How to Inspire Catholics and Get Donors

Ever wonder how to inspire Catholics and get donors? Fundraising is done correctly when you focus on this one task: sharing your work’s purpose with people who will be inspired to support it. Bad fundraising focuses on asking people for money.

Therefore, focus on inspiring people, not on asking them for money. This may sound heretical to a fundraising purist, but I am not a typical fundraiser. I am a Catholic fundraiser, and in my experience, Catholics are moved to donate when they are moved by a story.

That’s how Catholicism works. We are a community of people, moved by God, to build his Kingdom.

Inspiring Catholics Increases Your Donors

You increase your number donors when you understand how to build genuine relationships with people. You do this by continually improving how you explain this one line: “People like you and me do [things like this].”

Inside the brackets, you insert your mission. It’s that simple.

The more authentic you can do this one step, the further you can move along with your fundraising. You will nurture more relationships each year and therefore have more opportunities to raise money.

You focus your attention on how to clearly share your purpose and how to genuinely build relationships because long-lasting relationships bring long-term contributions.

Your Secret Weapon: The 1-Pager

You can do this by using the secret weapon of fundraising: the 1-page storyboard. It’s not really even a secret, nor is it a weapon, but it really does work, yet almost no one does it. So it must be a secret.

This 1-pager organizes the important messages and facts that you should share with people. It’s a script which helps you do this clearly and concisely because you need to do it quickly and often. The 1-pager follows this structure:

Hi,
[YOUR NAME OR YOUR CAUSE’S NAME] is the only
[WHAT YOU ARE – charity, parish, school] that provides
[WHAT SERVICE/SUPPORT YOU OFFER] for
[WHO YOU OFFER THIS TO] in/around
[THE AREA YOU WORK IN] who
[WHAT THE PEOPLE THAT YOU SERVE WANT] in a time of
[EXPLAIN THE PROBLEM WHICH YOU ARE ADDRESSING]

Example:

The parish of Our Lady of the Rosary is the only Catholic parish that provides weekly workshops for Catholic couples and families in the Springfield community who want to strengthen their family and prayer life in a time of constant disruptions and attacks in modern society against traditional family values.

Then, after you mention your short statement, you ask the person to get involved in three ways:

– You can subscribe to our mailing list to learn how to get involved
– You can attend an upcoming event
– You can volunteer at an upcoming event

Your 1-pager ends with you asking the following question, “Which option works best for you?” By doing so, you let the person take a moment to consider how they want to get involved.

You always want to invite the person to take action. Notice I am not asking for a donation. Why? Because most people don’t want to donate to someone or a cause they don’t know. However, once they know you and get involved, they will want to donate because they will see what great work you are doing.

Start Spreading Your Message and Inspiring Catholics

Now that you have your ‘secret weapon’, start spreading the message 365 days a year. Your focus should be on increasing the number of people you speak to every week, thereby increasing the number of people involved and their level of commitment.

I also suggest that you give a copy to your colleagues, directors, board, volunteers, and donors and ask them to memorize it. Yes, they must memorize it. Then, I recommend each of them to share this message with at least one person a day.

Within a year, you will have increased your network by at least 1,000 people, and I am sure among that group you will have 100 to 200 new donors.

QUESTION: What more incredible work could you start tomorrow if you had 100 new donors?

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Misconceptions about Online Fundraising

When I began to fundraise, I would run from event to event trying to recruit new donors and raise funds. As you can imagine, this strategy is tiresome after a while. Soon, I no longer had nights and some weekends to myself because those precious moments are also when most people are available to meet with me. Was I following misconceptions that really didn’t work?

I quickly felt drained and unmotivated by my work. Even my friends and family were feeling the stress because either I wasn’t with them or when I was, I was too tired to be fully present. Something had to change.

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I looked into different ways of attracting donors that didn’t require me, or my team, running around. I wanted to find a way where we could meet people, find donors, reach our fundraising goal, stay focused on our work, and, most importantly, enjoy time with family and friends. My research led me to look at the benefits of using more efficiently the internet and social media for attracting donors.

The Power of the Web

I discovered that with a few adjustments, I could attract more people to a website and social media than I had been by meeting people at their parishes or community centers. I thought this was a breakthrough because, among all those people connecting with us online, there were bound to be new donors.

Now, I had to answer the next big question: how do I get them to donate?

Like most organizations do, I placed prominently the donate button on my homepage for everyone to see and waited patiently for the donations to roll in. As more and more people visited my site each month, I thought the donations would be pour in eventually. This unfortunately never happened. I learned that an increase in website traffic and social media engagement doesn’t result in more donations.

At first, I was worried that I would have to return to the old way of fundraising, running from one event to another. I didn’t want to go back to that lifestyle, so I did some more research.

I found Pope Pius VI’s Apostolic Exhortation ‘Evangelisation in the Modern World’ words inspiring:

“The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if she did not utilize these powerful means [mass media and means of social communication] that human skill is daily rendering more perfect. It is through them that she proclaims from the housetops.”

Pope Paul VI wrote this in 1976, just at the start of the technology boom. He inspired me to dig deeper. I had a hunch that he was right. I just had to keep going, and, after a little more trial and error, I found the answer. It was a eureka moment. I had been making false assumptions about how the internet works.

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Yes, people did engage with my online content because they were interested in what I do; however, they were not (at least not yet) ready to donate. I learned four misconceptions about the internet which have helped me use it more effectively in getting donations.

Misconceptions about Online Fundraising

Here are four misconceptions I learned about the internet and fundraising:

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Misconception 1: Just because you have a donate button doesn’t mean people will give.

In reality, you will be lucky if 1%-3% of the people who visit your website will give. People don’t browse your pages looking to give. Rather, they want to learn about your work and how to get involved. They want to connect with you, not give you money.

Therefore, if you focus on engagement, offering them ways to physically get involved, rather than financially, you can, later on, ask for a donation.

Misconception 2: The internet is impersonal and not useful in building relationships.

With how technology has evolved in recent years, the internet has become even more personal. With social media and web applications, you can connect directly with people, regardless of their location or numbers. Some applications even allow you to chat instantly through your website.

By leveraging technology like you would a phone or video camera, you can directly communication with someone, offering them what they really want, a relationship with you and your work.

Misconception 3: I don’t have time for the internet and websites. I have to focus on my work.

Your job involves connecting with people, sharing your message, inspiring them to help you, and transforming lives. The internet helps you do this on a much larger scale because it is available to anyone and everyone, 24/7 wherever there is a connection.

Also, the days of expensive and laborious web design are long gone. Today, a website can be developed and maintained with minimal cost and effort. Also, connecting with people online is less expensive than depending on events, phone calls, and mailings.

Misconception 4: The internet and social media are just not for me.

The internet offers you the ability to connect with over one billion people. Would it not be prudent to assume that among this vast number there are Catholics who would be interested in you and your work? With a little bit of work to set up your online presence, you can connect with all of these people.

Embracing the change which the internet brings expands our capacity to reach more people. Check out the article I wrote on why changing the way you fundraise is important.

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How to actually raise funds using the internet

After learning these four misconceptions, the next question was: If I can attract lots of people to my work through the web, how can I get them to give eventually?

I turned my attention to improving the two things a website does well: instigating a connection with lots of people and then allowing me the opportunity to build a relationship with them. With the help of website applications and social media platforms, I turned my online presence into a portal of interaction. Instead of asking people to donate, I invited them to my events, asked them to volunteer, and gave them free resources so they can get involved.

If you are a parish, diocese or religious order, check out my previous article on the 5 simple steps you can take to improve your website. It offers practical and concrete recommendations for getting started.

Therefore, instead of running around meeting people, the internet was finding them for me and getting to me where I was. I no longer had to run from one event to another. Instead, I could meet people face to face, build a relationship, and then ask for donations. This was the biggest lesson I learned. People were only ready to donate to me after having met me in person or built a level of trust in what I do.

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As I met more people passionate about my work, their trust in what I do picked up as did donations. This was fantastic because in trying to fix one problem, I also improved other elements of my organization. All my events were fully booked. I had an army of volunteers. Most importantly, I and my team were not running around anymore because people were coming to where we were.8

Next steps – changing how we connect with people

I’ve been perfecting how to leverage the internet to attract donors for a while now. The other day I was reviewing the website statistics for a charity I help. Last year they had difficulty filling up their biggest event of the year. It’s the hallmark event that, if goes well, increases their visibility to a lot of people, especially large grant makers, key influencers in their work, and major donors. So, they wanted to make sure everything went smoothly.

For the past year, we had been building their online presence. As a result, the event was fully booked a month in advance and had a substantial waiting list. Also, because we were not worried about getting enough people to attend, we then focused on using real-time video to broadcast the event live via social media. Now, an event that had been planned to have 200 people attend will be seen by thousands. We were bound to make this the most successful event possible, planting as many seeds as possible for future donations.

The bottom line is this: You can either continue running from event to event to meet people where they are, eating up your personal time (sometimes on Sunday when you should actually enjoy the Sabbath with friends and family), as you look for donors, or you can embrace the opportunities the internet provides. You may think that the web means instant donations without meeting people. It doesn’t. Increasing your donors and donations still come from meeting people, connecting with them, and asking them to be part of your future.

Though the real difference is this. Instead of chasing people for donations, people will find you and want to donate. It’s here where the magic happens, so be prepared to welcome many more people on your journey.

If you have questions about improving your web and social presence, send me an email and let’s get you moving forward today.

Discussion Question: What misconceptions do you have about the internet? In what way could this be a sign for you to leverage the web more?

Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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Showing Your Value Increases Donations

7 fruitful ways to increase donations

Take a moment to reflect on this question: “Why do people donate to me?” Then, consider how incredible it is to have your donors support you.

You are inspired by Christ to pick up your cross and follow him, and others are encouraged to help you do so. Whether you feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the poor or help the sick, you transform the world through your work, and people are inspired to help you keep going.

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When it comes to fundraising, you can quickly hit a wall. You confront the reality, “how do I get people [or more people] to support me and my organization financially?” You know how important your work is, but you sometimes struggle to find donors and ask them for financial assistance.

I’ve been in this situation before. To find a way out, I would pray that someone would donate! Most often, unfortunately, people didn’t respond to my appeals. Nor did they want to learn more about what I was doing. It was a disheartening situation to find myself in, alone on an island. I was doing great work, yet I couldn’t find enough people to keep my momentum. I asked, “What else could I do?”

Thank goodness those days are behind me. After testing many methods, I’ve discovered seven actions that you can do to get people to donate. But before I explain what these seven actions are, I what to share with you what I’ve learned about why people do and do not give.

Why people don’t give

I’ve learned that people, on average, don’t respond to appeals and requests. Just take a look at the success rates of any charitable campaign. The number of no’s always exceeds the yes’s. Direct mail, in particular, usually only has a 2% success rate, while a campaign appeal at a Mass will often achieve 25%. These fundraising tactics are losing their effectiveness year after year because people are tired of these interruptions (especially during Mass!).

Second, sharing the Catholic faith does not mean someone will give to you. Remember, Catholics support a range of causes. One Catholic might donate to overseas work but not to a local refugee center. That’s okay because we all have different passions for different kinds of work. So don’t get upset if someone doesn’t give to you. It’s not personal. You just haven’t connected with someone who will.

In conclusion, people don’t give because they either don’t know what your organization does, or they don’t have an affinity for your kind of work.

Why people do give

People give because they have connected with you and your organization’s mission. Your story becomes their story. This happens because they have an affinity for your work. They are interested in knowing what you do, how you do it and what impact it has on the world.

People reach this level of engagement when you develop relationships, not donations. In conclusion, you look for individuals who are passionate about your cause and can relate.

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As a fundraiser, therefore, one of your key duties is to communicate the value of your mission and keep an eye out for people who connects with it. Successful fundraising happens when people recognise the importance of your mission. Once you’ve built a valued relationship, donations will start coming in.

The 7 ways to increase donations

Creating value through interaction is far more important than asking someone to donate in 30 seconds. Here lies the opportunity. By presenting your value, rather than the ask, you inspire the person to donate even without directly asking them to give.

Your goal is to share this value with everyone. You can do so by the following seven steps.

Show that your organization is…

1. A Valuable of Source of Information –

Become the number one source for information on your kind of mission work. Whether you work with the physically challenged or shelter the homeless, offer everyone who comes into contact with you relevant, frequent and resourceful information on your organization’s activities. By doing so, people will recognize your organization as one that consistently offers great resources on subjects that matter most to them.

Remember, it’s not just about your work. It’s also about sharing what you do. Offer short guides, training booklets, fact sheets on key topics that can be read quickly and passed around to friends and family. Provide accessible information that keeps everyone engaged with you.

I wrote a post about how to communicate to people when fundraising which you may find useful.

2. A Valuable Source for References –

Similar to a library, reference what is happening in your field of work. If people see you as the number one source for knowing what is happening, they will keep coming back to you. Therefore, always direct them to useful material, even if it’s not your own.

Your focus is to increase people’s knowledge and interest in your work. You do so by referencing everything that is of value to them, including other organizations’ websites, books, seminars, conferences, speakers, and podcasts, etc. People will keep coming back to you because you are the central hub for what is happening. They like you because you connect the dots for them. And when people spend more time with your organization, the higher the probability they will donate to you.

3. A Valuable Source for News –

Many times, I have to go to multiple sites to learn what is happening in the news about a certain topic. It’s tiring. Find many organizations work in the same space, yet few provide the overarching update that helps me make sense of it all.

With all the activities you’re involved with, I am sure that there are regular news stories, prayer groups and meetings, events, campaigns, and conferences. Could you be the primary source for connecting all of this news and share it with people? The organization that becomes the news hub will be the same one that attracts the most donors.

4. A Valuable Connector of People –

Don’t let you or your team stay enclosed in your office, focusing solely on what you have to get done. Instead, reach out and consistently connect with others. Also, be the connector for individuals and groups in your area of work. I recommend that you and your team know every key person in your field. Become the key influencers.

As a result, people will engage with you because you seem to be (and are!) at the center of everything. All roads pass through you.

More so, you are happy to make introductions for people. You don’t keep contacts a secret or control relationships. Rather, you freely share who you know. Today, it’s only a matter of time when someone connects with another person. You might as well make it easier and speed up the process. Remember, we are made to connect with one another. We are not made to have a list of contacts in our phones which we guard for ourselves. Instead, share your contacts.

By helping others connect, they will stay in touch with you and share their contacts. As a result, the number of people engaging with you will increase, and therefore your number of donors will increase, too.

Show how your organization demonstrates…

5. The Value of Being Non-Judgemental –

Provide a safe space to dialogue about issues. If we cannot talk about the issues, how can we reach conclusions?

Too many people are quick to reject others for their opposing views, thereby shutting down dialogue. You, however, do not point the finger. This can be hard to do because of emotions, misconceptions, assumptions and personal preferences and issues.

Often, people disagree with one another because each cannot express their ideas clearly and persuasively. Be different. Take time to know the other person’s viewpoint, while presenting yours with clarity. Also, offer people the space to interact with you and the opportunity to discover more about your viewpoint. You’ll find that you can turn doubters into donors.

6. The Value of Trust and Reliability –

If you can complete the first five points, people will trust your organization and regard it as one they can rely on.

To reach this level, your team should be informed, committed and trustworthy. By doing so, many doors will open to you. This is when people start knocking to  ask, “How can I donate?”

Unfortunately, only a few Catholic organizations can claim to fulfill this category. This, however, is where the opportunity lies. Any group or person can leverage the current landscape and attract the trust of Catholics. Enjoy, because the road is open!

7. The Value of Passion –

Passion is your ultimate differentiator that will attract many donors. How many people commit themselves with such zeal that they show up every day, no matter what? There is tremendous value in being disciplined and showing up when others don’t.

You don’t have to be the best. You just have to keep pressing on with the courage and commitment to press on.  As GK Chesterton explained so eloquently, “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”

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When you and your team are grinding through the ups and downs of your mission, moved by the Holy Spirit, regardless how you feel or what the odds are, people will take notice and say, “Incredible. They are doing incredible work. How can I support them?” This for many organizations is their tipping point for donations.

Conclusion

If you can demonstrate these seven value points, you will both energize your staff and inspire people to donate. There is, however, one hurdle to jump. So often, we mix humility with shyness. We don’t want to talk about ourselves and ‘big us up’. It’s seen as being full of pride and not Catholic. We’d rather stay humble than mention how we did something incredible, like feed 1,000 hungry children in the past month.

The word humility derives from the word humus which means from the earth. Humus signifies lowliness or submissiveness. Although we may be humble, our mission is bold and confident. It’s part of Christ’s mission to bring his love to everyone. So we cannot be shy about the incredible mission God has asked us to complete. It’s life-changing, life-fueling and life-giving.

As Saint Ignatius said, “ite, inflammate omnia—go, set the world on fire.” He parallels Our Lord’s words, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” – Luke 12:49

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A Success Study – How the 7 Steps Can Work for You

I worked with one Catholic organization to fulfil these seven points. Together, we blew the dust off their value (they confused humility of spirit with the confidence of mission) and soon attracted the attention of people to their work, attending events and volunteering to help. Also, some signed up to be donors. Some even donated large sums of money. One donation was for $35,000. Then, two other donations came in: $15,000 and $9,000.

This is a great example of how presenting your value to people can have a significant impact on your fundraising.

Contact me directly if you want to learn more about how you can achieve the same kinds of results.

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Discussion Question: What is one way you demonstrate your value to people? Leave your comment below.

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Asking for Donations

How to Ask for Donations (And Get People to say YES)

What a great feeling it is to a donation, big or small. Or how about the rush of a successful fundraising campaign? I remember one in particular. It left my whole charity wide-eyed and cheerful! We were thrilled to be able to move forward with several exciting projects we had been planning.

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This rush, however, can short-lived. You see, being successful in fundraising, or for that matter receiving a large donation, is great, but once you start new projects, you then have to run another fundraising campaign and hunt for even more donations to keep your projects going.

Generating donations is, therefore, a never-ending cycle. Once you get one, you have to get another to continue supporting the growth that the first donation brought you. After the second, you’ve got to get a third.

You get the idea.

If you want to maintain momentum, then let me just tell you now – this cycle must, unfortunately, never stop. Fundraising must go on. The good news is that I have developed four steps to help you get a regular stream of new money coming in.

1 – Understand why donors give

First, try to understand why your current donors give. In all likelihood, it’s not because of facts or logic. Nor is it because of anything you said when you first asked them to donate.

Instead, they most likely give because of emotions. More so, they give to you because you understand their emotional needs for responding to a specific problem (which your organization specializes in) and have a plan for responding to it.

By learning what the common emotional needs of your donors, you can improve your organization’s story and clearly communicate it to potential donors.

Once you start doing this, you will begin to notice new people with similar attributes to your current donors. This will save you a lot of time because instead of running around everywhere, speaking to everyone and hoping someone will give, you already know exactly who would love to connect with your organization.

You will, in other words, know your target message to attract people who will have an affinity for your work. It may feel strange to think you have a specific donor type. However, every Catholic organization has a personality, and this personality, like any individual’s, attracts a specific group of people. Therefore, knowing who you best connect with and why you do helps you to connect with more people.

2 – Build relationships

It’s important to remember that every donation you receive comes from the hands of a person. Donations are a “people transaction”. People give because of the personal connection they’ve made with you.
Therefore, spend time making as many personal connections as possible. This may sound like a lengthy process but, trust me, spending quality time with people (especially one-to-one) is the best way to lay the path open for your next big donation.

Having already identified the emotional needs of your existing donors, you can communicate much more easily with potential donors.

All my large donors have been from people whom I spent quality time with. By the time it came to ask, we already knew each other very well, making “the ask” much easier. They wanted to support me, and I wanted them to share in the mission of our organization, working together towards a common goal.

3. Ask for donations in the right manner

With the first two steps I’ve mentioned thus far, you can establish the emotions, words, and relationships and began spotting potential large donors. These steps are the foundations for “the ask”.

I have no tips for entirely relieving the stress related to “the ask”, but I can offer you three points of advice for making the process easier and more effective.

The first is to recognize that, in my experience, the most successful donation requests involve interrogative questions, not verbs. Verb-led questions, such as “will you donate…” or “can you give …” push the person to make an immediate ‘yes/‘no’ decision. Sometimes the person will jump right into saying ‘maybe’. These are all dead-end responses because they don’t allow for open dialogue. You never want an immediate response.

Instead, you want dialogue. This is achieved by asking questions with “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why”, “how” and “which”. Open questions allow a person’s response to be informed and reflective, encouraging him or her to draw on personal emotions and insight.

My second piece of advice is to not be afraid of proposing a specific amount or range.

Third, once you’ve asked, be patient and listen! It’s critical to stop speaking. Now is the time to be on the look-out, to discover what the person is thinking. Engage with them and let the conversation open up.

4. Aim for a definitive response

The final step is to leave the meeting with a definitive response. Now, it is time to encourage a clear ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. Never leave a meeting with a ‘maybe’. Though you may feel you’re pushing to get an answer, remember that you’ve already spent time building the relationship and the other person has too. He or she agreed to the meeting, knowing that a donation would be asked (be absolutely clear about this beforehand).

The amount itself may still need to be defined, but the person has heard your request, taken it to heart, and will now make a decision about how much if they’ve said “yes”. You don’t want to be chasing the person for weeks or months to get a decision. This will be tiring for both you and them, so I recommend you avoid this situation at all costs. It will help if you spend time building up the relationship before “the ask”.

What happens if they say “no”? That is perfectly fine and acknowledge this. This is not the end of the relationship, and make sure that it isn’t.

Discussion question: What do you think is the most important step in receiving a large donation?

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How to increase your online donations

5 simple ways to increase Catholic donations through your website

I’ve been approached by Catholic parishes (and organizations) to re-design their websites. With nearly everyone streaming the internet these days, your website is one of the best resources for attracting people to your parish, your ministry and your mission.

Websites, however, have experienced a paradigm shift in recent years which most Catholics are not aware of. A few years ago, the focus was on providing loads of information to a generic audience. The focus has now shifted. Rather than seeking information, people now search for content that communicates with them, NOT AT THEM. Web design has responded, making content interact with the user.

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Many Catholics have unfortunately not followed suit. Instead of providing a platform for dialogue, they still overwhelm the reader with a flood of links, photos, details and outdated material. Instead of engaging with their readers, they encourage them to tune out and click ‘close’.

I offer 5 ideas to improve your website. These ideas will increase the dialogue you have with your readers (visitors), which will subsequently increase engagement. Increased engagement is the root of all increases in donations. 

By increasing engagement, readers recognize your value and therefore take the next step, asking, “how can I get involved?”. When a reader reaches this question, this means real opportunities for engaging with your mission and donating.

Here are the 5 ways to increase donations through increased website engagement:

1. Publish your Sunday sermon on your website.

Blogging has become the rave in recent years. What the world doesn’t recognize is that priests have been blogging for 2,000 years! Priests should publish their blog each week, allowing parishioners to read the sermon throughout the week. They can forward it to a friend or family member, and if they missed Mass altogether, they know the sermon is accessible. If someone visits the website, they can read it and engage with what the priest is preaching about on Sundays.

Posting a sermon as a blog allows you to keep in touch with people the entire week. A key reason why people donate is that they value how you nourish them. If they have access to the sermon 7 days a week, that’s six more days they can be inspired.

Not sure how to build a website or how to improve yours? Check out this step-by-step article I wrote on how to do just that. 

2. Buy the domain name.

Too often I see parishes whose domain name has ‘.wordpress.com’ or ‘blogspot.com’. From the laity’s perspective, this looks unprofessional. A domain name costs less than $15 for the year. It also allows you to improve your website’s visibility on the web, meaning people can find your website (your parish) much easier. So, for $15, you can dramatically increase your website traffic, which will lead to more foot traffic to your parish.

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3. Replace the donate button with ‘Mass Intentions’.

Let me explain through an analogy. When a person places a donation in the basket or collection box in the church, it’s connected to prayer. The person is, therefore, engaging both spiritually and physically with your parish.

The same should be for your website. People come to your website for two things in particular: Mass times and location. Why not display next to the Mass times a button that says ‘Mass Intentions’ rather than a ‘donate’ button? This allows the reader to immediately interact with you as if they were in your church. Along with the ‘Mass intention’ button, you could also have a ‘Light a candle’ button.

I wrote an article which outlines and debunks the misconceptions around online donations. Yes, online donations (and getting a lot is a reality). However, not in the way you think- check it out.  

4. Place Mass Times and location directly on your homepage.

As I mentioned, people visit your website primarily for two reasons. They want to know when Mass is and where you are located. Most parish websites, however, make you hunt for this information. They hide it as a link in a dropdown menu (which are not practical for smartphones, so I recommend not using them at all.

This is web design from the 90s and outdated…), between blurry/dark photos of past events and a long description of its history. Why not keep things simple and give people what they want immediately without overflowing them with information? By designing your website for the reader, they will more than likely do two things. One, they will visit your parish, and two, return to your website to find the next Mass time.

5. Track your web traffic.

There is little reason to have a website if no one is visiting it. Today, a website is one of the most effective methods for reaching out to people. Knowing how many people visit your site (‘web traffic’) can help you understand if you are reaching out to people. It’s very similar to tracking your ‘foot traffic’ in your church.

With a website, people don’t have to physically enter your church. They can ‘come in’ from the comfort of their home, their work and even the local restaurant. By tracking your website statistics, you can know how well you are doing to attract people. Google Analytics and SEO statistics (all free with a domain website) allow you to easily track these statistics for and help you learn how to increase your web traffic.

You can learn how to track and improve your web traffic in 2 minutes by reading this article.

I hope these ideas have been helpful. I have used them to improve Catholic websites and see the results.

What do you think would increase Catholic donations through your website?

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