your church. Personalize the content. Remove the stuff that doesn’t sound genuine and add in stuff that does. Remember that these are just a starting point.
  • Create some systems: Develop processes that make it easy for you to replicate sending donation letters. Use a letter template that allows you to drop in names and details. Then develop guidelines for when these letters will be sent out.
  • Empower a champion: Find out who is going to be responsible for making these letters happen. Rather than thinking of this as adding more work to their plate, think about how you can elevate their work. This could be a staff member, or a volunteer.
  • Start sending: All of this will be for nothing if you don’t actually send out the letters. Take the time to get it right and get them into the hands of your church donors.

And if you’re looking for ways to grow your church’s giving capacity, Tithely can help.

We provide several different ways your church members can support your church financially—from online giving, text to give solutions, and giving kiosks.

Tithely’s systems make it as easy as possible for people to give to your church. Now all you need to start doing is generating a culture of gratitude. There’s nothing standing in your way. Go unleash generosity in your church.

How does your church use donation letters to spread generosity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Robert Carnes. Robert is a writer and storyteller. He's the author of The Original Storyteller: Become a Better Storyteller in 30 Days. A former church communicator and nonprofit marketer, Robert works as a managing editor for Orange in Atlanta.

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Boost Your Church’s Instagram Reach: 5 Tactics You Can Use Today