How to fundraise during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Three lessons I've learned about fundraising when things don't go according to plan

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.

Everything is getting pretty crazy.

We have the coronavirus spreading around the world, lives are being disrupted, and with most public Masses being canceled, it seems the Church is coming to a screeching halt.

You don’t need me to give you those updates. But even with all this craziness (and maybe because of it), we still need fundraisers. We still need people who are looking to help apostolates serve, reach people, and proclaim the Good News.

Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. – Isaiah 41:10

The world needs you to remember that God is with us. Which means you need to keep showing up and staying focused on the tasks at hand.

That’s what this week’s discussion is about:

I pray that Saint Joseph keeps you safe during these events.

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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.

Transcript

For the next few minutes, we’re going to look at three very important lessons about fundraising that we can learn during a pandemic like Coronavirus.

Hi, I’m Brice Sokolowski, the founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, a website completely dedicated to helping Catholics like you to fundraise. We’re going to be talking specifically about what to do and what lessons we can learn from what we are facing right now. Because, when it comes to pandemics like the Coronavirus, why do we maintain fundraising? Well, because, fundraising is important. It’s not important in comparison to the challenges surrounding the Coronavirus, no. But if you’re looking to fundraise during Lent, despite these trying times, then I’ve got three tips (three lessons learned), for you.

Now before we dive in, I want to make sure that you’ve downloaded — absolutely for free — my 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. These are 10 fundraising strategies that I recommend following on a regular basis. When it comes to fundraising, the 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising have been very helpful not only for me, but for thousands of other Catholics who have downloaded this absolutely free, really, really helpful guide that will help you move your mission forward.

Okay, let’s talk about three lessons learned during the Coronavirus. The pandemic. You know, things are being shut down. And so how do we continue fundraising? What can we learn? These are three lessons that I’ve learned when it comes to fundraising in light of everything that’s been happening.

The first lesson learned is… you cannot rely on events to do your fundraising. I’ve been saying this for several years. I’ve learned it from other fundraisers. You had a fundraising event that shut down, and you were looking to raise money or raise a big chunk of your yearly funds from that event. Well, you’re in a difficult situation now.

I’m going to give you some ideas on how to overcome that. The big lesson learned is that we can’t really depend on events. You can have events, but don’t rely on them. I’ve had events where the weather has impacted attendance. Other events can impact the number of people coming, for example, a sports or national or political event. Something else always happens. There’s always something going on. So Lesson #1 is: Do not rely on events and start thinking differently.

And this is where my second lesson learned comes from: Reassess your online strategy. The reason I say this is because people are recognizing that we can still connect online, even if our largest congregations — Masses — have, for the most part, been suspended. We’re being asked to watch our religious services via online streaming and if you work, you have conferences online while you work at home. So everyone is connecting via the internet, and they’re recognizing that the Internet is a pretty powerful thing. Social communications are a pretty important thing.

So Lesson #2 is reassessing how you’re leveraging your online strategy. There’s a Google grant that offers you as much as $120,000 of free online advertising. If you don’t know about that, connect with me on my website. I can teach you how to use that. You can use email to quickly send messages to people. You can call people. You have a website, you can do videos, and you can even do podcasts like I’m doing now. Reassess how you’re using the internet and your social communications to connect with people.

The third big takeaway lesson I have learned is that you’ve got to keep going. So if you had an event and it’s been canceled, you will still have to reach out to those people and talk to them and ask for a donation.

Don’t just put everything on hold. Now is a great opportunity to actually move forward with your fundraising, because guess what? A lot of people right now are stopping, their fundraising, but there are a lot of Catholic organizations, especially the ones that I help, that are actually taking all of this as a positive opportunity and recognizing that as Catholics, we can’t stop moving forward and proclaiming our Gospel. So keep going. Keep reaching out to people and keep moving forward.

I pray that this video has been helpful in light of all that’s going on and that you have a blessed March and blessed season of Lent. You don’t have to live in fear, but you can live by such virtues as bravery and generosity. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose faith. This is a great opportunity to grow spiritually.

God loves you, and I look forward to speaking with you next week. Thank you for listening. Make sure to subscribe to the CatholicFundraiser.net podcast so you never miss an episode on how to fundraise in the Catholic context and make sure to jump over to CatholicFundraiser.net for even more totally free resources. God bless!

Want to fundraise more for your Catholic apostolate?

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 was born and raised Catholic. After enjoying a successful career in technology consulting with Accenture and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in cities across the United States (Dallas, San Francisco, Paris, Abu Dhabi, and London) around the world, he left it to help his Catholic diocese in London, England with a fundraising campaign. The campaign went on to raise over $60 million, the largest sum ever raised for the diocese and in the United Kingdom.

Learning from professional fundraisers, he figured out the basics and then left the diocese to focus on what he loves most: building Catholic charities that change the culture, save lives, and save souls.

Brice currently lives in Texas and travels the world helping Catholics fundraise. This website is where he shares what he is doing and how he is raising funds for Catholic causes and missions. That way you can move more quickly with your next appeal.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, protect us as we announce the good news of God's beloved Son, Jesus Christ.