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Using a Small Budget to Change the World

Having a small budget (or no budget at all) is a TERRIBLE excuse for not changing the world!  However, in my experience, no excuse is used more frequently as a crutch for mediocrity than lack of money.  That is total crap.

First off, I want to give you 5 FREE things you can use to change the world.  As a matter of fact, if you have money but don’t have these things, the likelihood that you will make a real impact on hurting people is pretty much non-existent.

1. Obedience to the voice of God

Ever heard the saying, “Where God guides, He provides”?  I believe this.  If you hear the voice of God prompting you to go somewhere, to do something, to stand up for a person or a cause, obey that voice and trust God that He will open doors and make a way for it to happen.

2. Passion about virtually any cause

A lot of people have a cause, but very few people present it with passion.  People respond to passion.  Passion is not just heard, it is seen and felt, and when people witness your obvious passion about a cause, they will, at the very least, leave knowing that you believe what you are saying.  However, what often happens is that they will want to know more about the source of your excitement.

People are WAY more likely to give their money and their time to someone or something that is backed by real passion!

It may sound extreme, but I often imagine how passionate I would be if my kids were trapped in a burning building and then try to transpose that imagined passion on to hurting kids around the world that are actually in their living equivalent of such a nightmare.

3. Authentic kindness with no strings attached

Ever been approached by someone that was SUPER NICE, only to learn that they were being so kind because they wanted to sell you some Mary Kay or join their pyramid scheme…or VISIT THEIR CHURCH??  Phony kindness is worse than nothing at all, but when you are kind, loving, outgoing, friendly, supportive, encouraging OVER TIME, and people see that you want nothing in return, it will shock them!  Not only that, it will likely give you a chance to explain the source of your kindness – which is just the opportunity we need to tell people about God.

Authentic kindness is a rare commodity in society nowadays.  Try it and see what happens.

4. Great use of social media

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are completely free.  Amazing fundraising tools like CrowdRise are also free.  These tools have been essential to our world-changing campaigns like 500toys, aHomeInHaiti, TwitChange, and more.  When combined with the 3 ideas above, amazing things can happen!

5. Cleanliness

This may sounds strange, but cleanliness (personal, office, worship space, home, etc.) all says something subliminal to people about you.  It tells them that you take care of what God has given you, and generally speaking, it is free to be clean.  I am always shocked when I travel the world and see how meticulously clean churches and homes in Haiti are…with no vacuum cleaner, no Pledge, no Clorox…they keep the space more beautiful than people with a gazillion more resources, because they value it more.

Here are 5 things that you can do with a very small, shoestring budget.  If you are a youth leader, a senior pastor, a business leader, or just a person with an idea – these ideas can be easily duplicated in your context.

1. Part-time staff

At Courageous Church, because our budget is so lean, we utilize a lot of volunteers, but also a few key part-time staff members for between $100-$400 per week, depending on the time they serve and the unique skills they must have to do what they do.  These part-time staffers are so essential to our success.

2. Facebook ads

I will be presenting exclusively about Facebook at a later session today and will post notes about this.

3. Graffiti artists

In or near your city, some amazing graffiti artists are ready, willing, and able to do some awesome art that will transform any space you have.  We have done this at live events, too, and it was so cool!  We have paid between $500-$1,000 and leave with some great art!  We provide all of the supplies for them and normally have them do the graffiti on large sheets of wood so we can move it wherever we may move.

4. One (or few) page microsites

We have used uber simple microsites to run campaigns that have generated over $2 million in the past year alone.  We spent about $10,000 on all of those sites (and staff) combined.  Finding a skilled young web developer is key, but what is really key is that these sites convey passion.  Each of our microsites has 4 factors.  They are:

-A cause we believe in passionately, a quality YouTube video, social media integration, and clear action steps.

5. Conferences

Conferences that may cost $50,000 – $250,000 (or more) to put together can often be attended for just $200 or less, and you, your staff, your youth, your teams, your volunteers will be exposed to amazing ideas and environments that they often would not see otherwise!  People are able to dream big when they get out of the routine they are use to and into a space that has been created with great care to spark ideas and innovation.

Don’t send the same people all the time.  Send volunteers, send key leaders, send teams. 

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shaun@churchleaders.com'
A techie-humanitarian, Shaun King is widely regarded as one of today’s leading voices on how social media and a little bit of courage can make our world a radically better place. He speaks a message of hope and action over 150 times a year, has appeared in dozens of national press outlets, and is the founder of TwitChange, aHomeInHaiti, and Courageous Church in Atlanta, GA.