A good carpenter always has the right tools in his/her toolbox. In the same way, in order to be an effective church communicator, it’s essential that you have the right metaphorical tools in your metaphorical toolbox. However, with so many free resources out there, it can be hard to sift through the options. Not only that but as a church communicator, you need free resources that can accomplish a variety of tasks that are on your plate at any given time.
So, what free resources for church communicators are the best? Which tools can help you to accomplish the tasks you need to complete on a daily basis?
We’ve done the hard work for you and selected the top ten free resources for church communicators. These resources serve different purposes and are designed to help you accomplish different tasks, but they are all quality in design and function.
MailChimp claims to be “a smarter all-in-one Marketing Platform that keeps up” and for the most part, they are. As a church communicator, it’s vital that you not only have a marketing strategy but that you have a marketing tool that makes your strategy possible. In many ways, MailChimp is that tool.
With the free version of MailChimp, you can send up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers a month. This makes it possible for you to send out church e-newsletters or follow-up with visitors in a template that is beautiful and easy to use. Not only that, but you can create visually appealing and branded landing pages, pop-up forms, postcards, ads, and more. If you’re feeling bogged down in your marketing, MailChimp is one of the best free resources for you.
Allow us to sing Canva’s praises now! Canva claims to be “your secret weapon for stunning design” and they really are. If you aren’t a graphic designer or married to the amazing but expensive Adobe suite, then Canva is for you.
With Canva you gain access to numerous templates for everything from social media posts to pamphlets as well as images, icons, and creative graphics. Plus, you can upload your branding and customize fonts and colors specifically for your church. The best part is that it’s super user-friendly! Canva is one of the free resources for churches that can help to transform the way your congregation and visitors alike start to view your church.
Google for Nonprofits is a free resource that has a slew of amazing tools within it that church communicators and church administrators will both love. Collaborate as a team with Gmail, Google drive, a synced calendar, and more. Google also provides ad grants for nonprofits and churches to help make advertising more affordable. Plus, they offer a YouTube video program, access to Google Earth and Maps, and Google donation tools.
In order to gain access to this free resource, you must request an account and meet the eligibility requirements.
Google My Business allows you to customize (to a certain degree) what people see when they find you on Google. This free resource allows you to create a business listing and then connect with visitors on Google maps and through a Google search. Plus, with your business profile, you can promote events and activities to help drive more traffic to your church.
For more information on Google My Business for churches, check out this article.
5. Bing Places
Both Bing Places and Google My Business are similar free resources, but they are both worth utilizing. Bing Places allows you to claim a listing on their platform, add detailed information about your church including photos and contact information, and help more people discover your church. Remember, most people search for a church online before ever stepping through a front door. If they can’t find you online, they probably won’t find you in person either.
Anchor is the free podcasting resource that you didn’t know you needed. More than ever, podcasts are becoming an effective way to communicate online. They are also an effective way to publish your weekly sermons and encourage people to listen and engage online.
With Anchor, you can “create and host unlimited episodes, distribute your show everywhere, and make money. All in one place, all for free.” Consider using Anchor for your podcasts and then including them on your church website.
One of our favorite free stock photo and video resources is Pexels. Quality photos are so important when it comes to staying on brand and creating a beautiful church website and eye-catching graphics. We know that it’s not realistic for every church to have your own archive of stock photos. Because of this, sometimes the web is the best place to turn, and Pexels won’t let you down.
Speaking of free resources that offer stock photos, Unsplash is another one at the top of our list. Unsplash is a collection of “beautiful, free photos gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers.” Think of it like hiring a photographer to gather stock photos for you without actually have to hire anyone. There are photos of a wide range of styles and objects so you are sure to find what you’re looking for.
We love Asana’s tagline of “make more time for the work that matters most” because, in many ways, it’s what you are trying to do as a church communicator. You are working hard to make sure that you have time to communicate and focus on what matters: spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the mission of your church.
Asana is a project management software that allows teams to collaborate. With the free version, you can create, assign, and manage tasks in a variety of different views. If your church isn’t using project management software, now is the time to jump on board!
For those of you who are tired of impromptu hallway meetings and endless emails, Slack is one of the free resources you need. Slack is an all-in-one communication software that lets your team send quick instant messages, organize conversations, share files, and even video call if you’re on the go. Stay organized and keep your team all on one page with Slack.
Hopefully, these free resources help you become an even more effective church communicator. It’s also important to note that most of these can help to improve the appearance, functionality, and even ability to find your church website. If you’re needing to revamp your site, now is the time. Check out Ekklesia360 today to get a custom website and content strategy.