Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media in Support Raising

By on June 1, 2011   /   Leave a comment

Email, Websites, Cell Phones, My Space, Facebook, Texting, YouTube, Blogging, Skyping, Tweeting, Smart Phones, Linked In, Mail Chimp, etc, etc…Where does it end? Where are we going? How can I possibly keep up? It can seem like a runaway freight train overloaded with complex technology!

If you are hanging on for dear life when it comes to understanding (much less using!) all the social media options available to us, you’re not alone. Yes, those of you under 25 might feel like the proverbial kid in the candy store, but the rest of us old timers may liken it more to being in the middle of a Kansas tornado!

Netpop Research’s surveys claim 18-34 year-olds make up 82% of all the social media users; women in their 30’s are the heaviest contributors, while older males the least. “If you’re not engaging in social media today, you’re not a communicator; every individual has an online brand,” says Marcus Messner, a journalism professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. How about you? Have you embraced the social media “tsunami,” or have you stuck your head in a hole, hoping it will pass?

If you’re in Christian ministry and raising your support, I encourage you to dip your toe in the water and start to experiment with different tools that could connect you and your work…with your financial partners. But, before you dive headlong into the deep end, let’s take stock for a moment and list a few do’s and don’ts of using social media in your support raising:

1. Do your homework and explore the different options available. You’re probably already on Facebook (now the 3rd largest country in the world!), but spread your wings and check out YouTube or Vimeo to send clips of your ministry activities to your supporters. Experiment opening a Twitter account, asking your supporters to follow you for a “verse of the day” in 142 characters or less!

2. Don’t think social media is the secret to get you to full support. It’s great to initially contact someone or to keep them informed and involved in your life and ministry along the way, but for those who are building long-term support teams, nothing ever substitutes the face-to-face ask when you’re first inviting someone to partner with you. In this high-tech age, there are some times we must still insist on being “high touch!” “Though I have many things to write you, I do not want to use paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face…” 2 John 1:12

3. Do consider utilizing social media for short-term projects or trips. Yes, there is a place for putting a “Donate Here” link on a Facebook Cause page, blog, or tweet. Quick and easy, you may get a burst of small gifts that put you over the $3250 figure you need to get you to those Haitian orphans this summer.

4. Don’t abuse your supporters by over communicating. You can “swamp” your ministry partners if they are constantly getting “poked” by you via email, phone, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, etc, etc, ad nauseam. Get started developing a social media strategy, but don’t let it morph into a social media circus!

5. Do use social media in your individual support appointments. Instead of spending ten minutes droning on about how great your ministry is, why not pull your iPhone out and punch a one-minute video testimony of a young person whose life has been transformed by Christ through your ministry? Or click to your ministry’s Facebook page, and let them see posts left by various students who are being turned upside down. We live in a very visual, story-telling world, and if you can show them (rather than just tell them!) what kind of eternal ROI (Return on Investment) they’ll be receiving, I think you will see people jump on your support team!

Oh by the way…You can find me at:


Latest SRS Blog Post

Support Raising Solutions
PO BOX 3556
Fayetteville, AR, 72702
1(800) 595-4881