Monday, November 9, 2009

How to Create an E-Book

There are many reasons why a person would want to write an e-book. One is to help spread his knowledge and teach others about a certain topic. Another is to promote a business, organization or idea. And also, it can be for marketing purposes to help sell a certain product or service. Whatever the reason may be, it is essential to understand the basics on how to create an e-book. Because you must understand that it is not simply about putting sentences together, slapping it all in one file, and publishing it as an e-book. There is more to it than that.

You probably have tried making your own first e-book and when you released it to the public, or even offered it for a fee, you realized that the feedback was not really that good. You might even have received some negative feed back regarding the quality of your e-book. Rest assured that just like everything else, writing an e-book is not really a rocket science. It is easy to understand and achieve if you keep the following points in mind.

1. First of all, know your goal for creating that e-book.
Everything has a purpose. All things have a goal and your creating an e-book is not an exemption. List down the things that you want to achieve through your e-book. Think first your main goal and then break it down to smaller goals and stick with them.

2. Practice good grammar and proper spelling.
Part of the basics on how to create an e-book are using the right grammar and checking for any wrong spellings. Why are these important? You must remember that you are positioning yourself as an expert, as a professional in your field. The only reason that you will be seen as such is if you conform to standards and you present yourself as an intelligent and smart person which good grammar can greatly help you with.

3. Who are your target audience or readers?
An e-book naturally has a target set of readers. Are they your colleagues? Perhaps they are people who are just starting to learn about marketing and stuff. Maybe you are trying to teach people the proper ways of protecting their home computers from malware threats. As the topics of e-books can be greatly varied, so are their readers. You must nail down who your readers will be and then fashion your e-book specifically for them.

Other things that you have to consider when you're creating your e-book are the number of pages or word count. Since people are just reading online or through their computers, their attention span is very short. So it is best if you keep your e-book very short. Another point to consider is your choice of words. You can use highly technical terms if your readers are your colleagues. But if it's just anybody from around the globe, using layman's terms is usually the best approach. These are just the basics on how to create an e-book. Follow these and you are all set for a successful launching of your e-book.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Creating a Twitter Following - Do You Need Help, I Do.

After you’ve been on Twitter for a little while, you will find that you’re following people who you’re actually not all that interested in. You want to remove them, but it seems like such a pain that you never bother. Not only that, but some of these people followed you just so you would follow them back, then they dropped you like a bad habit to game the system a little.

On the other hand, you see that there is a core group that you regularly interact with. You share common interests, DM and reply to each other’s tweets, and generally have a good time. Problem is, some of their tweets get buried by the noise you’ve accumulated.

This post will help you remedy this situation. You need to cut the dead weight and get focused on those who say things you actually want to read. Who knows, maybe you’ll replace the losers with more people you can relate to.

Trimming The Fat

We need to get rid of people who we follow that are not providing any value to us. First to go are those that aren’t actually tweeting. How can you get value from someone who doesn’t say anything? We can use Twitoria to drop anyone who hasn’t tweeted in a while. You don’t even have to give up your password. You do have to open each profile in a new window and manually remove/unfollow them.

Another option here is to unfollow anyone who is not following you. At first, I thought this was a shady thing to do. The argument is that you follow people because they provide you with good content, not because you expect them to follow you back. I actually agree with this argument, but the fact is that there are very few people who are just that awesome and the ones you’re following probably don’t fall into that category.

To get rid of the folks that don’t follow you back, hop on over to Twitter Karma. Put in your Twitter user name and password and whack the button (or just click Sign In With Twitter to use the safer OAuth option). It will take a while to load, but you will eventually be able to see all the people who you follow that do not follow you back. You can actually select them all and bulk un-follow them. Simple as that.

Finding Your Crew

Now that you’ve kicked some people to the curb, it’s time to take a look at who you actually engage with on a regular basis. You can probably name a few of these people off the top of your head. The reason that you need to know who your real tweeps are is so that you can give them priority by adding them to groups or simply looking out for their tweets. Also, it’s always cool to look at stats because you may be surprised at what they tell you.

There are a bunch of tools for seeing who your BFF’s are, but my favorites are Twitter Analyzer and Mailana. With Twitter Analyzer, just put in your Twitter username, click User’s Friends, then Closest Friends. I won’t get into all the other features available here, but you may also want to check out Disregarded Friends. These are the people you keep ignoring and you might want to correct that.

Mailana is a whole different story. Once you put in your Twitter username, you’ll see a graphical representation of your social graph. The thicker the lines that connect people, the more they talk to each other. The BFF’s list on the left should provide some valuable data as to who you like most.

Making New Friends

Mailana gives you a quick list of who you should be following based on your current habits. Another option is to check out Twubs or WeFollow to see what users are interested in the same hashtags or events as you. Probably the most popular tool for finding new followers is Mr. Tweet (@corvida recently became the Mr. Tweet blog editor). All you have to do is follow Mr. Tweet and he will DM you a link about what he’s found for you. This can sometimes take quite a while though.

A few things I’ve done to find new people to follow:

  • Use Twitter’s built-in threading to see what parts of a conversation you’re missing. On the web, click “in reply to” and you can see who those you follow are talking to. They may share your interests.
  • Keep an eye out for people talking about you or ReTweeting your stuff. Since Twitter implemented Mentions, you can just check your replies tab to catch these tweets. You probably don’t follow all of these people and the fact that they’re talking about you means you should check them out.
  • Set up searches to catch people talking about topics you’re interested. Most Twitter clients have a method for setting up persistent searches. You can also just go to Twitter Search and look for keywords and topics that interest you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Owning Your Googgle 10

It’s becoming more and more important for small business owners to “own” their Google results. In a world where you are what Google says you are, when someone searches for your name they need to be able to find you. The real you. Not a lookalike, another company with the same name or that social profile you thought you had taken care of it. Business owners must protect their brand, and sometimes that means doing just a touch of proactive online reputation management to secure your Google 10.

Your Google 10 is the top ten results that appear when someone does a Google search for your name. How do you go about ensuring you own all ten spots? Surprisingly, it’s not that hard. Here are some of the sites and profiles you’ll want to grab and pay attention to.

Grab your .com: Chances are you already have this one and it’s naturally ranking very well for your brand. Congrats. That’s one listing. Time to go after the other nine. ;)

Join Professional Directories: Whatever your industry, there are guaranteed to be at least a handful of directory or resource sites you can join to help customers find you, while also helping you to take advantage of the company profile pages they offer. Often these directories will require a small application fee for your profile to be reviewed, but if you’re able to choose targeted sites, you’ll get both customers and a major search ranking benefit from them. To find these directories, try doing a search for [your industry] + directory].

Get Social: Besides just being a great way to reach out to customers, social profiles are known for how well they rank in Google due to their authority and all the links being pointed at them. If you’re looking to claim some space, try creating a Facebook Fan page, Twitter account and corporate accounts on sites like LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Naymz, etc. Don’t just register the accounts, though. Actually build out the profiles and make them useful. There’s no sense ranking a profile if the information on it isn’t up to par.

Target Industry-Specific Social Sites: Thanks to the social media boom, there are social sites now geared toward virtually every industry on the planet, whether it’s finance, sports, art and design, programming, SEO, etc. Find your niche and get involved. Create accounts on these sites and engage in the community when it makes sense. Many of the smaller social sites will also allow you to link to your “mainstream” social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, etc. Take advantage of this feature. The more links you get to each account, the stronger it will become and the better it will rank. If there are any forums in your area of specialty, consider creating usernames on those as well.

Make Media: The search engines like media. In fact, they like it so much that they’re starting to replace “regular” search results with images, videos and news clippings. Because so few companies are being proactive about media content, you can often overtake competitor listings simply by creating media content and optimizing it – including the name of your company in the title, file name, description and within the tags, etc. As mentioned before, video and small businesses go really well together. Obviously, Flickr, YouTube and Vimeo are great sites to focus on for these purposes. [If you’re really adventurous, perhaps even create your own podcast!]

Guest Blog: Guest blogging is a great way to increase visibility and bring visitors to your site, but it can also be an effective way of grabbing more search real estate. Offer to provide a blogger with unique content in your site. In return you’ll often be given a brief bio box which will allow you to link out to your Web site and maybe even some other prominent profiles or content pieces. If the site owner is agreeable, you should also put your name and company name in the Title tag of that entry.

Speak At Local Events: Look for opportunities to speak or get involved with local events in your niche. These spots usually come with speaker bios that you can build out to rank very well (and very easily) for your name and company. They’re also exactly what you want to be ranking for when a potential partner or prospect goes searching for your brand. It shows that you know what you’re talking about AND that you care about your community.

If the list above looks a bit overwhelming, fear not. Chances are you won’t have to create each and every account mentioned in order to secure and protect your Google 10. However, variety is the spice of life…and Google rankings.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Four C's of Growth for Any Church

by Anthony D. Coppedge

Making a difference. Those are strong words, serious goals and often difficult processes. Usually, making a difference requires change.

Every local church should be making a difference – a notable impact – on and in their local communities. One of my favorite questions to ask people about their church is this:
If your local church literally went away tomorrow, would your community notice the impact?
To answer that question requires a gut-check and sincere honesty. A lot of us would say “well, our membership would notice and a few other local churches would notice.” The question is really “would the unchurched/formerly churched world even care or notice if your local body stopped existing?” No matter how you answer that question, there are things your church could be doing to become more effective and intentional about meeting needs in the local community. Change, though, can be difficult. A strong commitment by leadership coupled by an set of actionable steps are required to get people out of the pew and into service in your community. It requires – and will foster – growth. I think there are four “C’s” for this kind of healthy growth.
  • Change
  • Cost
  • Control
  • Commitmnet

In identifying these four C’s, I’ve tried to help break down the component level issues so we can dialogue about the why? and the how? of impacting our communities.

Change – not simply modification – is often hard and usually requires the art of subtraction before applying the addition of new ministries or initiatives. Sometimes we have the best intentions with less-than-the-best results. Someone has a passion and some charisma so we give them a new ministry area. That’s great, but how are you evaluating the effectiveness of the myriad of groups, ministries and events that aren’t really resourced or promoted as part of the vision of the church? As leaders, we must apply the art of strategic subtraction by whittling down the ministries that are good, but don’t fit within the focused vision of the church. By freeing up leaders, resources and time, it’s easier to make changes that provide more impact and add to the mission of the church. What ministries, groups or events does your church need to rethink, reorganize or remove?

Cost – can be associated with budgeting for people, time and resources. If you’re not budgeting for all three, your true costs can add up very quickly. As important as hard costs, opportunity costs can also be very significant. Free, in particular, can turn out to be anything but free. For example, if you’re going to offer your facilities as free meeting spaces for civic, municipal or business events, your costs for cleaning, heating/cooling, projection/lights, audio technicians, etc. can all be expected. Those costs are very real, even though the venue might be “free”.
I know of a church that provides the manpower for an annual city festival for free. Their members simply sign up to work booths, concessions, cleaning or whatever it takes as a way to show their commitment to their city. The church does provide a simple T-shirt for their workers that includes the festival name and logo (notice nothing about the church is on the T-shirt!). This is a cost that the church pays for so as to look professional and help the event be more successful. What new initiative(s) is your church considering that has all of the costs mapped out?

Control – it’s hard to manage more than we’re used to managing. Most churches stay small because we can manage (control) a smaller size. In his book “Ladder Shifts”, Dr. Sam Chand tells us that may leaders limit their growth when they make the choice to stay in control of what they can touch and oversee. I won’t go into a full leadership discourse here as there are many far more qualified than myself to speak about this issue, but I will point out that when we have to have full control, we’re limited ourselves and the vision God has birthed into leaders. I believe we miss this point when we think that we’re the provider for all that needs to happen. Both on a personal and corporate (team) level, we must realize we’re only responsible for the stewardship of all that God provides (Jehovah-jireh – God-provider). In what areas are you holding on tightly to control and limiting your – and your church’s – healthy growth and community impact?

Commitment – to constant evaluation. Because it’s hard to manage that which we don’t understand well, many leaders will fail to evaluate the effectiveness of a “good thing” and stick with the programs and processes that have become comfortable. Leaders are often visionaries with the capacity to imagine the future and usher people into new processes, programs and paradigms (a little alliteration there for my pastor friends). Casting a vision from God is usually fairly straightforward; having the commitment to both see a vision come to fruition and honestly evaluate it (and re-evaluate it, again and again) requires more than charisma and good communication skills.

Using metrics (defining the parameters, agreeing on the benchmarks and analyzing the data) is an important part of being committed to constant evaluation. We have a tendency to shy away from things we have a hard time measuring or, for whatever reason, are held too closely to be honestly evaluated. What ministries, events, processes and metrics is your church using to make the necessary changes to accomplish the vision from the Lord? These are honest, somewhat in-your-face questions that may be hard to hear. My hope is that you’ll be honest and dialogue with us (comment below) about how you’re viewing the four C’s of growth.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Surviving Social Networking

Churches getting exposure with Social Media
With more than 80 percent of American adults online, churches of every size can benefit greatly from a variety of technological tools. An increase in options during the past decade has led to more advantages—yet it's also caused confusion for many churches. Pastors and staff often feel overwhelmed by the shear amounts of work involved just to keep up with changes.

Let's look at several technology-related projects, broken down by church size (although all of them should be considered by churches at all levels), that can help your church and its goals without becoming overly complex.
Small Church (less than 100 members): Tweets, Blogs, and Facebook
If your church is just getting started, or it's been around for a while but doesn't yet have a strong presence on the internet, several simple and inexpensive technology projects can help you build awareness for your church, keep in touch with people within your congregation, and achieve broader communication goals.
With more than 80 percent of American adults online, churches of every size can benefit greatly from a variety of technological tools. An increase in options during the past decade has led to more advantages—yet it's also caused confusion for many churches. Pastors and staff often feel overwhelmed by the shear amounts of work involved just to keep up with changes.
Let's look at several technology-related projects, broken down by church size (although all of them should be considered by churches at all levels), that can help your church and its goals without becoming overly complex.Small Church (less than 100 members): Tweets, Blogs, and Facebook.

If your church is just getting started, or it's been around for a while but doesn't yet have a strong presence on the internet, several simple and inexpensive technology projects can help you build awareness for your church, keep in touch with people within your congregation, and achieve broader communication goals.Start posting

One of the easiest projects that can perhaps have the most benefit to your ministry is to start a blog. Blogger by Google ( is surprisingly simple to set up, create posts, and upload images and videos. Another bonus: Blogger is free. With a blog, your pastor or church leaders can write about points not mentioned in the sermon, discuss ministry aspirations, hint at goals for the future, and even bring up personal issues to begin a more authentic communication channel within your church.
Start tweeting
Twitter ( is now the third-largest social networking website, next to MySpace and Facebook. It can't be ignored—and it can be an effective tool for ministry. Twitter, known as a micro-blogging service because it allows its users to send and read other users' updates (known as tweets), publishes text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Users send and receive updates for free from any device with an internet connection, making it incredibly simple to share what you're doing, what your ministry is working on, and things people can check out on your blog and website to extend the online hand of friendship. To simplify how much to keep track of, consider a free, simple service called (, which allows you to connect your blogs and social networking accounts and update them simultaneously via e-mail or text message.
Start networking
Facebook ( can be a wonderful, free tool to connect with people online. You'll quickly find that many people in your congregation are already members. After you set up an account for your church (and Facebook now offers a direct way for groups and businesses to set up a page at, you can "friend" members who also are on the site, usually by finding them by e-mail address. Next, look under the "Applications" area of your home page for "Groups." Here, you can set up a group for church members to join and interact. Another Facebook application allows you to form causes (simply type "Causes" in the Facebook search tool to get started), a great way to get people involved in specific ministries within your church.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How to Get Started In Social Media and Love It.

Social Networking is the latest crazy today called Web 2.0. There are tools such as Twitter, Ning and Stumbleupon that help people communicate with each other without physically being in the same room with the people you are talking too. So move over traditionalist and take a leap of faith with social networking and find out how much you really know your family and friends. If you don’t know what to do, watch, listen and learn.

1. Use Twitter as a search and monitoring tool.You can always watch. All you need to do is go to and poke around. Search your clients, your company, competitive brand(s), relevant topics. That’s all you need to do to know what’s being said, who’s saying it and where it’s coming from. Without spending a lot of time you can at least get a sense of the conversation. You’ll be able to listen, learn and get smarter about whatever it is you want to get smarter about. Including social media.
2. Take the effortless approach to Twitter is a time suck for people who feel compelled to generate a lot of content or who determine their self worth by how many followers they have. You don’t have to take that approach. Just get on, identify and follow the people who tweet, share, and post content related to your interests or your clients’ businesses. If and when you want, you can interact. If not, you can simply be the beneficiary of their thinking and the links that they post.

3. Create a Ning site for your own personal useJust make one for your extended family. Or your colleagues at work. Or your book club. It’s free. It’s easy. And with no pressure you can take your time and learn how to re-arrange the appearance of your community site, post content, upload photos, and create links. Surprisingly, a lot of people who haven’t blogged don’t even know how to do that. Here’s a way to start, experiment, fumble around, and fail with no risk. You might even like it and end up being able to show clients how to do it.

4. Join Stumbleupon Social bookmarking is another very simple way to try out social media. You can use it to discover new content — based on easily filtered topics — that you may never have otherwise found (just press that Stumble button). You can save it and share it. And you can discover and identify other bookmarkers — some quite influential — who find, review and share sites and information that might matter to your clients or your own brand. Again, because you can proceed at your own pace, it’s risk-free. There’s no commitment on your part to create daily content or respond to the expectations of your followers.

Social media doesn’t come with instructions. You have to try it, play with it, and experiment a little in order to get it. Rather than commit a lot of time, why not just commit a little. Then see where it takes you. What are your thoughts? Any other easy ways to benefit from social media without falling victim to the time suck?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Church Security and Awareness

Acts 20:28-31
"Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought withhis own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be onyour guard!"

Safety and security at churches and other houses of worship has become an increasingly important issue in recent years.There have been a number of examples of church security incidents and shootings in the last year that underscore the importance of security while at a house of worship.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Twittering in Church, with the Pastor's O.K.

By Bonnie Rochman

A congregant at Easter Mass in Matthews, N.C., uses Twitter during the service. John Voelz isn't trying to brag, but it's fair to say he was down with Twitter before most people knew it was a proper noun.

Last year, Voelz, a pastor, was tweeting at a conference outside Nashville about ways to make the church experience more creative — ways to "make it not suck" — when suddenly it hit him: Twitter.
Voelz and David McDonald, the other senior pastor at Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, Mich., spent two weeks educating their congregation about Twitter, the microblogging site that challenges users to communicate in 140 characters or less. They held training sessions in which congregants brought in their laptops, iPhones and BlackBerrys. They upped the bandwidth in the auditorium.

As expected, banter flourished. Tweets like "Nice shirt JVo" and "So glad they are doing Lenny Kravitz" flashed across three large video screens. But there was heartfelt stuff too.
"I have a hard time recognizing God in the middle of everything." "The more I press in to Him, the more He presses me out to be useful" "sometimes healing is painful". There's a time and place for technology, and most houses of worship still say it's not at morning Mass. But instead of reminding worshippers to silence their cell phones, a small but growing number of churches across the country are following Voelz's lead and encouraging people to integrate text-messaging into their relationship with God.

In Seattle, Mars Hill churchgoers regularly tweet throughout the service. In New York City, Trinity Church marked Good Friday by tweeting the Passion play, detailing the stages of Jesus' crucifixion in short bursts. At Next Level Church, outside Charlotte, N.C., it's not only O.K. to fuse social-networking technology with prayer; it's desirable.

On Easter Sunday, pastor Todd Hahn prefaced his sermon by saying, "I hope many of you are tweeting this morning about your experience with God." "It's a huge responsibility of a church to leverage whatever's going on in the broader culture, to connect people to God and to each other," says Hahn. If worship is about creating community, Twitter is an undeniably useful tool. The trick is to not let the chatter overshadow the need for quiet reflection that spirituality requires. At Westwinds, people can ask questions about the sermon that the pastors will answer later, or they can tweet in real time and hope another congregant offers insight. Some use Twitter as a note-taking tool. Often, it's pastor-directed, with McDonald preaching while Voelz taps out, "In what way do you feel the spirit of God moving within you?" Discuss.

There have been at least a dozen "Twitter Sundays" at Westwinds, but the 150 or so Twitterers of Westwind's 900 adult members are free to tweet at any time, at any service, whenever the spirit moves them.

The same rules apply at Next Level, where pastor Hahn headed straight to his office to log on as soon as the inaugural Twitterfest ended in April. Punching in "nextlevel" in Twitter's search function, he read:
1. "had awesome music today and yes i am twittering in church.
2. "nothing u do 4 the lord is in vain."
3. "I think my thumbs are going to be sore"
Next Level has no plans to make Twitter a formal part of each week's service, but Hahn advises parishioners that "if God leads you to continue this as a form of worship by all means do it."
Robbie McLaughlin took him up on it. The graphic designer used Twitter the Sunday after Easter and says he intends to do it again, as he was caught up by the way it transformed how he worshipped. He likes the way it helps him see what God is doing in other people's lives during the service. (And there's another benefit too: no more misplaced musings jotted down on that day's program. "With Twitter," he points out, "your notes are there forever.")

Though the Next Levels and Westwinds may be the face of the future, for now, they're just a quirky minority. But Voelz gets at least five e-mails a week from people inquiring how to launch Twitter within their church. How did you rig the screen resolution so people could read the tweets? What was members' reaction? And, not surprisingly: Got any tips to persuade church leadership this is way cool?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Non-Profits Can Establish an Effective Data Privacy Program

Non-profits must realize that as large corporations and online business better protect their information and systems, data thieves, hackers focus their attention towards institutions with weaker information security practices like non-profits. Non-profits are in possession of an abundance of financial & personal information such bank accounts, credit cards, date of births and social security numbers, which are very valuable in the wrong hands. Additionally, non-profits have the least amount of qualified professionals equipped to manage an effective Information Security program. Washington Post articled reported that data breaches increased a by 69% from 2007 to 2008. It's an alarming statistic e that shows no signs of slowing down.

Learn what Defines Personal Information
States like Arizona and Massachusetts have created laws to hold organizations more accountable with personal information. The guidance for declaring just what is personal information is goes like this in the States of MA and AZ; generally great guidance.

It begins with a natural/ human person's First name or First initial and Last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements, when the name and data elements are not encrypted:

Social Security number,
Driver's license number or identification card number, and
Account number, credit card number or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code or password that would permit access to the person's financial account. Source: Non-profit Times -

How to Start a Data Privacy Program
So where does a non-profit start? Start at the top!
The first thing that any organization must do to protect the confidentiality of the data they collect is to establish executive governance over it, which flows from the top down in their organization. Create a written data privacy policy that has sponsorship by its executive board that all staff MUST follow. The policy should give clear guidance regarding how all data is handled within that organization, from information that is shared with the general public, to data that is must be protected as required by laws and industry regulations. Group the organizations data by classifications levels, from most risky to least risky. The classification of the organizations data will help to determine the appropriate controls to apply to ensure confidentiality, Integrity & Availability of the information. More importantly it will demonstrate "Due Diligence" & "Due Care" by the organization in protecting the privacy of its clients, donors, members & staff.

According to Non-Profit Technology News, organizations can begin doing the following to lower the risks associated with collected data:
Begin with a top-to-bottom review of all sensitive or confidential information that's in-house;
Assess what data must be kept, what can be stored in (and easily accessed from) a remote location, and perhaps most important, what can be discarded; Determine who needs access to the data and why, and provide only those people with password-protected access to the data;
Make sure that the data you do have is backed up on a regular basis in a secure, remote location;
If your organization can afford it, hire an independent security expert to review your data security policies and procedures. ("It never fails to surface things that never really were an issue to anyone," says Hart.)

Don't store complete credit card information on site;
Limit physical access to servers;
Be aware of what confidential and sensitive information is on printed (paper) files, and make sure that all such files are kept secure at all times; Make certain that your Web site complies to fundamental, industry-standard encryption and security measures in the processing of personal information and donation collections.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Increase Donation Appeal at Your Church

Are donors cutting the cord? Is your church feeling the pain? Guess what, you're not alone. Donors are spending less and choosing more carefully how they plan to spend their hard earned dollars. Therefore, church leaders are having to adjust their spending habits. With shrinking dollar$, churches should focus on several issues, one of them being social networking sites.

Embrace Social Networking Sites
How about using Facebook as a tool to promote volunteer opportunities, worship services or online giving. One of the greatest features of Facebook is the news stories that are created within your profile. When you add someone as a friend, everytime , every time they do something in their profile, like add pictures or post a comment, a news story is created in your profile. Similarly, whenever you do something in your profile a news sotory is created in your friend's profiles. This is great because it allows people to keep up with what's happening in their friend's profiles without having to go and check every individual friend's profile one at a time. Everything is done from within your profile.

Be Transparent
Donors are more conscientious of their spending. In your communications, clearly explain how their money will be used, and how it will improve the church and community.

Build Community
Find new ways to integrate your community service events with fundraising. Attending events that involve tickets or products may not work in today's climate. Donors want to see their donated impact, so invite them to take part in a local-level event with a fundraising twist. Allow your donors to take part in your car washes, your singing events, your BBQ dinners or your basket giving.

Keep in Touch
Send monthly newsletters and updates. Donors like to read about what you are doing and who has benefitted from their sevices. Remember, the economy is forever changing. This a great time for churches to think creatively and pay attention to details in order to continue serving their communities near or far.