Serving your community through an outreach event is a great way to provide practical help while demonstrating the love of Christ. While you can make an impact during these events, you can extend that impact with intentional follow-up. Thankfully, you can streamline your efforts by using your ChMS for outreach follow-up.
Most church management software tools include features that enable you to run reports, send mass emails based on specific criteria, and more helpful tools. Use the resources available to you and make a difference in your community long after the event.
8 Practical Ways to Use Your ChMS After Events for Outreach Follow-Up
#1 – Send Postcard Invitations
If you gathered a mailing address for those who attended the event, run a report from the ChMS that includes the address for those individuals. From there, design a simple postcard invitation along with mailing labels. Send these out to invite attendees to worship services or to participate in a ministry program.
Many ChMS tools like Planning Center or Touchpoint include a workflow feature. This functionality allows you to assign a specific workflow (or series of tasks) to follow up with attendees.
#2 – Send Targeted Email Sequences
Use the ChMS to add attendees who provided their email address to an email sequence specifically written for them. Some ChMS tools, like Faithlife Equip, enable you to send an email or text message based on each individual’s preference. This sequence could include messages that convey the following:
- Express how glad you were that they came to the event
- Invite them to church services
- Mention programs the church offers that might interest them based on the outreach event they attended
Outreach follow-up can be personal and specific if you’ve kept careful data regarding each event and individual.
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#3 –Gather Feedback As Part of Your Outreach Follow-Up
Give your volunteers, and anyone else who’s input you’d like to gather, the chance to share their creative feedback regarding your event.
Does your ChMS have a survey creation tool? If not, you can easily create a free survey online using services like SurveyMonkey or Typeform.
Once you’ve determined what kinds of information you’d like to gather and from whom you’d like to gather it, carefully write your survey questions. Upon creation, you’ll be given a link that you can share with those who can give you event feedback.
Additionally, if you partnered with various community service providers or companies at an outreach, consider sending them an online survey asking for their input and interest in future events.
Give church staff and volunteers the chance to share feedback. After your event, create a survey that invites helpful input. Send survey links to interested parties, and you’ll be better equipped for your next gathering. Click To Tweet
#4 – Send Targeted Invitations
Use the report feature in your ChMS to see who attended certain different types of outreach events. Use that information to target your communication about upcoming outreaches and ministry programs.
For instance, if a family attended your spring carnival, make sure you invite them to your fall kick-off event that will feature a bounce house and face painting.
Likewise, if an individual participated in a men’s event, go ahead and send him an invitation to the motorcycle stunt show that you’re hosting in your parking lot.
#5 – Check on Results Post-Outreach
Nurture relationships with event attenders and community contacts when you follow-up and check on the results from an event. Contact the involved parties to thank them for their involvement, get their feedback, and determine if the goals were achieved.
For example, if the outreach event was a job fair, contact job seekers within a month to ask if they landed a job from that event. Contact the employers who participated and inquire whether they hired anyone from the job fair.
#6 – Connect with Kids
With so much electronic communication these days, a postcard or letter from your church addressed to the child who attended an event would stand out.
Start by solidifying a kids’ activity or series you’d like to promote. Then, after an Easter Egg Hunt or other children-focused event, send postcards addressed to the kids who participated, inviting them to return for the next exciting initiative.
In conjunction with an invite to the entire family, a postcard sent directly to children will nurture a connection.
#7 – Focus on Local Communities With Outreach Follow-Up
If you gathered mailing addresses from attendees, run reports to see what area(s) of the local community they reside in. Use that information to target future outreach events where the church goes to those areas of the community and/or where you target that area with flyers and information about upcoming events.
Additionally, use this information and look up non-profit agencies in those areas. Contact ones the church might be interested in working with to serve that community.
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#8 – Express Gratitude After Your Event
Gratitude is free, and yet the payback is priceless. Here’s a simple and impactful way to express your thanks –
- Gather stories and testimonies of impact from your event that will encourage the planners and volunteers.
- Next, collect email and snail mail addresses for these individuals who were instrumental in conducting your event.
- Using the stories, create an email that communicates the impact of the event and detail how groups contributed and made a difference.
- Email your staff, volunteers, and anyone else who contributed.
Pro Tip: The icing on the cake is a snail mail thank-you note. Send one to each of your volunteers.
When you collect some basic information from attendees and event partners, you can easily leverage that data from your ChMS to follow up with each person involved. Build on the initial relationship developed through the outreach and impact your community, well after the event is over.
How have you utilized your ChMS after events? Leave a comment below and share your ideas. We’d love to hear from you!