On Sunday, February 5, 2017, the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots will vie for the professional football championship. Even non-football fans enjoy getting together with friends and family to watch the Big Game, picking a winner, and watching the new ads.
The Big Game is one of the most-watched televised events worldwide and generates an enormous amount of social media activity. It’s important to keep in mind that most of your church members will be watching the game with their phones in their hands, interacting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networking sites.
So, here’s your big game plan: Leverage this into a church giving opportunity to drive them to your Givelify profile and raise much-needed funds for your church.
Custom Offering Envelopes
From hardcore gridiron fanatics to the people who only watch this one football game a year, people love trying to predict who will win the Big Game.
In the Givelify mobile giving app you know you can create custom offering envelopes for specific capital campaigns. Try picking two important campaigns and associating one with each team in the game. Encourage people to donate to one or the other to show who they’re rooting for, and in effect, help your church giving. For example, your building fund could be the Falcons and your mission trip could be the Patriots.
Even though your members may have already given their offerings during services, they can chip in a little extra to further your mission and participate in the fun of the game. This can be extra-useful if your church is in a regional area with an affinity for one of the two participating teams, as people will tend to throw their support behind their home (or adopted home) team.
Encourage Church Giving On Social Media
Last year fans’ second screen of choice during the game was mobile. According to a study by strikesocial:
- A whopping 82% of viewers engaged with the game on mobile devices.
- 60 million people discussed last year’s game on Facebook, generating 200 million posts, comments, and likes.
- 3.8 million people sent 16.9 million tweets.
Clearly people are using social media while watching the game. Why not make use of this opportunity to reach out to your members while they’re already engaged on mobile? Whether you use automatic scheduling or manually post to your church’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, you’ll be fostering church giving by reaching your members where they already are.
It’s also important to note when social media traffic times are the heaviest: the first and second quarters, and just after halftime. Halftime has the lowest social traffic of the entire game, so don’t waste your time posting while people are refilling their plates of nachos.
Remember the Hashtags
With so many people engaging on social media, it can be difficult for your message to cut through the clutter and reach your followers. Many people active on Twitter and Facebook will be keeping tabs on and using the hashtag #SB51. In your social media posts, you should use this hashtag yourself to increase that chances that your members will see your posts and take action.
Consider a Special Email Appeal
People aren’t just engaging during the game itself. There is a week-long run-up during which media coverage is heavy, and folks get excited about the game. Plus, many brands start releasing their famous Super Bowl commercials early on YouTube in an effort to get people talking.
You know how hard it is to ignore those email notifications when you’re already holding your phone. Consider a special email appeal for a particular capital campaign in the days leading up to the Big Game, as well as a follow-up during the game itself calling attention to a capital campaign that could use the extra help.
Don’t Use the Term “Super Bowl”
While there are gray areas in the law, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Avoid using the trademarked term “Super Bowl” in your communications, as that implies a relationship with the league. Instead go with “The Big Game,” “The Professional Football Championship Game,” or something similar to avoid trouble with the NFL’s lawyers.
While the NFL has eased some of the restrictions on what churches and nonprofits can do with regard to the game, if your church is hosting a viewing party there are some critical points to keep in mind:
- You may not charge admission
- You may not bring in rented audio/visual equipment
- You may not call it a “Super Bowl Party”
The good news is that while you may not charge admission, you can take an offering to help cover the cost of expenses like snacks and such. The Church Law Group put out a helpful video a few years back that goes over these guidelines in detail, included here.
Whoever you’re rooting for, enjoy the game and may the better team win. More importantly, may it be a big giving day for your church or place of worship.