At some point with your fundraising – or you may have already experienced this – you will struggle to find donors.
Today is your lucky day. Because this article outlines exactly how you will never have to struggle again. In fact, in the next paragraphs, you will find ideas so good and practical that you can start applying them today and see immediate results.
When it comes to your Catholic nonprofit or cause, you simply don’t have the time to waste struggling to find donors, so let’s find your next 10 donors today.
First, I want you to take a step back and recognize that, even before you start looking for donors, you are probably juggling 100 other tasks that need to be done, plus another 100 hurdles getting in your way.
Hello, July! We’ve crossed the midyear point, and you may be saying, “Where has time gone?” Whether you are behind or ahead with your fundraising, now is the perfect time to review how you are doing.
I always pause and review where I am because I’ve got another 6 months to get back on track, stay the course, or raise the bar. I’ve learned that reviewing how I’ve done with fundraising is one of the best ways to guarantee that I will end the year on target.
Let me share with you what I do when it comes to reviewing the efforts I initiated during the first 6 months of my year.
Lately, I’ve been approached to review the email fundraising strategies of multiple Catholic organizations. This interest in email is a growing trend, and it’s become so important that I want to share a few thoughts with you on how to do it right the first time.
Why email is so popular with fundraising
Email is increasingly popular for three reasons: First, it’s much easier to get a person’s email address than a postal address or phone number. So it’s much easier to contact them – which is always “Step One” because, if you can’t reach someone, you can’t ask them.
Secondly, email is an excellent way to communicate with people. On average, people check their email three times a day. You may feel that email is a crowded space for getting your message heard, but it is much less crowded than social media, billboards and direct mail. Every appeals space may be flooded, but email still, unequivocally, proves best.
I want to introduce you to my wife, Meghan, and her passion to help Catholic women find their “dream fashion” look. In less than six months, she has quit her job at a fashion startup in San Francisco and started her own successful Catholic fashion styling firm.
Why is my wife’s story relevant to Catholic fundraising?
One of the most common questions I am asked is, “How can someone raise funds for their Catholic cause?” Case in point: My wife’s situation is no different than any Catholic looking to follow their passion and find financial stability.
I am bound to upset a few board members and directors with this article. For some reason, the majority of board members and directors of Catholic nonprofits think that an event is a great idea to raise funds. In fact, it’s the hallmark on their calendar, as if all roads lead to the big gala or dinner.
While big events may be fun, they’re also big mistakes and a terrible way to fundraise. In fact, you dig yourself deeper into a hole with every event that you organize.
I want you to know that I’m not the only fundraiser who thinks like this: Every fundraiser with a successful track record agrees that events aren’t good for fundraising. Check out this fantastic book, The Perfect Campaign by Schuyler Lehman. He is a veteran fundraiser with years of experience, and Schuyler shares my viewpoint because he and his team have found this to be true.
When I was recently back in Dallas, Texas, Dave Palmer, manager at Catholic radio station KATH 980, invited me back on his show to give his listeners an update on what’s happening in the world of Catholic fundraising.
Our conversation focused on three important lessons when it comes to fundraising within the Church.
While many Catholic nonprofits and missions spend most of their time on the ‘money side’ of fundraising, Dave and I agreed that, without the proper focus and determination, your fundraising will likely stagger and your cause won’t reach its full potential.
The 3 Tips to Stay on Track with Fundraising
Tip 1 – Be Patient: Patience is a virtue for a reason. We all agree that fundraising is challenging and therefore, you’ve got to be resilient and not give up. It takes time to get things going and find donors.
Monsignor Thomas McGread, a priest in the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, is well known for his work across the United States in fundraising. He developed an approach called The Stewardship Model, which has helped parishes, dioceses, and national organizations (such as the United States Bishops Conference) raise millions of dollars. You could say he’s the #1 ranked priest in the United States when it comes to how to fundraise for the Catholic Church.
He’s been successful because he’s developed concepts and practices that make being good stewards a tangible reality. Thankfully for you and me, Deacon Donald R. McArdle, CEO of Catholic Stewardship Consultants, documented his approach in the book, Grateful and Giving. This book was written in conjunction with
This book showcases parishes, dioceses, and national organizations that have been changed through strong and faithful stewardship programs.
I’d like to highlight for you some of the key steps in his program that can serve your fundraising, whatever its level, too.
NOTICE: Have you checked to confirm that you’re allowed to run a fundraising campaign for your Catholic charity, religious order, cause, or parish?
Catholic bishops, particularly in the US, have strict guidelines about who can run a campaign. Meaning, you may have to stop before you even consider starting to fundraise.
When it comes to fundraising, we all want to follow the right protocol to make sure that people (especially bishops) understand that the money raised is going to a great cause.
Canon Law 1262 notifies Catholics that they are to give support to Catholic appeals; it also states how Catholic entities are allowed to ask for that support:
Can. 1262 – The faithful are to give support to the Church by responding to appeals and according to the norms issued by the conference of bishops.
However, this decree doesn’t apply to everyone. We all have come across causes that call themselves Catholic but, if you look carefully, they are, in fact, not. Rather, they use the label to attract the attention of Catholics but — intentionally or not — distort Church teaching and use the funds raised towards unorthodox views.