Three Catholic apostolates asked me questions this past week that I thought you’d find interesting.
Here are the 3 questions:
Question #1 – How do I compete for donations when there are so many other non-profits asking, there is a lack of generosity, and most fundraisers use scare tactics?
Question #2 – Where can I raise funds if I live in a poor community?
Question #3 – What to do when your leaders don’t want to try something new?
People have asked me these questions countless times over the years, so I thought to share my answers with you because you might be asking them too:
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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.
Today, I will answer three questions that I’ve received from Catholics on how to fundraise.
Hi, I’m Brice Sokolowski, the founder of Catholicfundraiser.net, and I’m going to be answering questions that I’ve received from people over the past few weeks on what to do with fundraising, especially during this pandemic. As I’m recording this, we’re in a pandemic, but I think what applies in this article applies regardless of wherever you are; pandemic or no pandemic. This includes Lent, Easter, Pentecost Ordinary time. I think these are three very, very good questions that I think you’re gonna benefit from. So let’s dive into these questions, Okay?
But before we dive in, I just want to make sure that you download — absolutely free — my ‘10 Commandments of Catholic Fundraising. These are 10 proven steps that I think you should be doing, especially on top of my recommendations today, to grow your fundraising. So, whether you’re starting out, you’re a development professional, or wherever you are in the fundraising world, I know you will find these 10 recommendations very helpful. These are the 10 best fundraising steps that I have learned firsthand and work best for my fundraising. My ‘10 Commandments of Catholic Fundraising’ has been downloaded by thousands of Catholics and reflects the wisdom and input of many more who have learned how to inspire and increase donations. So make sure that you download absolutely for free my ‘10 Commandments of Catholic Fundraising.’
The 1st question. The first person writes: “People are overwhelmed with causes everywhere they turn. So much show there is a lackluster to give or there is an overabundance to certain causes. And the methodology used is sometimes emotional blackmail in the solicitation of funds, so much that it’s not worth the effort.” I’m assuming they’re saying it’s not worth the effort to fundraise themselves because there’s an overabundance of asking and a lackluster to give. Additionally, people are blackmailing one another to fundraise. This is a very, very dark perspective of fundraising. Number one. There is not a lackluster to give. There might be a lackluster to give to specific causes, and that’s probably because they’re not very good causes or the fundraising is not inspiring them. But what I can say with the Catholic apostolates that I’m helping is there is an overabundance of giving because they’re doing a great job. So when you see a lackluster or you think there’s a lackluster of giving, don’t think that it pertains to everything and everywhere. There’s a lot of great generosity out in the world right now. I’m seeing it in the fundraising that I’m doing. So there’s not a lackluster but overabundance. I mean, there’s a lot of causes out there. There are some good ones and bad ones. We can’t change that. So my recommendation is to be one of the really good ones and this methodology about blackmail and solicitation.
Additionally, I agree that there is a lot of bad tactics with fundraising. That’s the whole reason I set up the website, Catholicfundraiser.net, to counter all of these negative or secular approaches to fundraising and find the Catholic way of fundraising. You know, the Church has been around for over 2000 years. We’ve had plenty of saints who had to fundraise, and they’ve left some thoughts and some ideas on how to do it. If you go to either my podcast, my website, or my YouTube channel, you’re going to see video after video, podcasts after podcast, on the saints’ approach to fundraising. So sure, I really recommend if you see something that you don’t like, don’t emulate it. But if you don’t know what to do, go to my website, Catholicfundraiser.net, and you’re gonna find some great ideas on how to fundraise.
The second question is: “Well, you know, there are poor areas. I live in a poor area, and that poor area is financially struggling. So the question is, can I still fundraise?” Well, the answer is yes. It’s been statistically proven that less wealthy areas are more generous than wealthier areas, wealthy parts of the country. I’m talking specifically about the United States, but I think this applies around the world. Wealthy people – on average – actually give less compared to everybody else. Now the question is, well, these lesser populations, they may not be able to give as much. Okay, but that’s a different subject. We are currently talking about the myth that their financial struggles stop them from donating. What you should look at is yourself. If you do want to fundraise, and you live in this type of area, I think you should raise your bar to be an exceptional apostolate. If you are getting money from people, and you know what people like to give towards, I recommend not ruling anybody out. But at the same time when you are asking, make sure it’s a genuine ask and make sure that you’re going to do something amazing with their donations. Otherwise, don’t fundraise.
The third question is: How do you get people to listen to new approaches versus the local church or their local church restricting new ideas?” Well, there’s not much you can do, and the reason I say that is I think one of the first articles I ever wrote several years ago was on this whole concept of change. You have to change because the times are changing. It’s not to say that everything is changing, but take, for example, this pandemic that we’re currently in. I also think this point pertains to what happens outside of a pandemic. At the moment, many of the things that we have to do is online because we can’t speak to one another in person. We can’t meet each other in person, so we are dependent on the Internet. The apostolates that took on the Internet years ago are reaping the benefits. They’re generating more donations than they have ever received. I see this firsthand, and so many doors are open door to them because all these other apostolates, parishes, and diocese aren’t prepared. They are not getting up and ramping up with new ideas. And so is it unfortunate for them? Absolutely. But it’s opening the doors for other Catholic apostolates. Therefore, how do you get people on board with new ideas? Well, when you’re growing up, you learn most often when you fail, hit the bottom, and get a reality check, saying to yourself, ”I think we should be doing something different.”
So that’s my feedback on these three questions/struggles. If you have a question on how to fundraise, please just caught him over my website, Catholicfundraiser.net. Download The Free Guide to 10 Commandments Catholic Fundraising, and then you get an opportunity to ask a question. And then that question might be answered on my weekly podcast vlog. I hope this was helpful. God love you, and I look forward to speaking with you next week.
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