As a ministry start-up, you have several uphill battles ahead of you. In order to be successful, you must scratch and claw for every ounce of credibility you can. Credibility in the eyes of potential stake holders (donors, volunteers, pastors, customers, the public, etc) is a major battle that must be overcome quickly. Here are a couple of easy and low cost ministry credibility techniques:
- Get a domain name. Buy your own domain name and start using that as an email address. Domain names are cheap (south of $10/year) and there are free services that can give you email addresses with your domain name. Nothing says a low budget startup like using an aol or yahoo email address. This is cheap and easy to fix.
- Get a logo designed by a pro. For $150, you can have a logo designed by a professional. use this in your email correspondence, printed materials, website, etc.
- Have a written plan. Having a well thought out ministry plan (read:business plan) will go a long way toward appearing like a legitimate organization with a likelihood of success.
- Set up a simple website. It does not have to be expensive or impressive. A simple, concise site that articulates your organization’s purpose is fine to start with. This is the first place many of the “under 40″ crowd will go to get information on you.
- Print business cards. This does not have to be expensive and gives you an air of professionalism and legitimacy. It also allows you to give a reminder of your ministry (along with your web address) to people you have conversations with during the normal course of doing business.
- Have an address. Even if it is a PO box. No one truly expects a start up ministry to have a office, but it would be nice to know where a ministry will be headquartered.
- Buy a cell phone. Have a phone number with a professional sounding voice mail message.
None of these things will make your ministry successful by themselves. As a start-up, you will be competing against more mature ministries for market share of the donated dollar, volunteer hour, and pastors time and energy. You will need all of the help you can get.