When you're a small church, it can be hard to keep up with all the things you need to do.
So how do you stay on top of it all?
One way is to outsource.
If you're unfamiliar with outsourcing, it's basically hiring someone else to do something for you that you don't have time or expertise for. Outsourcing is a great way to cut unnecessary stress and save time. You can now hire other people to do the work you used to do, which will free up your time and energy for other church activities.
There are countless places online where you can find someone to do pretty much anything you need to be done at a reasonable price. Upwork and Fiverr are two of the most popular and practical solutions on the market right now.
Check out this guide to learn how to use these services to keep your ministry running smoothly while helping you grow in ways you never thought possible!
Before we dive into crowdsourcing your church’s needs, let’s cover these two sites and how they work.
Fiverr is an online marketplace where people can offer services at $5 or less per project. From simple photo editing to professional logo design, if you need something done, it’s on there somewhere. You just pick what you want to be done, pay someone a few bucks (and tip if you wish to), and that’s that.
The same goes for Upwork, which also allows freelancers to bid on projects posted by businesses or organizations. This site is a bit more serious about vetting its users, so you may have to jump through a few hoops before you can start using it. It’s also a little pricier than Fiverr, but it might be worth the extra expense if you’re looking for a more professional experience and access to larger pools of talent.
The difference between these two platforms is that while Fiverr has more options for quick fixes like graphics design and social media management, Upwork has more long-term options like web development and content creation.
Of course, like any crowdsourcing platform, there are some risks involved in hiring freelancers. Projects can take longer than expected or may require a lot of back-and-forth with your freelancer before they’re complete. Sometimes you end up paying more than you initially planned.
However, you can minimize these issues by thoroughly vetting potential candidates, clearly communicating your needs, and setting realistic expectations with your project teams.
For churches who aren’t ready to invest in full-time paid staff, a great option is independent contractors. These are businesses or individuals you hire on a contract basis rather than regular employees.
The most common independent contractors you’ll find on sites like Fiverr and Upwork are graphic designers, video producers, copywriters, virtual assistants (VA), software developers, quality assurance (QA) testers, and bloggers/social media managers.
To get started with your first project on these sites—which typically have free and paid tiers—fill out an account application. Then it’s just searching for what you need or posting a project request so others can apply to complete your job.
The payment can be made through a combination of your site’s internal payment system or by transferring funds directly into an independent contractor’s PayPal account or a similar service. And since you don’t have to pay anything upfront, there’s no risk involved.
Regarding finding freelancers, if you know exactly what you need to be done and how much time it should take, it shouldn’t be too hard to find someone within your budget. The more specific you are about what needs outsourcing, the better your chance of finding someone right for your church. Finding someone whose work fits well with yours may take some trial and error—but that’s part of what makes outsourcing worth it.
Plus, once you find a good fit, they can help your church continue to grow by taking on new projects over time. This helps ensure that you always have someone available when something requires extra attention.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of outsourcing and how it can save you money, check out this blog, The Costs of Hiring a Freelancer vs. In-House Employee.
Step by Step Checklist for Outsourcing Success
We’ve put together this step-by-step checklist to ensure you're getting the best out of your Fivver and Upwork experiences.
1. Figure out your project’s scope
Before posting a project request, you’ll need to decide what exactly needs doing. If you’re outsourcing because your church is too small for a full-time staff member, it may be tempting to outsource everything, but that’s not always necessary or wise.
Start by breaking down your project into parts. Then prioritize them based on how much they cost (in time or money) and how important they are to your church’s success.
For example, if you want someone to design a new website, but your current site still works fine and doesn’t require any updates, maybe it makes more sense to focus on hiring someone who can manage social media instead. That way, when you have an update ready for your website in six months or so, you already have someone lined up to handle it.
2. Create your job posting
Once you’ve decided what you need to be done, write a job posting that clearly describes your project’s scope and requirements.
This should include a detailed job description, how long it will take, what materials or information you need them to provide, and how much you’re willing to pay for each task or for the entire project.
Don’t forget to include instructions on where freelancers can send their proposals. Churches have unique needs, so keep your job posting straightforward. Include information on what you’re looking for in a freelancer, such as requirements around ethics, experience, or reference checks.
3. Check the applicants
This is a crucial step since you’re entrusting someone else with a task critical to your church’s success. Once you post your job, it’s time to review all of the proposals you receive.
Firstly, you should check references—both from previous jobs and reviews on their profile page—to ensure they have a good track record for completing projects on time and for producing quality output.
Next, look at how well they communicate: Are they easy to understand? Do they respond quickly when you ask questions? Do they seem professional in tone and approach?
A clear understanding of what type of person will be working for your church will help you decide if this person is suitable for the job.
4. Narrow down your list of candidates
After you’ve checked references, you should have a short list of candidates who seem to fit your project well.
For more in-depth projects, consider interviewing them on Skype or by phone before making your final decision. Not only will you get a better sense of their personality, but you can also ask any questions that come up during reference checks or proposal reviews.
You can also use the data from these interviews to ensure that there are no major red flags in their background or experience.
5. Choose and hire your freelancer
This is it! Once you’ve chosen your freelancer, it’s time to start your project. You can post a follow-up job request with details about what you want to be completed or just send them an email with those details.
Make sure to check in regularly during their work, so that you can provide feedback and answer any questions they have. It could help ensure that your church gets exactly what it needs when it needs it.
Taking care of activities like this will ensure that you stay on the same page from start to finish, which means less time wasted in the long run.
These steps are essential but don’t forget that outsourcing is a two-way street. Not only do you need to make sure your freelancer does an excellent job, but they also need to feel comfortable working with you.
That means clearly communicating with them, patiently answering their questions or concerns, and generally treating them as well as you would any other member of your church staff. If all goes well, it won’t be long before you can expand your outsourced team!
If you're a small, growing church, it is essential to have a solid team to ensure that all elements of your church are moving in the right direction.
Outsourcing will help you build such a team while freeing up your church staff to serve the other parts of your mission. This will lead to more balanced church staff, better ministry focus, and more impactful discipleship.