Attending graduate school is a costly venture, even at modestly priced institutions. Scholarship and grants for seminary education are extremely limited these days. It is not advisable to go into debt to get a seminary degree, since paying off educational debt is difficult with salaries of most non-profit ministries. So, what are seminary students to do?
One option is to raise support for your seminary education through crowd funding. If you work in the non-profit world or are planning on a career in a church or ministry organization, you need to learn how to raise friends and funds. You might as well start now and take advantage of your social media networks.
Here are a few tips we’ve learned from about crowd funding.
- Determine what crowd funding site you will use. Rockbridge does not endorse any specific crowd-funding source. We encourage students to research and select an online non-profit vendor that is best for them.
- Share your passion. People want to help others. Tell what you will do as a result of your education. Make your story uplifting and inspiring. Explain why this would be a good human investment. The leadership skills you learn in seminary will impact thousands of people in your lifetime.
- Give something back in return. Consider leveraging what you learn in seminary to create products you can share with your donors and their churches, such as small group curriculum, daily devotions, blogs, etc.
- Share your link with all your family, friends, and entire social network. Don’t be embarrassed to ask people to give to your cause. If you don’t work your network, crowd funding won’t work. Invite people to share your need with their network
- Connect all of your social media to the campaign. Use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. to drive people to the crowd funding site
- Add photos and videos. Show pictures of you in ministry roles. Experts say 7 photos is ideal. Check your updates for grammar before sending
- Don’t publically thank people by name. They may want their name to be anonymous. You might thank people by email or letter, or thank people collectively
- Work your campaign. Spend a few minutes every day in a conversation with your social network. Consider this part of your education.
Some students are embarrassed to ask for funds and others are too proud to ask for help. By enlisting help from your social network, others will enjoy the blessing of impacting your life and the lives of those in your ministry. Don’t wait. Start today.
About the Writer: Dr. Daryl Eldridge is the president and cofounder of Rockbridge Seminary, a fully online seminary. Rockbridge exists to develop servant leaders for Christian ministry through learning experiences that allow them to study and practice without leaving their ministry field.