Happy feast of Saint Matthias, the Apostle. As you know, it’s the month of May (the month of Mary), and we are five months – nearly halfway – into the year.
During these 134 days, the coronavirus likely sideswiped your fundraising.
I had to pivot a lot of my campaigns and move on to Plan B by using virtual methods.
But after running a few “virtual” campaigns, there’s a lot to like about these campaigns! Fundraising has changed because of the coronavirus, and I want to share with you what I’ve learned.
That’s what this week’s lesson is all about:
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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.
Three Ways that the Coronavirus has Changed Catholic Fundraising Forever
Hi, I’m Brice Sokolowski founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, the website that’s completely dedicated to helping Catholics just like you fundraise better, especially in the 21st century.
Now, today we’re going to be talking about how the coronavirus has transformed Catholic fundraising forever. I’m going to be offering you three ideas as to why I think the pandemic has transformed Catholic fundraising and what you need to look out for to keep up with these changes.
So before we dive into that, I want to make sure that you’ve downloaded — absolutely for free — my guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. These are 10 pieces of advice that I highly recommend you do with your fundraising because these are 10 lessons that I have learned that have really helped my fundraising, too. My guide has been downloaded by thousands of Catholics, and it’s helped them with their fundraising, so make sure that you download, absolutely for free, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. The link is below.
Okay, on to fundraising. It has changed because of the coronavirus and even when everything opens up and life looks normal, I don’t think fundraising will ever be the way it once was, pre-COVID 19. I think the coronavirus has escalated certain aspects of fundraising that were already in motion. They have escalated in ways that I really think you have to start taking seriously. Here are some of them:
Number one: Donations are going digital. We’ve already watched how individual giving has been going down for years. Churches, parishes, religious orders, and organizations must all find a more suitable and sustainable approach to their fundraising now. Digital donations are suitable and sustainable. Digital donations are the way to go. People can make a donation at their convenience whenever, wherever they are. You can offer them different levels of giving and frequency, and enlist volunteer interest, because it’s very important for fundraising to do all of that, and this way, a digital donor can select what works best for them much, much more easily. It’s an easier way to fundraise. So that’s my point number one.
Number two: Reach more prospects and donors online and remotely. So, although Catholics have been locked up in their homes these past months, all of us could still connect via email, social media, websites, and, yes, even on the phone. The phone is still very important, so that old dependency or “lay-in-waiting” approach to finding donors, or meeting in person, really no longer applies. It’s still important and essential to ultimately be meeting in person — I’m not saying that is obsolete. What is the foundation of any apostolate if it isn’t nurturing fundraising? Isn’t meeting one-on-one? But for now, the online remote approach offers much more flexibility. It allows you to move things along much more quickly, to move relationships along and organize things much more efficiently. , So really, using online and remote tools are things you just have to be doing more often now.
My third point is directed towards those Catholics who do not adapt, that risk being overlooked, and I must say, risk becoming obsolete and forgotten.. Let’s just say that today’s Catholics expect its apostolates, its parishes, its religious orders to have a website, to be on social media, and to demonstrate, as Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II first envisioned, the ability to communicate and execute the Catholic mission throughout a digital continent. Many more prominent Catholic leaders, including Pope Francis, are recognizing that the new evangelization must leverage social communications. If you follow their wise advice and take social communication and the digital continent seriously, you too can reap the benefits. However, if you do not take this stuff seriously, you may well be putting your mission at risk.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions, please reach out to me. I’m always happy to share my experiences with other apostolates that you think would benefit from these ideas. God love you, and I will speak to you next week. Thank you for listening. Make sure to subscribe to the CatholicFundraising.net podcast so you never miss an episode of how to fundraise in the Catholic context. Also, make sure to jump over to CatholicFundraiser.net for more free resources to help you do what you do best — saving lives and saving souls. God bless you!
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.