There’s never been a better time to fundraise…
Yet standing out from the crowd can be more challenging than ever.
Enter Fr Michael White.
Fr Michael is a Catholic priest in Baltimore. He wrote a book titled Church Money: Rebuilding the Way We Fund Our Mission – Lessons from a Catholic Parish (Order through Ave Maria Press).
As a fundraiser, I was eager to review this book and share this priest’s advice which applies to ALL Catholic apostolates.
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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.
Greetings, my fellow Catholics. Today, we are going to be reviewing a book, a Catholic book on Catholic fundraising, and three points that I think are worthwhile to extract from this book. So stick with me, for three tips from a Catholic priest, a Catholic fundraiser, and, from a Catholic parish, on how to fundraise.
Now, before we dive in (and I will show you the book, as well) a quick introduction: My name is Brice Sokolowski, founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, a website that is completely dedicated to helping Catholics just like you with their fundraising. So whether you’re starting out or you’re already full throttle in your fundraising for your parish or your lay apostolate, or your religious order, you’re going to get a lot out of what we’re talking about today. Because, even though it’s a Catholic parish, I think the advice is relevant for anyone.
First, make sure to download — absolutely free — my guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. These are 10 recommendations that I’ve found over the years that have been very, very successful in my fundraising. It’s lessons learned from what I’ve done and also, what other people have learned and shared that works. So make sure that you download, absolutely for free, the great tips you’ll find in my guide, The 10 Commandments of Fundraising, plus this book that we’re going to review and talk about now.
So, let’s dive into, Church Money, by Father Michael White and Tom Kokorin (I hope I said those names right!).
One obvious question always is, (and I’m glad they started their book this way) is… Do they come from a “wealthy part” of the United States? Are there a lot of affluent donors? Are they just “talking an easy talk?
They, and their Church of the Nativity, are in Baltimore (MD) County, and they say they’re located on the “modest part” of Baltimore and they say that what they have written, based on 15 years experience, works. Even as budget, meaning how much they’re spending on everything that they do, has tripled in that same time. They have done three fundraising campaigns over the years. The second campaign doubled what the first campaign achieved and then, the third campaign achieved five times what the second campaign had! So that means, by the end of their third campaign, they had achieved 10 times the goal of their first campaign and quadrupled their staff. They say there’s nothing special about where they live and yet, they are able to raise a lot of money, to do a lot of wonderful things.
I like what they talk about in the book for the most part. My one recommendation for this parish would be that I wish they’d spend more of their money (it doesn’t have to be a whole lot more) on beautifying their parish. Just my personal preference. I think they could have made it a little bit more “liturgically beautiful,” if you know what I’m talking about. But obviously, they’re doing some great stuff. They’re experiencing a lot of growth. With that said, let’s figure out what they say in this book.
I’m going to review it in three parts because I think there were a lot of good tips in this book. So here are three lessons that I’m going to call the key facts all Catholics should know about when it comes to fundraising. Three key facts. And the first one out of this book is, they lay it out and tell it like it is. Now I’m looking at my notes, and I’ll add that why I’m going over now will also be on my website. So you can get a transcript of everything I’m saying and reading here now.
Money is a test. And what this book’s authors say is, we may wish we didn’t have to think about money but God doesn’t agree. Money tests character because it requires us to develop a solid work ethic and firm discipline around the way we handle money. So first and foremost lesson is that fundraising is difficult; anything with money is difficult. That’s the test. So recognize upfront that, when you get into fundraising, you are being tested. This is not easy, because there’s a lot on the line. Money is a very difficult thing. So you just have to recognize it. All fundraisers recognize that and do I. That’s point number one.
Point number two on the key facts is that every Catholic should know is, know why you are fundraising. Let’s go a little bit deeper with those details. Like why you’re probably changing the boiler, changing the heater, changing the air conditioning, paying staff, getting a new roof, etc. All of these things are obviously important. But is it really the “why” behind your need to fundraise? All those things are very, very important but how are they connected to your apostolate’s mission? Your parishes mission? You always have to be explaining why a new roof, a new staff member, a new project connects with your mission. That’s a key point.
And then the third key point, very simply, is good planning. Follow a plan in this book. That is why they wrote the book because they’re saying these are the lessons worth learning. You’ve got to learn how to fundraise. You’ve got to follow a plan. You can’t (and shouldn’t) do this alone. That is why I recommend going out and buying this book.
I have a book as well that is a definitive guide to Catholic fundraising. You can — for free — download my guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising, on my website, where there’s a whole lot of other resources, too. Don’t do this on your own. I can help take the guesswork out of how you fundraise.
So, those are the first three tips from the series I’m going to do about this book, and on how to fundraise. These are some key facts all Catholics should know about fundraising from the book, Church Money., God love you and I look forward to seeing you in our next vlog podcast on this book and on how to effectively fundraise. God bless, Bye!
Want to fundraise more for your Catholic apostolate?
Make sure to get your free copy of ‘The 10 Commandments 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.