This week, I want to pose you a question: if we were having a cup of coffee together and had a few minutes to talk (and you wanted me to donate), how would you ask me?
I get asked lots of questions about what are the best ways to fundraise. I have noticed that some approaches are more productive questions than others.
Here is the reality.
Some ways of fundraising just don’t work anymore. On the other hand, there are some NEW ways of fundraising that work INCREDIBLY WELL.
The way you ask someone for a donation can make a huge difference in your apostolate. Here is what I mean:
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Question: Which saint, Catholic document, or Church teaching has given you great advice on how to raise funds? Please leave your comment below.
Today I want to share three new ideas on how Catholic apostolates can improve their fundraising, find new donors, and keep moving forward with their mission.
Hi, I’m Brice Sokolowski, founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, my website dedicated to helping Catholics improve their fundraising, find new donors, and stay more focused on their mission.
Now, before we dive into these three fresh, new approaches, I just want to make sure that you download — absolutely for free — The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. This is my guide, sharing with you 10 lessons and suggestions that I consider probably the most essential parts of fundraising while making sure that your fundraising doesn’t overwhelm your mission. Your mission is supported by your fundraising, and I can help you keep everything balanced. So please make sure that you download absolutely for free The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. The link is below.
Okay, now for some new ideas on how to fundraise. Or maybe the better way to put it is, these aren’t necessarily new approaches, but especially given the climate that we’re in, I don’t think a lot of people are implementing these fundraising strategies as well as they should. I think there’s a huge opportunity for apostolates to increase their fundraising in this current climate, and I want to share how that optimism can also work for you. So let’s dive in..
My first recommendation on taking a new approach to fundraise is, you’ve got to change when you ask. This is specifically directed to anyone who has, or is considering, asking during Mass. I really don’t recommend that you ask during Mass. I know it’s easy to think you have a captive audience and their undivided attention, (more or less). Most people don’t listen when there’s a donation appeal.
But more importantly… right now we live in a time where people are starving for spiritual guidance, spiritual awareness, and direction in how to actually fulfill their lives as Children of God and as disciples of Christ. So, asking at Mass is not the right place to make an appeal. Especially if you also consider that a lot of Catholics either don’t regularly go to Sunday Mass. If they can make it one Sunday, they’re happy. That’s not the way it should be. We’ve got to help people feel really happy about going every week and even, if they have time, to feel just as eager about going during the week or just going to get the blessed sacrament. So we’ve got to be creative and find other ways to ask because when Catholics are sitting in the pews, we have to take that opportunity to nourish their spirit, not ask for their money. So with that said, think of innovative ways (I’ll get more into it in a second). But step number one, we have to change the way we’re asking. Don’t ask during a homily. That’s my number one piece of advice.
Number two is, reconsider how you use social media, your website, email, and even your (smart)phone. We have all of these tools that we can use for fundraising, but I think most people use them sporadically and don’t really think about what you can actually do, with ease, thanks to different types of technology and different approaches beyond just meeting somebody for a conversation outside of Mass? There are so many convenient and efficient ways to ask people that give you more flexibility. Sure, you can keep your appeal letters, but I also say, mix it up and reconsider how you are utilizing your phone, social media, and website. All these different mediums of communication are at your fingertips to strengthen your appeals! Don’t limit yourself to one way of asking. Mix it up. So that’s my second suggestion.
Last but not least is my third point: don’t bother everyone with donation requests. I know! I’m a fundraiser. I know you’re looking for advice on fundraising, and I’m telling you, don’t bother everybody. That means, don’t be asking everybody. Why? Because the statistics tell us that only 5% to 25% of people actually donate. That means the vast majority of people do not. Now, you can’t see this as a negative. You also shouldn’t create excuses in your head about why people don’t give, i.e., they don’t have money; they are in a difficult situation; they’re not the right people or maybe they’re just greedy…
You cannot look at it this way. You just have to accept that you can’t change everyone and the reality is, there are many different reasons why people don’t give. I would say probably the biggest reason is, they don’t really know what you do and how you make an impact. Maybe you said it once, but to be honest, people need to hear things repeated if they are going to remember it. So instead of trying to ask everyone, just try to ask the people who you think can give That’s really important. So don’t try to ask everybody, just think about who best to ask this week, and then apply points number one and number two.
And of course, if you need help, make sure that you download my guide. You can also contact me directly, and follow my regular advice on CatholicFundraiser.net. I’ve got plenty of other resources on my website that can take you deeper into fundraising advice and topics. But I think overall, these are three approaches that I believe are really going to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself, okay, how can I implement these ideas to help me towards a few more donations today? Every time you try a new approach you stand a better chance than if you just continued with what you’re doing.
May God love you, and I look forward to speaking with you next week. Bye-bye.
Want to fundraise more for your Catholic apostolate?
Make sure to get your free copy of ‘The 10 Commandment of Catholic Fundraising’. It’s a book that highlights the ten tasks you should do to keep you focused on your mission and hit your fundraising target, every time.