It’s no secret that small churches have big needs. Once resources become scarce, the task of sharing the gospel can become daunting.
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!
Google Voice gives you a free phone number for calling, text messaging, and voicemail. It works on smartphones and computers, and syncs across your devices so you can use the app while on the go or at home.
I find Google Voice very helpful because I don’t always work in the office. I can make and receive calls without giving away my personal number. When someone calls my Google Voice number, it goes right to my cell, but I know it’s a work call. Plus, because long-distance calls are free, we save on the office landline. Lastly, it’s great for when I’m on vacation, because I can change the forwarding to someone else’s number.
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.
Pablo is the simplest way to create beautiful images that fit every social network perfectly.
If you’re looking for a simple tool to create graphics with text, Pablo is a great resource. You can quickly search for images or use one of the defaults, add your text, and download the perfect size image.
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 explain why, but sometimes I’d prefer one over the other. The biggest difference: Word Swag is exclusively available as an app (Android or iOS).
Doodle offers a wide selection of online solutions that radically simplify the process of scheduling appointments, ranging from the group event “poll” that doesn’t require registration to the professional appearance with own branding.
Doodle is the easiest way to schedule a meeting! Once you select available dates and times, you can send the poll to potential attendees. People select their availability and you can select the best time. It makes scheduling a breeze!
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 a master calendar has never been easier! Second, it’s a great way to embed your public calendar on your website.
Buffer began as an easy way to schedule tweets in 2010. Now, we are honored to be considered one of the leading social media management tools.
When it comes to scheduling and queuing social media posts, Buffer is a really great tool. Putting all your social networks in one place, Buffer’s offerings range from a somewhat limited “free” version to a massive full-blown enterprise version. And, if the free version doesn’t cut it, nonprofits get a 50% discount on their entry-level “Awesome” plan.
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.
Wix unites beauty and advanced technology to create your stunning website. It’s easy and free.
Wix is an intuitive click-and-drag website design option. Although it boasts a “free” version, you’ll want to pay for one of the ad-free versions.
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 your domain, hosting, etc.). To see some church websites I’ve created in WordPress, click here.
Amazon Associates: earn up to 10% advertising fees with a trusted e-commerce leader.
The Amazon Affiliates program is a way to earn a few cents each time someone uses your unique link to an Amazon product.
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 each time someone starts their shopping at smile.amazon.com (yes, that link is a shameless plug for St Michael’s). 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 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.”