The world has changed a lot since Saint Anthony of Padua was preaching in the 13th century. Back then, you did not have the internet, email, websites, video, audio recordings… so asking for donations looked utterly different.
But there is something that hasn’t changed in 800 years, and that is keeping our appeals aligned with Scripture.
Saint Anthony of Padua wrote one of my favorite guides on how to connect fundraising with Scripture.
His book, ‘The Moral Concordances,’ offer you and me the perfect compass for navigating a campaign.
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In the next few minutes, you will learn three very powerful tips on actually how to improve your fundraising from St Anthony of Padua himself.
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, 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 dive into St Anthony of Padua. More than like, you already know about him. He is a very popular saint from Portugal. Born in the late 12th century, his name was Fernando Martin and grew up in a very wealthy family. So he comes from wealth and understands this concept of money. That’s why I think he has some great insight with fundraising. He was ordained a priest, and from what I understand is that some Franciscan friars came into his area. He was very inspired by them and asked to leave his parish to become a Franciscan. When he did that, he changes his name to Anthony. When he was offering a Mass with Dominicans both of the orders were very inspired by his homily. He did a really good job, and it just kept rolling, rolling and rolling for him in the sense that he was able to give wonderful harmonies but also teach the faith. St. Francis himself asked Anthony to teach the friars. And so we became a great teacher.
Also, he is the patron saint of lost items because I believe somebody stole one of his books. I believe it wasn’t a friar who was ordained, but he was planning to become one, and he said, “this isn’t for me.” And he also took a book with him. Saint Anthony said a prayer, hoping to get his book back because he liked his book. The book was returned, as well as the thief who stole it, who eventually did become a friar. And so that’s why we pray to St Anthony to help us find lost items.
Fundraising. So what does St Anthony about this topic? Well, there is a book that I came across called “The Moral Concordance is of St Anthony.” Now I will be referencing my notes, so I will look down. If you’re seeing this video, that’s why I’m pausing. The script is right below, so you can read along and reference what I’m referencing. And also, if you listen to this audio, it’s also included. So it is really interesting how he organizes this book. He writes about a specific topic by directly referencing Scripture. In the book, there is an entire section on almsgiving/fundraising. And I think there were three key topics that I thought were really, really profound for me, and I thought to share them with you on how to fund.
So the first recommendation covers what do you do when you’re just starting out. I think this is really important, because when you do start a campaign, that question is, Well, how do I start? And St Anthony gives this recommendation by referencing 1 Timothy 6:8, and first Timothy says, “If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.” I see I see this happening a lot where people are fundraising when they more than likely don’t need to be fundraising. So I completely agree with St Anthony that usually if you have food and clothing, you don’t need to be fundraising. So the big lesson here is, do you really need to be fundraising? Do you really need the money? More than likely, I really believe that you do not need to. You can just go off and start whatever it is that you’re doing without additional funds. So that’s the first recommendation.
The second recommendation from Saint Anthony is what to do after you have made a decision to fundraise. How do you actually get people to donate you? St Anthony recommends that we read Psalm 112 verses two and three. “His descendants shall be mighty in the land, a generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house; his righteousness shall endure forever.”
The way that I understand this is to focus on the specific line “generation of the upright will be blessed.” You have to be authentically 100% Catholic. You must believe the Catholic Church’s teaching. You have to live it out day by day. Ther is no ‘half and half’ here. And if you do that, the Psalm says, and Saint Anthony is telling us, to take this to heart. “Wealth and riches shall be in his house.” So be as good of a Catholic as you can be. And if you think you already as good as you can be, even raised the bar further. So be a great Catholic in that is who people will be donating to.
Okay, the third recommendation from Saint Anthony is focused on the topic, Who do you ask? You are moving forward with your organization, your cause, your mission. Who do you ask? Anthony recommends that we look to Jeremiah chapter four verse three. It says: For to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, thus says the LORD: Till your untilled ground, and do not sow among thorns.
The way that I translate this with fundraising is you must pay attention to your community, your Catholic community, the people around you, your volunteers, the people that you know, and ask them. More than likely, that is where you will get donations. I really don’t recommend asking somebody that you don’t know. I’ve seen too many times people asking a foundation that they don’t know or asking somebody on the other side of the country, or on the other side of the world. You must til your own ground. I think God is blessing you more than you actually recognize. And that’s one of my big pieces of advice to Catholics. You must pay attention to what God is already providing you. Do not look among thorns. Don’t go asking people who don’t believe what you believe. Just stay within your own community and you will find some incredible things. I know this because I’ve seen it.
Okay, this video is much longer than all the other ones. My apologies on that. I hope you enjoy this. Please leave a comment. Share this with a friend. God love you. And I look forward to speaking with you next week.