Meet the Pastor Turned CEO Who's Helped Thousands of Churches Raise Hundreds of Millions of Dollars
A personal introduction to the CEO and co-founder of the world's leading church technology company.
December 16, 2019
Facebook ads are the perfect way for your church to connect with people in your community. Here's how you can get started.
October 2, 2019
Recent studies have shown that there are close to 2.5 billion active users on Facebook.
Let me say that again … 2.5 billion ACTIVE users (“active” meaning people that log on to the site daily).
Think about it, close to half the world’s population is on Facebook daily.
Parents, children, grandparents—people of all ages, are on Facebook daily.
I’ve heard it said this way:
If there was a central hub destination in your city that EVERYONE (people of all ages) in your community went to DAILY, wouldn’t that be somewhere you would want to market your church?
Wouldn’t that be a place where you would do outreach …
Where you would get a billboard …
Where you would do anything to make sure people at this central hub destination knew about your church.
Well, you DO have a place like that where you could reach out to EVERYONE in your community daily.
That place is on Facebook.
Facebook ads are the perfect way for your church to connect with people in your community.
They can create a personable way for people to meet your pastor, see what your church is all about, and be invited to a service on Sunday!
The best part is Facebook ads don’t have to break the bank.
You can reach thousands of people daily while only spending $5 per day, or $150 a month.
If you were to send a mailer to people in your community, you’d be spending money on graphic design, printing, and postage—all of which could easily cost you thousands of dollars.
And that’s just for a one-time contact with a church flyer that would be delivered along with all the other junk mail that a person receives—where it’s likely to be ignored.
With Facebook, you can spend around $150/month to reach out to thousands of people in your community DAILY.
So what’s stopping you from using this resource to reach thousands on a minimal budget?
Is it the learning curve? Is it the technology?
In less than an hour, even the most “un-techy” person could have a Facebook Ad up and running for your church—an ad that would instantly start showing up in the Facebook feeds of thousands in your community.
Don’t believe me?
Let’s do it together.
Below, I’ll walk you through 5 easy steps for setting up and running a Facebook Ad for your church.
Let’s jump in!
The first thing you should do is go to business.facebook.com and click on “CREATE ACCOUNT” in the top right.
Then, type in your church’s name in the “Business Name” section, and include the best email for your account. You will then need to enter your church’s address and a few other pieces of information.
Once in your Business Manager account, click on “Add Ad Account” and then click on “Create Ad Account.”
Type in the name of your Ad Account, which could be the name of your church, or anything else you would prefer that is easily identifiable for your church.
The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that you install on your website that is, in short, the “brain” behind Facebook ads. It will tell you when someone has visited your site, which pages they visited, when someone has performed an action on your site, etc. The Facebook pixel is vital to have installed on your website if you want to make the most of Facebook advertising.
In order to create and install your pixel, click on your newly created ad account, then click on the drop-down menu at the top left, and then select “Pixels.” From here click on “Create a Pixel.” You’ll be prompted to name your pixel—feel free to pick whatever you’d like and click “Create.” Congratulations, you have just created your pixel! (I told you this would be easy!)
ere’s the part where it can get just a little tricky, as it will require a piece of code being installed in the header section of your church’s website.
While on the same window, you’ll want to click on “Manually install the code yourself” and then copy the entire pixel code, which will be displayed in that same window. If you do not have access to your church’s website code, copy that entire pixel code, and email it to your web manager or website provider so they can install it on your website.
If you do not have access to your church’s website code, copy the entire pixel code, and email it to your web manager or website provider so they can install it on your website. And if you do have access to your church’s website code, all you need to do is copy and paste the pixel code into the bottom of the header section of your site, just above the </head> tag.
On to the next step!
Now for those who may be camera shy, creating an invite video may be slightly challenging. But don’t worry about it being perfect—as a matter of fact, videos that show some imperfections tend to do better than studio quality videos. And no need to film your video with an expensive camera, as any iPhone or android camera will do the trick. Holding your phone in selfie mode while filming will give you even better results!Here’s a quick script that can serve as a starting point for you to use for this video to make things a little easier:
Hey, there! My name is [PASTOR NAME] and I’m the pastor here at [CHURCH NAME]. I want to invite you to come out and join us this Sunday at 10am. Our services are always a great time. We have a place for everyone of all ages … and we want you to be a part of it! We want you to be excited for Sunday morning just like our church family is! This weekend at 10am—just click the link below! We are already making space for you, come on out and be a part of what’s going on at [CHURCH NAME]!
Now that you have recorded your invite video, let’s get to the part where we will actually create our ad! Go back to your Ads Manager page by clicking your ad account. Here, click the green “CREATE” button. From here, you’ll be walked through the process to create your ad.
For Campaign Objective, click on “Traffic” and then name your campaign. You can name your campaign something like “General Invite Campaign”—or anything else you’d like, but something that will label it as an invite campaign is a good idea.
For the audience, you’re going to want to target people in a radius around your church’s physical address. You can do this by going to the “Locations” section and typing in your church’s physical address there. After you do that, adjust the radius until it shows a potential reach of about 500,000 people in the window to the right. Depending on your location, your radius might be 1.5 miles or 15 miles. But just make sure you have a potential reach of at least 100,000 people, with 500,000 people being the optimal size. You can then save this audience for future use.
We’ll skip everything else on that page and go right to daily budget. Here you can enter your $5 a day budget. This budget is flexible and you can adjust this to whatever you’d like. I’d suggest starting at $5 a day, but you can go up or down from there.
Click “Continue” to go on to the next step.
Here we’ll create our actual ad. Give your ad a name at the top, then you’ll want to make sure your church’s Facebook page is selected as the Facebook page this ad will represent. For the format, select “Single Image or Video;”then click “Add Media” and find your invite video that you took using your phone to upload it.
For the “Primary Text,” which will be what you see as the text in the Facebook ad post, you can use something like the template below and then adjust for your own church:
Hi, my name’s [NAME], and I want to invite you to [CHURCH NAME] this Sunday …
We know visiting a church for the first time can be a little weird or even awkward sometimes … 😬🤪
And we just want to say … don’t worry!
We’ve been there and we know that taking that first step is a big deal and can sometimes feel a little awkward …
❤️We believe that God really cares about people so we try to show that same care for others and make sure that your first experience is the absolute best it can be!
⏱We meet every Sunday at [SERVICE TIME] at the [LOCATION].⏱
Join us this Sunday. We can’t wait to meet you!
For the headline, you’ll want to use something like the following:
✔️ JOIN US THIS WEEK!
For the description, you’ll want to use something like this:
This Sunday at [SERVICE TIME/S]
And for the website URL, enter your church’s home page URL, or if you have a visitor page URL, you can use that instead.
The last step here will be to click on “Confirm”—and just like that you have a self-made, fully functioning Facebook ad for your church!
(Facebook goes through a review process for approval on all ads before pushing them live, this process can take an hour to half a day. But once it’s approved, it will then start to be shown on the feeds of people in your community!)
By following these quick and easy steps, you will have a Facebook ad up and running for your church.
And all for only $5 a day.
Think about it, for the price that you pay for a coffee, your church can get in front of thousands of people in your community.
Marketing your church through Facebook ads is going to be something that will be a must for every single church, and you can either miss the boat and miss out on reaching thousands in your neighborhood, or you can get on board and start using Facebook ads today!
By following the 5 steps above, you can have an effective ad up and running in no time at all! You’ll be better prepared to reach more of your community and further your reach for spreading the gospel.
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:
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.
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.
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]!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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?
And if you’re looking for ways to grow your church’s giving capacity, Tithely can help.
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.