There are countless opinions about reaching new people and finding new donors.
And there are a lot of fundraisers telling you their way works best.
But there is also a time-tested approach that rises about the rest.
It’s the approach that makes the most sense in today’s world of computers, smartphones, and tablets. While you may be hesitant to take your apostolate online, it is worth pursuing because of how easy and cost-effective it is to find new people and donors.
Let me explain why:
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Greetings, my fellow Catholics. Today, we are going to be talking about where to start with your fundraising. It’s a topic that I’ve covered before on CatholicFundraiser.net, and I’ve made a few videos on the topic because it just seems to keep coming up. I’m always getting emails and phone calls asking me, ‘Where do I start with my fundraising?’ So I’m going to offer you three recommendations that I think are going to help you build a starting point that outlines Where to ask, Who to ask, and How to ask.
Before I begin, let me make a quick introduction. My name is Brice Sokolowski, and I’m the founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, the website and apostolate resource completely dedicated to helping Catholics with their fundraising. So whether you’re starting out or you’re looking for some fresh ideas for your fundraising, you are in the right spot.
Also, please download – absolutely free – my guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. You are going to get plenty of information today on where to start, but if you have other questions about what to do and how to move forward, this guide is the place to go. The link is below as well as a link to this show’s archived notes. I’m going to be looking at my notes today, and afterward, all my show notes will be posted to my website. So if you’re not already there you can go and find even more information helping you with your fundraising.
So the question is where to start? Here are my three points:
Number one, first and foremost, you should donate to your own apostolate. You probably have either a Paypal account or some type of online account, so put a monthly recurring donation into your own apostolate. For the simple reason that, (it’s more psychological than anything), when you fundraise you may think that well, I need somebody else’s money to do the work that I want to do. Instead, you have to learn to look at it as I’m funding this myself, I’m doing the work. I’m funding it and it builds this personal sense of cause. Not that you don’t need anybody else, but I think it helps you reaffirm what you’re able to do on your own with what it is that you have. I think it’s one of the big key takeaways that I wish more Catholic apostates would embrace: Recognizing their own talents and abilities with (obviously) the graces of God. God is always giving you everything – absolutely everything – that you need to succeed. The question always is, do you recognize all that He has already given you? That’s my first point: Donate yourself.
My second suggestion on where to start depends on if you have board members, a mentor, or a group of people that you can go to for help and support. Make sure that all of them are donating. I’m not asking you to ask them for thousands upon thousands of dollars. Don’t start by thinking oh, I can’t ask them to fund my whole apostolate. That’s not the objective. The objective is your start to get into the habit of asking for donations. That’s point number two: the key factor is getting you to directly ask somebody for a donation because overcoming that is clearing a huge hurdle.
Don’t try and ask strangers, or people you barely know in other cities or parts of the world. Start with the people that you know. Ask them for donations (and that leads to point number three) to continue to extend your reach. Turn to family members and friends who know and trust you. I have talked about this before, the importance of potential donors knowing and trusting you. Ask them for financial support as well. Again, I’m not asking you to ask them for thousands and thousands of dollars, but figure out what they’re capable of doing and (ideally) can they make it a recurring donation? That way you secure recurring donations, thanks to maybe two, maybe three board members or people that you could potentially call board members. So that’s four donors and then, maybe you’ve got four or five friends or family members. Try and expand your reach to ten connections and, if each one of them gave $25 $50, you’re talking hundreds of dollars and that is a great starting point. Don’t think about chasing after 100,000 likes or dollars. Look to your closest connections. Sometimes we can think too big.
Finally, we have to think about what Jesus said to His disciples: Go out there with nothing and spread the Gospel and see what happens. Sure, they were a little hesitant, but they came back excited afterward because they actually did a whole lot. They accomplished tremendous amounts with nothing. Sometimes we forget that we’re already starting off with almost everything that we need, and that is our faith in Jesus and our hope that He is with us and loves us. We are within the body of Christ. You have to remember that. That really is your fuel, and it’s going to get you everything that you could possibly want when it comes to fundraising.
I don’t want to add too much to these recommendations on where to start, because I have already talked about how you balance your fundraising with your mission. Yes, sometimes apostolates and nonprofits get overwhelmed with fundraising and it overpowers the mission. I understand that you don’t want to do this My sincerest recommendation is to start with yourself right now. Make sure that your board members are donating. Make sure your family and friends are donating (and make sure that they’re doing it on a recurring basis).
God loves you. Thank you so much for your attention and I look forward to speaking with you soon. 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.