This week I got to catch up with a few of the Catholic causes that I’m fundraising for this Lent.
One is a religious order.
Another is a school.
Another is a lay apostolate.
The 4th is a Catholic entrepreneur.
Each of them has different goals (a few thousand to millions), but all want to run their appeal as CATHOLIC as possible. We talked all about what makes for a Lenten appeal that is both faith-based and successful.
I think the same applies to how Catholics should fundraise. Remember, we can’t simply copy what everyone else does. Today, I want to share with you some great ideas that can help you have a holier and faith-based approach to fundraising.
I can’t take all the credit for these ideas. A priest inspired me during his homily… and he hit it on the nail.
Fundraising has changed dramatically in the past decade, and 2019 will be another year of new ways to ask for donations. The focus used to be on direct mail appeals. You’d collect a mailing list of people and mail them your appeal. That method is slowly being replaced by online appeals for two reasons.
The first is online appeals are dramatically less expensive. Mailing a letter would cost you around a buck and change, while an email usually costs less than a nickel.
The second reason is ‘return on investment’ or ROI Non-profits – especially ones with smaller fundraising budgets – find this new approach to be more successful. You can send 2,000 emails for the same price as it would cost to send a single letter. More requests equal more donations, and fewer costs mean more money back into the mission.
In the wake of the scandals which continue to plague the Catholic Church, I’ve been interviewed multiple times by news outlets asking the same question, “How will Catholics respond?” The question is focused on the aspect of financial giving. Yes, Catholics are most definitely considering how to take action. However, you and I both know that taking financial action – which is appropriate – is not the most important.
And yes… it’s the fundraiser saying this – money is not the most important action! You and I can respond in greater ways than reducing the amount we donate.
We should look at the Second Vatican Council on how to respond. One of the pillar documents, Apostolicam Actuositatem, was written by the Council Fathers and lays out the blueprint for what the laity must do, especially during a scandal.