Asking by the Rules: Canon 1262 and You

Following the Rules - Code of Canon Law and Fundraising

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.

Brice Sokolowski Catholic Fundraiser

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.

The 3 Hacks to Successful Fundraising in the Catholic Church

How to Win Donors and Take Your Mission or Church to the Next Level

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.

Brice Sokolowski Catholic Fundraiser

Every week, so many wonderful Catholics ask me, How can I get better at fundraising? One of the most important things that you can do to make this happen is to increase your level of commitment. Many of us focus on getting others to become more committed, but this isn’t where you should start.

Fundraising is about getting people so passionate about your cause that they want to support you financially. How to do this? You’ve got to increase people’s level of commitment — one step at a time — until they reach this desired goal.

The decision to financially support your church or cause and its efforts only happen after many other decisions have been made. Until you help people reach this level, you’ll stay where you are with your fundraising.

There’s a recurring perspective in the nonprofit world that you cannot give someone anything in exchange for a donation. This notion is false because you must give every person something. However, it should not be some tangible gift. Instead, you must give the person more in mission value than he or she gives in cash value. Meaning, donors see their money going into your cause as being of more value than staying in their hands (or wallet).

I’ve got good news. If you commit to increasing your mission’s value, then you will automatically take positive steps to increase your fundraising.

Want to listen on the go? Check out the audio version of this article.

Raising your commitment to your cause

It’s so easy for busy Catholics to rush through a campaign at warp speed. They push through the fundraising without stopping to figure out where they’re going, who they’re helping, or what all these funds will help do. As a result, people are unclear about what will be done with their donations and thus hesitate to give.

I helped one diocese raise $50 million; I’ve doubled another charity’s revenue for three consecutive years; and I helped a Catholic apostolate raise six figures’ worth of donations from just one email. All of this seemed impossible to me at first, but in looking back, I realize that my commitment to sharing the value of each mission was at the core of each success.

Here are three simple hacks you can increase your commitment which can then raise the value of your cause.

Hack #1. Improve your fundraising skills

We can’t talk about fundraising without knowing how to do it. Your skills can boost or crash your results faster than anything else. Like the virtues, you’ve got to learn how to perform them. The Catechism teaches us that you acquire the virtues by learning what they are and taking repeated actions to do them. You therefore must educate yourself about how to fundraise and how to fundraise well. This is done by spending time reading, watching, and listening to training material.

I recommend registering for one of my online courses that teach you how to fundraise. The courses include major donor fundraising, internet fundraising, campaign fundraising, and how to become a success development director.

Human virtues acquired by education, by deliberate acts and by a perseverance ever-renewed in repeated efforts are purified and elevated by divine grace. – CCC 1810

Hack #2. Get a fundraising coach

I’m a strong advocate for surrounding yourself with the right people. This definitely applies to fundraising. Some people choose to hire a fundraiser, but most of us don’t have the funds to do so. The best alternative is to hire a fundraising coach who will teach you how to do it for yourself. This option is both a tremendous benefit and investment for you because the best fundraising always happens from within an organization. Donors and prospects always want to hear directly from the leadership rather than a fundraiser.

Each week, I provide one-to-one coaching to Catholic organizations. Together, we plan, develop, and launch initiatives to raise funds. To start your coaching sessions, contact me today by clicking this link.

Hack #3. Work on it every day

When it comes to fundraising, you’ve got to show up every day. You can’t leave it to the last-minute or push it aside for months at a time.

As I said earlier, people donate because they are passionate about your cause and see their money as getting more constructively used in your hands than in their pockets. I’m not saying that you have to ask people for money every day, but you’ve got to be watching who God brings into your life and how to get them involved.

Whether that means sending thank you letters, personally calling donors, or simply sharing updates about your mission, you’ve got to work at inspiring people every day.

When you inspire people each day with what you are doing to realize your — and their — mission, you are planting the seeds of your fundraising.

To learn what to do each day to increase daily commitment, I recommend ordering a copy of my book, Alms, which outlines the essential tasks any Catholic should be taking.

Here are your next steps

As a fundraiser helping hundreds of Catholic causes, I have seen amazing things happen when we increase commitment to our missions. We have more confidence and clarity in our donation requests, we gain more people around us to ask, more donors continue supporting us, and we grow more and deeper faith that we are doing what God wants.

Question: How will you raise your commitment today to your Catholic cause? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Brice Sokolowski Catholic Fundraiser

Ascension Roundtable: Do’s and Don’ts of Catholic Fundraising

I just did an interview with Ascension Press on their podcast, Ascension Roundtable.

You may be familiar with their other podcasts: Fr Mike Schmitz video series and the Jeff Cavins Show.

Anyways, I was just sharing my story of how I teach Catholics how to start and grow Catholic apostolates, and I’ve been doing it for over five years.

They asked me how I stayed on top of the game… how I stayed on the cutting edge of fundraising while holding to Catholic values.

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It’s an interesting question.

And the answer is all about my “dream list”.

Now I know that sounds like some hype term – but it’s not.

It’s a real thing, and I’ve used that “dream list” for three years now. And it’s made a huge impact on my fundraising.

In fact, it’s actually transformed the entire approach to fundraising for Catholics. You can learn more about how to build your own dream list by reading this article.

It’s a strange story, unlike anything else in the fundraising world. I tell the rest of the story in the interview.

Stay blessed,

Brice

P.S. I need to come up with something else to call it besides “dream list”… but sometimes when the sandal fits, you should just go ahead and wear it.

Question: What’s your biggest struggle with fundraising in a Catholic context?

How to raise 1 billion dollars for Catholic charities

This week I am in Bratislava speaking at a fundraising conference by Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican’s arm of charitable work and responsible for raising $1 billion in donations per year.

That’s one BILLON; otherwise known as a lot of money.

I’m offering six workshops on how to fundraise better which I want to share with you. You will find this information incredibly useful because you get behind the scenes with us on how to improve your fundraising in today’s 21st-century landscape.

The majority of Catholic dioceses, parishes, religious orders, charities, schools and lay apostolates still depend on out-dated tactics such as direct mail, church appeals, external consultants, and event fundraising. All of these methods require lots of time to prepare, lots of money, and, most importantly, deviate your focus from the mission.

Thankfully the world of fundraising has moved on from these old, rusted ways, and what’s even better, we have more opportunities to ask for money in a more Catholic way.

However, are you still in the old or moving into the new?

Get VIP access to all the presentations

The focus of my workshops is to show how you can fundraise in today’s landscape without spending lots of time, effort, and money. Plus, I base my approach on two main sources: Catholic Social Teaching and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

This way you stay focused on what you want to do: your mission, which is to save lives and souls.

I am giving private access to the presentations ONLY to those people who subscribe to my website.

So, if you want access to what Caritas is doing to raise $1 billion dollars and learn how you can use these same methods, subscribe today by clicking here.

These presentations and information are available only to those people who act today. If you read this and it’s past June 22nd, I’m sorry. You missed out. I won’t be giving this opportunity again.

Six fundraising workshops that will improve how you fundraise

Below I’ve listed the six different topics that I cover.

Workshop 1: How to Leverage Change in Fundraising

I explain how fundraising has dramatically changed in the past five years, and these changes benefit Catholic organizations. I take about how you can leverage technology to reach more people.

I also talk about how you can become more authentic in your approach which will automatically attract more people to donate.

Workshop 2: Keeping Prayer at the Center of Fundraising

Prayer is not a topic most fundraisers discuss, other than asking people to pray that the campaign raises money. I explain why prayer is the fundamental part of your fundraising.

Without it, you will struggle because you are forgetting the divine aspect of your work.

Workshop 3: How to Build a Fundraising Plan

Most campaigns don’t reach their targets because they don’t have a plan. The key to long-term success is to have a plan which outlines what you do, when you do it, and how to improve along the way.

I talk about the measurements and actions you have to take to make this happen and keep you on track.

Workshop 4: The Fundraising Mindset

Fundraising is stressful, and it’s likely something you didn’t imagine yourself doing. I explain how to stay motivated, how to engage with your team, how to stay positive, and how to keep going when things get tough.

Workshop 5: The 10 Habits of a Great Catholic Fundraiser

Like the spiritual life, we have to follow daily habits to keep us on the straight and narrow. I give my top 10 habits along with helpful tools to keep you going and adjust when things get tough.

Workshop 6: How to Attract Donors

What does it take to get Catholics to donate to you? I explain what works and doesn’t work. In fact, I outline the seven things you can do which will guarantee you more donors. I also explain how to become the next iconic charity.

Get access to all six presentations by subscribing today

To get access to these presentations and content, make sure to subscribe today by clicking here. This opportunity will only happen once, and once the opportunity has passed, the presentations and content on how to fundraising like Caritas (which raises $1 billion a year) will no longer be made available.

How a Catholic American is thriving in Secular France

I was recently on the Jennifer Fulwiler show to talk about my book, Alms: Your Definitive Guide to the Ins and Outs of Catholic fundraising.

To get a free copy of the book, jump to this page. (Warning: there is a LIMITED supply. So, first come, first serve.)

However, we spent most of the time talking about my experience as a Catholic American living in France. (I didn’t mind the detour because my extraordinary life is all thanks to having faith in God that writing this book was necessary.)

More than likely, if you don’t live in Europe, you may think France is predominantly secular and rapidly losing its Catholic heritage and culture.

Well, I’m happy to say that it’s not entirely accurate.

Catholicism is pressing forward and battling the countless heresies (secularism, relativism, modernism) we face.

And through my work of helping Catholic charities, parishes, dioceses, religious orders, and lay apostolates, I see first hand the good news stories of how Catholicism is still alive.

Here are four examples of how I am living a Catholic life deep in the heart of France.

1. I’m surrounded by Catholicism

I don’t need to jump in a car and drive 30 minutes to find something Catholic. Every morning, noon, and evening, the 15th-century church next door to my home rings the Angelus bells. The call to prayer is sounded throughout the village.

Also, I don’t even need a car to get to Mass or visit a chapel. I can walk within 15-minutes to about seven chapels and churches from my home.

#provencefrance passed Notre Dame de la Brume on my bike ride today

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In fact, I don’t own a car. Everything I need to live is within a .2 mile radius. That includes the grocery store, supermarket, baker, car shop, dry cleaner, and restaurants.

I also personally know the four priests of my village who organize a parish event most weekend. This weekend, I am traveling 30 minutes (this is far for me!) to the Cistercian Abbey of Senanque.

And a little over an hour from my home is the spectacular Basilica of Saint Marie-Madeleine which holds the relics of Mary Magdalene.

2. I’m surrounded by monasteries and convents

I already mentioned the Cistercian Abbey of Senanque. Though within a 30-minute radius of my home, I can visit eight religious monastic communities. Most of them are full of young religious, too.

I love where I live because in between work meetings I get to do sightseeing. #lovelife #hustle #vaucluse #provence

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The Cistercian Abbaye Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours: http://www.abbaye-blauvac.com/

Carmelite Retreat Center, Notre Dame de Vie: http://www.notredamedevie.org/

Cistercian Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque: http://www.senanque.fr/

Benedictine Abbaye Sainte-Madeleine du Barroux: https://www.barroux.org/en/

Benedictine Abbaye Abbaye Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation: see the Barroux’s website

Monastère des Redemptoristines: https://www.redemptoristines-st-restitut.fr/

Clarists of Montfavet: http://www.clarisses-montfavet.eu/

Norbertine Canon Regulars of St-Michel de Frigolet: http://www.frigolet.com/

3. My day-to-day allows me time to have a spiritual life

When I worked in the corporate world, I would be working 60 hours a week, coming home late most evenings, and sometimes working on the weekends.

Today, I am not stressed by the constant demands of our modern culture to push, push, and push some more.

I’ve chosen a balanced life and benefited greatly from it. Yes, I’ve given up a few perks, but I’ve gained so many others. I have more time for daily meditation, spiritual reading, weekday Mass, and adoration.

Nature also surrounds me. With minutes, I can walk through vineyard fields and pray my rosary.

I can also connect frequently with religious people, giving me, even more, nourishment for my mind, body, and soul.

4. I can pursue my vocation 24/7 to help Catholics fundraise

I travel the world from where I live to help Catholics fundraise better so they can do more of what they do best: save lives and souls.

Next week I am going to Vienna for a fundraising conference with Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican’s charitable arm that is active in 44 countries. Caritas raises of $1 billion dollars a year to fund its charitable activities.

And two weeks later, I travel to Rome to prepare for a fundraising conference/pilgrimage later this year.

I highly recommend attending this pilgrimage/conference if you are a fundraiser for a Catholic diocese, parish, charity, religious order, or lay apostolate. You can learn more at this link: catholicfundraiser.net/rome.

The benefits of pursuing your vocation

I’m blessed to be an American living in France because, as St Theresa of Lisieux says, “confidence and nothing but confidence leads us to Love.” I didn’t know things would end up like this, but I had confidence God would take care of me.

You could call “confidence” faith, which is one of St Theresa’s key ingredients to her Little Way.

I’ve had my ups and downs, with my confidence and faith dwindling at times, but I’ve offered this to Jesus, and he’s helped me persevere to today.

Question: How is God blessing you today?

Alms Book Fundraising