Rethinking how you fundraise will have a greater impact than any fundraising campaign you wish to launch.
When you think about fundraising, your emotions lean one of two ways. You get that positive, happy feeling when you imagine all the possibilities that additional funding can help with doing more of your mission. You could likely daydream about this for hours. Or, you could fall into a negative mood because you soon visualize the endless challenges that come with asking people for money. It’s like a broken record and makes you all eerie inside. You are even scared of how fundraising will distract you from doing the real work.
Did you see what just happened? Even before you started to ask people for money, your mind goes in a specific direction all on its own. It just gets up without even thinking (ha! Get it?) and goes its own way. Then it starts plays a string of emotional extremes to you.
“Oh yes, if I could find a major donor, I could do so much more! But where can I find this person?” “What will people think of me when I ask them for a donation?” “They’ll likely hate me and just ask a hundred questions.”
Eventually, you ask yourself a lot of questions, most leading you to a brick wall.
Whether you are aware of the questions you are asking yourself, the narrative that you play in your head about money and fundraising has a significant impact on the amount you will ever raise.
Let me be clear. Even before you ask someone for money, regardless of what you say to people and how you say it, the narrative you play in your head already has an impact on the amount.
Rethinking your approach to fundraising
Today’s context requires a different mindset to both fundraising and money. Rethinking your way out of your current approach. Wait. Before you start making assumptions on what ‘re-thinking’ means, I want you to – as much as possible – read these paragraphs with an open mind. I’m not talking about new way of thinking at all.
I’m trying to first untangle all the assumptions you been telling yourself about money. Yes, money isn’t the most important thing in life. I actually think it’s at the bottom of the most essentials.
However, I do think it’s important because it can help. It does help in many situations, but only when you understand its place in context with yourself, the Catholic faith, and what God is calling you to do. I think any Catholics who wants to fundraise or take it to a new level, they must start internally. They have to start with a fresh perspective.
If you aren’t specific with what you want, people think you don’t want anything. So, if doing the same actions over and over again produce minimal results, yet you have to figure out what’s blocking you from making a clear, convincing, and direct request. My guess is you’re too afraid of the success of receiving money than having a failed campaign.
My guess is you’re too afraid of the success of receiving money than having a failed campaign.
You’re more content on getting subpar results like most charities, that way you can gripe that it’s just the way things are. You tell yourself, “Well I can’t do anything because no one has money, times are tough, people don’t give to charity anymore.” The list goes on.
The fact is that’s not the reality. People do give, especially religious people. Religious people statistically give overwhelmingly more than any other group of people. This is the case because we are designed to give because that’s how God made us.
So you are asking to people who are willing to give. Change your mindset to understand that people are ready to give. You just have to be 100% willing to receive.
Change your mindset to understand that people are ready to give. You just have to be 100% willing to receive.
The Pray, Pray, Pray, Ask approach to have the Catholic mindset
The Catholic mindset towards fundraising is a fundamental part of getting your mission to the next level. New and better results require new and better ways of thinking. You are going to have to take a better look at your thinking.
Thankfully the Catholic Church is a haven for reflection, self-awareness, and renewal. You can turn to countless spiritual classics for help with this. My preferred is the Catechism because it puts everything in plain and direct language.
Though here is a simple approach to removing those negative emotions about money and getting you in the right mindset to fundraise.
Pray: Write the 5 main beliefs you remember you parents, priests, and friends told you about money. Take 10 minutes to reflect how these statements have emotionally conditioned your perspective of money
Pray: Take any negative thoughts that came up for you in the first reflection and break them down. Question and investigate them.
Pray: Read Psalm 119 and reflect over how God wishes you to consider money and fundraising within the work that you are doing. Now rewrite your beliefs on money from this perspective.
Ask: Take your new perspective of money and use it to plan your next campaign. Use your positive outlook to send a clear message to people about what you are doing and how money will help you do even more.