How Churches Can Use The Internet To Raise Money

More and more churches are discovering that it’s easy to leverage the internet to raise money without compromising their values or vision.

Traditionally, church fundraising ideas involve public events and local media to raise money and awareness. This is effective, but also limited

The internet has created a whole new world of opportunity for unique fundraising ideas, with far greater reach than ever imagined.

Even if they don’t understand it, most people are aware that the internet has become THE best study and reference tool ever invented.

More and more churches are discovering that it’s easy to leverage the internet to raise money without compromising their values or vision.

Do you realize how powerful this type of fundraising approach can be? In most cases, churches can easily take advantage of the same tools, action steps and opportunities that infopreneurs utilize to make money online.

INTEGRATING THE INTERNET INTO CHURCH FUNDRAISING IDEAS

A growing number of individuals and organizations are leveraging the internet to generate revenue from all over the world. This trend will continue as more people discover that it’s not only possible but also that it’s now relatively easy to do.

While many churches have a basic website and use the internet as a communications tool, most have yet to embrace it as a revenue generator.

Understandably, the most common reason it remains underutilized is that people simply don’t know how, and they wrongly assume it is still technically challenging and complicated.

The truth is that nowadays, with a little help, anyone who can surf the internet or check email can learn this.

The internet has created the perfect storm for inexpensive church fundraising ideas and campaigns. The benefits include virtually no risk, minimal start-up costs, and the potential to connect with millions of people and raise a lot of money.

Integrating the internet as a fundraising tool is a fantastic project for churches to initiate, particularly since knowledge of computer programming or web design are no longer prerequisites to success.

With all the help that is available today, it really is feasible for even the most inexperienced internet users to make money online. Individuals are doing it and, in the years to come, more and more churches fundraising ideas will incorporate ecommerce into their fundraising mix.

CHURCH FUNDRAISING IDEAS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

In-person fundraising events do something very well that the internet typically does not: they make it easy to build and maintain strong, personal relationships with supporters and donors in the real world. The only problem is that they are almost always doomed to a revenue cap.

In most cases, traditional fundraising events are limited in their capacity to generate revenue due to:

1. The legal capacity of a venue

2. Geographical barriers (i.e. fundraising in a small town)

3. Finite amount of time and staff/volunteers

4. Low levels of public interest or awareness for the cause within the region

5. Using the internet exclusively as a communication tool and not also as a revenue generator

Many organizations have seen a decline in fundraising due to the economy. When cost containment options and reduction of staff or programs are exhausted, creative and innovative fundraising ideas become necessary.

When church fundraising ideas evolve with the times, they open up a cutting edge revenue source which is almost inexhaustible. They can also attract positive media coverage and inspire a church’s image in the community as a leader and innovator. Additionally, by acting as a role model for its congregation, a church can demonstrate how anyone can use the internet to make money.

OVERCOMING TRADITIONAL FUNDRAISING LIMITATIONS

Whether it’s marketing or fundraising, the more people you can reach with an effective message, the more money you will make. The internet gives you the potential to connect with millions of people worldwide, some of whom will be interested in your cause, subject or area of expertise. Used strategically, the internet can become the most powerful, efficient and cost-effective fundraising tool in your entire organization.

The most astonishing feature of the internet’s potential is the scale – it’s inconceivably massive. Of the 1.6 BILLION internet users worldwide in 2008, 452 million spoke English. There is probably a niche market online for literally anything you can imagine, as well as tons of stuff you’d never dream of in a thousand years. With the right research and strategy, you can connect with enough of these people to generate revenue and contribute to your fundraising goals.

WHY EVERY ORGANIZATION SHOULD CONSIDER IT

The top 5 reasons to use the internet as a fundraising tool are:

1. Low risk, minimal start-up costs and excellent revenue potential.

2. Achievable for most organizations.

3. Ability to generate and sustain passive income.

4. Access to millions of people worldwide.

5. Ability to generate revenue 24 hours a day.

THE TOP 10 FREE FUNDRAISING IDEAS

Below are the top 10 free fundraising ideas that organizations are using to generate online revenue.

Most of the strategies are not new – they have simply been adapted for the internet.

Each one has the potential to raise a lot of money and it’s easy to integrate more than one into a campaign.

Most importantly, they can also be developed and launched with minimal financial expense, or for free. Many organizations already have a lot of content and history to draw upon, and can quickly build a foundation to support these ideas.

The top 10 church fundraising ideas which integrate the internet are:

1. Donations

2. Online memberships

3. Newsletter or ezine subscriptions

4. Special Reports

5. Books or ebooks (i.e.: compilations, cookbooks, poetry books, short stories, drawings, calendars, photos, coffee-table books, how-to, resource lists, etc.)

6. Audio products such as lectures, sermons, etc.

7. Video products

8. Recommendations and referrals revenue(by linking to books or other products or organizations related to your subject)

9. Joint ventures

10. Affiliate programs featuring or related to your cause or subject

IMPLEMENTING 21ST CENTURY CHURCH FUNDRAISING IDEAS

With the integration of the internet as a marketing tool, church fundraising ideas become limitless. An organization can follow the same basic step-by-step process that individuals do to launch an online business.

Churches can have a distinct advantage online thanks to their charitable nature, inferred integrity and pre-established credibility in the real world. This can play a significant role building trust in a faceless and mostly anonymous medium.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

Do you feel your organization could benefit from this concept but not sure how to begin? We’re here to help. We can clarify any questions you have and can also help you present the concept to your group.

We can also help you research, develop and implement an internet-based solution that compliments your organization’s mission, image and values.

For further information, please contact us.

Where to Find Beautiful Free Images Online

Unsplash.com is a fabulous site that offers free spectacular stock photos available for personal or commercial use under the Creative Commons Public Domain dedication.

Unsplash is a fabulous site that offers free spectacular stock photos available for personal or commercial use under the Creative Commons Public Domain dedication. It’s a great resource for high quality images and they currently release 10 new photos every 10 days. Their library is growing and it includes so many spectacular shots from photographers all around the world.

10 Reasons To Start An Online Business

There are so many benefits to starting an online business! Here are our top 10 reasons you should consider it.

1. Low risk with excellent income potential

Making money online with information has a very low risk factor and high profit potential. With the proper approach, information products can generate revenue from around the world. Usually what people have most at stake is their reputation as a provider of high quality information.

2. Minimal start-up costs

If you already have a computer then your biggest investment will be your time, not your money. If you don’t have a computer or internet connection at home, chances are you can access one fairly easily on a weekly basis at either a library, community center, or a friend’s house.

3. Achievable for most people

People of all ages and backgrounds are learning how to start an online business. With help that is readily available, you have the potential to create a healthy income, even with limited understanding of computers or the internet.

4. Ability to generate passive income

Do the work once, do it well, and get paid for life. Passive income, also known as residual income, is money that is generated from the same source over and over again, with little effort to maintain it. Rental property income and royalties from hit songs or best selling books are common examples. Now it is possible for the average person to generate passive income doing what they love.

5. Helping others & making a difference

If you can legitimately help others with your knowledge, it creates a win-win situation. One thing is certain: you won’t succeed if the quality of your work or product is not perceived as helpful and valuable. Someone once said that life is a puzzle and that we each have a piece to contribute to help create a greater whole. Now’s your chance.

6. Own your own business

Many people gain financial control of their lives by developing a successful business of their own. While some are happy earning a few hundred dollars extra a month, other people set the goal of replacing their current employment income.

Note: Because this type of business can be grown flexibly in your spare time, it’s recommended that you keep your current job until your revenue reaches a sustainable level.

7. Access to a worldwide market

Theoretically you can connect with every single person in the world who uses the internet – approximately 1.6 billion people as of 2008. And you don’t even have to leave the house!

8. Work from home

You have the luxury of being able to work from home – or anywhere else in the world with an internet connection (including that beach you’ve always dreamed of…)

9. Earn money 24 hours a day by automating the order process

Most of the administrative work relating to ordering & delivery can now be automated. As a result, it’s possible to receive and process product orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without being anywhere near your computer.

10. It’s FUN!

Sure, it takes a lot of work to get it off the ground but you get to spend your time thinking, writing, and learning about something you’re passionate about!  It’s the passion that will carry you on when the workload becomes mundane…  As someone once said, “Successful people do the things unsuccessful people don’t.”

Choosing The Right Niche Market

When it comes to choosing the right niche market, here are some questions you should be able to answer before you invest time building your business. As you answer these questions, the actions and strategies you need to succeed in your niche will begin to reveal themselves.

When it comes to choosing the right niche market as an infopreneur, your passions, expertise, interests and life experience all have the potential to become a fulfilling source of income. The first step in choosing the right niche market is to narrow down your interests and possibilities.

What are you passionate about? What could you create, explain, demonstrate or research that might be of interest to others? What do you know how to do particularly well? Is your “common knowledge” uncommon or in demand somewhere else in the world?

What niche market research have you completed? Too often in business, when assumptions trump research it leads to problems, wasted time, wrong pricing, ineffective marketing and can be very costly or cause the business to fail.

Questions to ask yourself

When it comes to choosing the right niche market, here are some questions you should be able to answer before you invest time building your business. As you answer these questions, the actions and strategies you need to succeed in your niche will begin to reveal themselves.

• Why are you interested in this niche?

• Do you think you’ll still be interested in your theme in 6-12 months?

• Within your niche, can you envision at least 50 related topics that you might be able to write about, demonstrate, feature or explore?

• Do you have any experience or pre-established credibility relating to your subject?

• How popular is your niche?

• How much demand is there for your area of interest?

• How much supply is there to meet the demand?

• Can you compete with credibility, quality and pricing?

• Who are your customers?

• What are they interested in?

• What are they looking for?

• How can you help them solve a problem?

• What are their buying habits?

Narrowing it down

Try narrowing it down to three good potential themes to compare. Pick topics you’re interested in spending the next 12-24 months exploring. As you do your research you’ll begin to see what is working for the competition, as well as where they make money. There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel if someone’s already done the legwork.

The next step in choosing the right niche market is to use the tools available online to contrast and compare each theme. Your primary considerations should be: personal interest, credibility, demand, profitability and feasibility.

Hobbies That Make Money Online

The key is to find a niche that interests you and then use a combination of tools and approaches to develop it into a profitable source of income. Having passion for your subject can help keep you motivated during the start-up phase when you have yet to begin making money.

Hobbies can be an amazing and unexpected source of income. To find examples of hobbies that make money, try Googling ‘hobby ideas.’ You’ll find over a million websites and blogs talking about any hobby you can imagine, and lots you never knew existed.

Many of the websites are fairly simple and run by individuals who developed a passion for their hobby long before starting the business. Some of the best sites offer most of their content for free and prove a helpful resource to bookmark.

Making Money with Hobbies Online

There is an unending list of potential hobbies that make money online. Many hobbyists make money online by selling their craft or specialty product through their website.

Thanks to the many reputable drop-ship companies online now, many sites and blogs can also sell the tools and related to hobby. Working with third-party drop-shippers is a particularly nice way to make money because someone else is responsible for shipping the product to the customer.

Creating Information Products

More and more hobbyists are making money by creating their own information products and selling them online. This includes how-to pamphlets, booklets, special reports, ebook publishing, workbooks, audio recordings, video products and more. It’s never been easier to start an internet business and make money as an infopreneur.

For example, a painter might create a website that features free painting tips and basic tutorials. A content-rich site naturally draws traffic from the search engines, resulting in more interested visitors, exposure and sales. She makes money selling her paintings, but also generates revenue by selling paint brushes, paint, canvases and other tools through a drop-shipper.

She offers monthly online classes as well as ebooks, and workbooks, each dedicated to a specific painting technique. She has created a set of videos and demonstrates different processes step-by-step while at the same time having some fun with the audience. It is available as a digital download or mail-order DVD.

The multiple streams of income each contribute nicely to her monthly income, and she loves the process of making money while teaching others to paint.

Getting Started

Most people have some legitimate degree of expertise in at least two or three areas. If you’re not sure what you could do, look to the things you enjoy in your spare time for ideas.

If you’ve been pursuing a hobby for a while, that experience will help you establish credibility even if you don’t have any formal training.

Some of the best hobbies that make money are taken for granted. In most cases, the more personalized or obscure a hobby, the better its online income potential. Many hobbies that make money online use tools & accessories which can be sourced through online catalogues & drop-ship companies.

If you’re still not sure how your knowledge could be profitable, take a minute and reflect on the following questions:

What do you love doing?

What do people say you’re good at?

What do you know a lot about?

What do you like to learn about? What would you like to learn more about? How would you spend your time if you didn’t have to work for a living? Where would you love to travel? How would you love to travel?

These questions can help you uncover and evaluate possible niche topics. If you can match your passion and expertise with an interest and demand for that knowledge, you have the foundation for a legitimate internet business.

“Happiness comes when your work and words
are of benefit to yourself and others.”
-Buddha

Making Money Online with Accessories

If your hobby involves accessories or equipment which needs to be purchased (i.e. paintbrushes / scuba gear / gardening tools, etc.), you can earn money by referring people to specific websites or companies that sell those items. Commissions can range from 5% – 80% for referred sales.

This is the basic premise of affiliate marketing and network marketing, where people are compensated for generating sales through word-of-mouth referrals and product creators invest very little money in traditional advertising and promotion.

Sample Hobbies That Make Money

To give you a few ideas, here is a small sample of hobbies that make money (as featured at The Hobby Show 2009):

Art
Avro Arrow
Astronomy
Bead Work
Billiards
Birdwatching
Board Games
Bubble Hockey
Card Making
Coin Collecting
Comic Book Collecting
Die Cast Collectibles
Doll Houses & Miniatures
Fantasy Games
Flight Simulators
Flying
Foosball
Forza II
Genealogy
Halo
Helicopters
Hobby Clubs of all Kinds
Lego
Magic
Magic Cards
Meccano
Military Models
Model Building
Model Trains
Mosaic Art
Murano Glass Jewellery
Painting
Paper Airplanes
Photography
Pinball
Radio Controlled Boats
Radio Controlled Cars
RC Helicopters
Radio Controlled Planes
Reptiles
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Rockets
Scrabble
Scrapbooking
Slot Cars
Sports cards & Memorabilia
Stained Glass
Stamp Collecting
Table Hockey
Table Soccer
Teddy Bears
Trains
Trivia Games
Video Games
Woodworking
Writing
and more…

The list of hobbies that make money is literally endless, and these are only a small sample. A popular hobby can still be profitable if you can find the right angle or presentation. Niche market research can help you predict how profitable your idea or hobby might be BEFORE going forward.

The key is to find a niche that interests you and then use a combination of tools and approaches to develop it into a profitable source of income. Having passion for your subject can help keep you motivated during the start-up phase when you have yet to begin making money.