Conducting an Online Digital Evangelism Test

Having demonstrated “proof-of-concept” during an experimental campaign conducted by the Office of Mission Communication of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society in partnership with the Diocese of New York and Forward Movement from August 15, 2014 to November 15, 2014, we propose conducting a three-year online digital evangelism test in order to reach new people and new populations with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to connect them to local ministries of The Episcopal Church. We propose that this test should leverage modern internet marketing techniques including:

  • Taking advantage of the millions of “micro-moments” which happen online daily and when people are asking deep and important questions of search engines like Google (“Does God love me?” “Who is Jesus?” “Will I go to heaven?”);
  • Developing the editorial operations necessary to answer those questions in creative and compelling ways, informed by the worship and consistent with the theology of this Church;
  • Developing relationships with key bloggers and social media influencers in target categories (i.e. “Mommy bloggers,” etc.);
  • Building capacity (technical and staff) to create and nurture a database of prospects to the point where they are ready to be referred to a local ministry;
  • Working with dioceses to develop a network of local churches, church plants, and ministries to receive these referrals;
  • Funding the advertising needed to attract and build an online audience.

The $3,000,000 price tag includes several significant pieces of infrastructure that will allow this program to move from beta test to full-scale launch with relative ease. This includes:

  • $525,000 for the creation of long-form, “evergreen” content available for download (eBooks, white papers, guides for parents and grandparents, etc.) in exchange for names, email addresses, and other information needed to build effective prospecting lists ($175,000 per year);
  • $360,000 for daily content (blog posts, email cultivation, newsletters, and social media posts, etc.) to cultivate prospects ($120,000 per year);
  • $200,000 for original images and art work (infographics, layout and design, etc., $66,666 per year);
  • $200,000 for original video ($66,666 per year);
  • $360,000 for audience development (Google AdWords, email-blasts to subscribers of targeted publications, promoted posts, etc., $120,000 per year);
  • $1,707,750 for staff to support this test (director of digital mission, managing editor, blogger and influencer relationship manager, prospect and lead nurturing manager, and staff writer, $569,250 per year);
  • $20,000 for a strategy consultant (first year only);
  • $150,000 for an editorial and marketing software platforms to manage editorial calendars, workflows, and to maintain and cultivate a prospect database ($50,000 a year)

 

Conducting an Online Digital Evangelism Test

Resolved, the House of ________ concurring, that the 78th General Convention directs the Office of Mission Communications of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to develop and conduct a digital evangelism test consisting of several campaigns, with equitable representation among the domestic provinces, with at least one campaign per year in a language other than English, for the benefit of the entire church, and for the purpose of meeting the demand online for the gospel of Jesus Christ through the ministry of The Episcopal Church; to build and maintain a database of prospects; to cultivate those prospects via email, social media, blogs, and other means as shall prove effective; and to partner with dioceses to refer qualified prospects to local congregations, church plants, or other appropriate ministries, and be it further

Resolved, that the budget allocated for the Mission Communications Office of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society be assumed to include funding for creating this digital evangelism test of no more than $1,500,000, and be it further

Resolved, that the the Episcopal Church Development Office is directed to prioritize raising funds for this digital evangelism test, with the expectation that $1.5 million will be raised this triennium to support this test from dioceses that stand to benefit as well as other interested networks, persons, and entities; and be it further

Resolved, that the Office of Mission Communications report back to this Convention in three years’ time with the results of this test, and with a recommendation for or against the creation of a permanent digital missionary presence online of The Episcopal Church; and be it further

Resolved, that the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance consider a budget allocation of $1,500,000 for the implementation of this resolution.

2 Comments

  1. Andrea McKellar

    While I very much support this effort and the work of Jake Dell, I am curious about the number discrepancy. Why is the resolution asking for $1.5 million when the proposal is for $3 million?

    Andrea McKellar – Lay Deputy from The Episcopal Church in South Carolina

    Reply
  2. Episcopal Resurrection (Post author)

    The resolution calls for $1.5 million to come from the dioceses who partner with the Episcopal Church Center staff in this project. So half will be paid from the existing money in the churchwide budget (with this resolution earmarking those funds) and the other half raised in the process of carrying out the work.

    peace, Frank
    Frank Logue, Chair, Georgia Deputation

    Reply

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