Pope Benedict XVI, Hope, and How to Fundraise

Three recommendations on how to fundraise from Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical, Saved in Hope

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.
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Today is the Memorial of Saint Benedict, and I was reviewing earlier this week Pope Benedict XVI‘s encyclical, Saved in Hope.

How does this connect with raising funds?

When we fundraise, we often use the word hope. “I hope this campaign works.” “I hope they say yes.” “I hope to find donors.”

On the surface, these phrases may seem reasonable to you. But there is an important takeaway when it comes to hope.

Pope Benedict tells us that hope, if not understood properly, can do more harm than good. This fact is especially true with fundraising, and he shares why. Check it out:

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In just a few minutes, I’m going to share with you three recommendations from Pope Benedict XVI on how to improve your fundraising.

Hi, I am Brice Sokolowski, the founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, a website that is designed to help Catholics just like you with their fundraising. Whether you’re starting out, trying to find which direction to go, trying to look for new ways to improve your fundraising, or you’re simply trying to expand, reach out and grow your apostate, you are in the right place today.

Before we dive in and learn about Pope Benedict XVI, I first want to make sure that you’ve downloaded the “10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising.” This guide lists the 10 things that I think you should be doing because a whole lot of Catholics are doing them. So I want to make sure that you download athlete for free. The link is right below. Whether you’re watching this on the podcast, the video on my website, YouTube, wherever you are, there will be a link right below. Make sure that you download your copy absolutely for free. The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising.

Okay, let’s talk about Pope Benedict XVI. You know who he is. Most everybody, I would think, knows who he is. A fantastic Pope. I’m a big fan, and I have in my hand one of his encyclicals, Saved in Hope. This is a great source for fundraising because a lot of fundraising is using the word hope. “I hope my campaign works.” “I hope people donate.” “I hope that I raised money.” We use the word hope a lot. So I thought it would be a great idea to dig into what Pope Benedict recommends with his encyclical, Saved in Hope. How does the hope that he’s talking about relating to our hope as fundraisers to raise the money that we need for our non-profits?

And within this document, I highly recommend reading it for your faith. But at the same time, I think it’s very, very helpful with fundraising and within it, I’m going to highlight three specific recommendations or pieces of advice that Pope Benedict shares in this encyclical that I think would be really, really helpful for you. So here are three recommendations from Pope Benedict XVI and his encyclical, Saved in Hope, on how to improve your fundraising.

Number one. If you see me, looking down, or you hear me pause, it is because I’m reviewing my notes which also are included below. Just click the link below and you will find my notes. The first recommendation or piece of advice is what Pope Benedict describes as the lesser hopes of life, and he describes these as, and I’m paraphrasing him: We need the greater and lesser hopes that keep us going day by day. Hope for a better world. Hope for a certain position in our professional life. And hope for a fundraising campaign. Some success that will more or less kind of like proved decisive in the rest of our lives. So these are the lesser hopes, and we live with them day by day, especially with fundraising. But Pope Benedict does say that these air not enough without the greater hope, which must, as he says, surpass every other hope. So it’s okay to hope that your fundraising campaign works. However, this piece of advice has to be connected with his second piece of advice, and that is the greater hope of life.

Do you know what it is? It’s what he describes as the first essential setting learning how to pray. So the way that you find this greater hope of life is through your prayer life. And this is important because he says, When no one listens anymore, God listens. This is really, really important for a fundraiser because sometimes when you’re asking for donations, people don’t listen. People don’t donate, so you have to turn to God and again, he says: When I no longer talk to anyone or call upon anyone, I can always talk to God. Now it’s not to say that you’re calling God and asking for a donation, but at the same time, you are talking to him and saying, “I’m really struggling. I need your help” or “I need a bit of guidance.” So you have to make sure that you have a solid per like this is one of the key elements that talk about in my 10 Commandments. I’m not a spiritual director, but it’s one of the things that I help people lay a foundation for prayer that we make sure that they have a priest or they have some type of religious person that they’re connecting with. They must have a solid prayer life because the lesser hopes because when people don’t donate, it can be very, very, very disheartening. And that’s what prayer is all about. Without that greater hope that lesser hope of good fundraising campaign is gonna be very, very, very difficult.

And the last piece of advice from Pope Benedict is called Hope in Action. Hope in action. All serious and upright human conduct is hope in action. Pope Benedict is telling us to take action, and I’m paraphrasing him now: We strive to realize our lesser and greater hopes, for example, a fundraising campaign, to complete this or that task which is important for onward journey. So these things are good for fundraising. However, our daily efforts in pursuing our own lives and in working for the world’s future, either tire us or turn us into fanaticism unless we are enlightened by the radiance, the radiance of the great hope that cannot be destroyed even by small scale failures or by breakdown in matters of what he calls prevented historical importance. You have to take your hope in action through the bigger hope, hoping with prayer and hope in what you’re doing. Put those things together and take action. So if you fail in fundraising, go to the bigger hope. Speak to God, building your prayer life and then go back and take action. Always take action. Don’t get upset that you hope for in fundraising doesn’t work out. Build that prayer life Move forward as Pope Benedict is telling us and that is fundraising with the help of Pope Benedict.

I hope that you found this helpful. God love you. Thank you for your attention. Please share this with a friend and take care and speak to you next week.

Question: Which saint has given you great advice on how to raise funds? Please leave your comment below.

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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.