It’s no secret that small churches have big needs. Especially when resources become scarce, the tasks of everyday ministry can become daunting. But that doesn’t mean small churches shouldn’t use technology to help share the gospel.
That’s why I’ve created this resource page – a list of big tools for small churches, many of which are free (or very inexpensive). Take a look and if you have other resources to share, leave a comment below!
“MailChimp is the world’s leading email marketing platform. 15 million customers, from small e-commerce shops to big online retailers, use MailChimp to express themselves to the world.” While there are a lot of email distribution options out there, MailChimp is, by far, my favorite. First off, it’s easy to create beautiful email campaigns. Second, its user interface is really intuitive and user-friendly. Most importantly, the free version is quite extensive.
“Pixlr is a free online image editor.” Pixlr is a free simplified image editing program. There are two versions: Pixlr Editor allows you to work in layers, replace color, transform objects, and more – all from your browser, while Pixlr Express lets you apply a quick fix or add a personal touch with creative effects, overlays, and borders.
“Word Swag automatically turns your words into beautiful photo text designs.” Word Swag is similar to Pablo, yet different enough that I regularly use both. I can’t easily explain why, but sometimes I prefer one over the other. The biggest difference: Word Swag is exclusively available as an app (Android or iOS).
“With Google Calendar, you can quickly schedule meetings and events, and get reminders about upcoming activities, so you always know what’s next.” You probably already knew about Google Calendar, but there are two things I’d like to point out. First, it’s designed for teams, meaning you can give access to multiple people; creating and maintaining a master calendar has never been easier. Second, it’s a great way to embed your public calendar on your website.
“From finding prospects to serving customers, Hootsuite helps you do more with your social media marketing.” Very similar to Buffer, Hootsuite is a social media scheduling and analytical tool. In my opinion it’s focused a bit more on marketing than Buffer, which makes it more useful in some settings than others. Also like Buffer, their packages range from free to enterprise.
“WordPress is the most popular online publishing platform, currently powering more than 26% of the web.” If Wix doesn’t cut it for your website, take a look at WordPress. It’s incredibly versatile and arguably the best web design platform. WordPress is open-source, meaning it’s free to use (although you’ll need to pay for the domain, hosting, etc.).
“AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.” At least one of your members shops on Amazon. Once you register for AmazonSmile, your non-profit organization can receive a modest donation as long as folks start shopping at smile.amazon.com. There’s a $5 minimum donation so it’ll take some time before you see any cash rolling in, but it’s free to join!
“Fiverr is the world’s largest freelance services marketplace for lean entrepreneurs to focus on growth & create a successful business at affordable costs.” I’ll admit I’m still new to Fiverr, but so far I’m impressed by its potential. It’s basically a marketplace for freelancers – graphic designers, audio engineers, translators, you name it. All of the products (called gigs) start at $5. Need a new logo? Want help with social media marketing? This is the place to find just about anything.
“With Google for Nonprofits you’ll be able to fundraise more easily, collaborate more efficiently, and share your story with a wider audience.” This is a little-known sweet suite of resources. It includes everything from complete GSuite access to $10k worth of monthly advertising credits, all free for 501(c)3 organizations!
“TechSoup provides both the digital platforms and in-person experiences that enable people to work together toward a more equitable world.” TechSoup is a difficult resource to explain, but a quick peek at their website will show most of what’s available. Perhaps the most useful aspect of TechSoup for small churches is their product donation program, which provides eligible organizations with donated and discounted software, hardware, services, and training.