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CHECKLIST: The Technology Your Church Needs to be Successful

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com January 2019 2 1 Technology Tip 1: Build a functional church website. WHY: In this day and age, having an updated website is crucial to your church's success. Stats show that roughly 88% of people research online before making a purchase or visiting a store in person. Think about how often you check out a new store, restaurant, tire shop, or hotel website before physically going to the location. What makes you think churchgoers are any different? Your website is the new front door of your church—and if it doesn't work well or accurately represent your message, you will be missing out on all those people before they ever set foot in your church. Resources like Wordpress ® , SquareSpace ® , or Wix ® make it incredibly easy to have a beautiful, functional website at a reasonable price. WHERE TO START: • Talk with your leadership team and iron out your "Who We Are" and "What We Believe" sections. These are the statements that make your church unique. People looking for a church want to know the environment they're walking into. Don't be afraid to mention specifics like, "We have a large kid's program," or, "Our evening service is led by our young adult ministry." You're not alienating anyone—you're just setting expectations for newcomers who are interested in visiting your church. • Take real photos of your actual church and congregation. This sounds obvious, but the amount of churches that use stock photography on their website is astounding! People want to know who attends your church and what your pastor looks like. They want to know if they fit in the average age group or if they can relate to your demographic. They may have questions like, "Can I wear jeans and a t-shirt, or will I stand out if I do?" or, "What does the parking situation look like?" Providing real images is another way to set expectations for newcomers, so they don't feel like a fish out of water during their first visit. As we approach a new decade, technology continues to lap itself yearly and tech trends seem to come and go. With all these constant changes, it's difficult to tell what your church needs and what's just a fad. In this checklist, you will find the top five technology tips to help your church be successful in 2019. We will cover everything, from building a functional website to optimizing your church management solution—all designed to save you time and increase engagement with your community.

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