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Brian Frick is the Associate for Camp and Conferences Ministries with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He has been involved in camp and conference ministry since high school. For the past ten years, Brian has served as program director of Johnsonburg Center in New Jersey, Westminster Woods in California, and Heartland Center in Missouri.

Camp and conference ministry compliments and partners with other ministry aspects of our church to foster faith development and reflection. As our communities and our church changes, our ministries need to grow and adapt with creative and emergent programming and leadership to meet new realities.

These blogs entries, though varied, are intended to spur thought and conversation around the opportunities and challenges before us.

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November 17, 2011


Return on (Your Relationship Building) Investment

ROIA return participant is worth its weight in gold.  It is far harder to find replacements for your program than to keep people coming.  What’s your “rewards program?”  How are you doing “friends development” as well as “funds development?”

What we know clearly is that time at our centers for conferences, retreats or camp create relationships, identity and involvement.

Our marketing efforts, sales efforts, and friends development should all be working towards that end.

If you are “selling widgets” (telling people they need to come because you offer lots of activities and programs and your goal is to fill beds and get revenue) it just won’t work.  If we are just doing mass mailings, it just won’t work.

If we are keeping in touch with our participants after they leave.  It will work.  If we are finding ways to celebrate their birthdays, or special days, develop places for them to come together around their experience in your ministry throughout the year – it will work.  Of course there is no one way to do this and each area is specific and has it’s own way to deliver and develop this message.

We can learn from each other.  We have to learn from each other.  Listening and then putting ideas into our context (not just copying whole cloth without evaluating how to adapt it to our context, will not work effectively.

What are you doing to increase your ROI?  How are you building friendships and relationships that last beyond the periodic experience in your ministry?

How did you apply it and how can we use it in our ministries?

Tags: best practices, brian frick, business, camp, conference, marketing, pcusa, relation building, return on investment, roi