Here’s a piece of advice for you, “Be careful not to shut down this summer.”
Many Catholic apostolates tend to see the summer as a downtime, especially when it comes to fundraising.
You may think this because most people are unavailable this time of the year, so why do any fundraising, right?
Now is the perfect time to attract new donors. Here are my three suggestions for what you should be doing this summer:
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Let’s discuss three actions that you can take over your summer to prepare you for success over the rest of the year.
Hi, I’m Brice Sokolowski, founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, the website dedicated to helping Catholics with their fundraising. Today, we’re going to be talking about what to do with your summer, which tends to be, as a season, low time in fundraising in comparison to the end of the year (October, November, December). All too often what happens with nonprofits and Catholic apostolates is that fundraisers are tempted to just sit around over the summer and say, ‘Well, there’s not a lot going on. So let’s not do any fundraising.’
Well, I don’t agree. Here are three things you can do that I think will help you fundraise more effectively over this summer.
Now, before I jump into those three things, I just want to make sure that you download absolutely for free my ‘10 Commandments of Catholic Fundraising.’ This is the guide that I’ve written that’s been downloaded by thousands and thousands of Catholics to help them move forward with their fundraising. Today, I’m going to give you some great tips on my podcast and vlog that can get you started, but I also want you to be prepared for the long term. So make sure that you download my ‘10 Commandments, of Catholic Fundraising,’ absolutely free. This will outline 10 steps you should be taking with your fundraising on a regular basis. We can help you fundraise more, effectively find more donors, find more donations, and most importantly, stay aligned with your Catholic faith, your apostolate, and its mission.
Okay, it’s Summer Review time: What to do over the summer with your fundraising? There are three efforts that I think you should or could be doing to prepare for your most successful fundraising ever, through the rest of the year.
Number one is what I call the IG Nation review. We all know about examining our spirituality, where you kind of sit back and you review what you’ve done to grow closer to God, and how you may have drifted away from God. Now, I’m not an expert, but I do know this whole concept of sitting back and reflecting — and also reading the Gospels — is very, very helpful with life. I think it’s also very effective with fundraising, especially when we might want to insert excuses for why we have not fundraised as much as we wanted to. For example, we just got out of a pandemic. There is a lot of frustration and anxiety in the world today, and we could easily say, ‘Well, all of this stuff is happening. It’s going to negatively impact my fundraising…’
Newsflash: It is impacting everyone’s fundraising So if you’re saying it’s out of my hands, I can’t control all this stuff that’s happening, I can’t really fundraise, my event was canceled, I couldn’t stop that from happening, so I just can’t do it, well those are excuses, and I’m recommending that you sit back and reflect on what you could have done differently. How could you have realigned your fundraising so that it might not have been as negatively impacted as it was? What could I have learned from this experience? So that’s point number one.
Action number two you can take during this downtime is to get organized. Yes, you’re probably not going to be doing as many fundraising activities as the end of the year, (which can be a very intense season). But you can get organized and prepare yourself for the end of the year by taking some simple steps. Review your contacts, review and clean up your database, make sure that everybody’s properly organized and all names are written correctly. Maybe you’ve met some new people and they haven’t been included yet in your system. Just get organized, review all your contacts and appeals, and everything that you’ve been doing.. That’s action number two.
Action number three is to start planning. Start planning right now for the rest of the year. Commit to paper what you’re going to do. The 11th century philosophical and theological writer, Saint Thomas Aquinas (who penned over 6,000 works) is said to have believed the hand is a conduit of the mind. He was big, obviously, on writing. So you’ve got to write down what it is that you’re going to do because writing helps clear up what you’re going to do and how you’re going to get it accomplished. You can’t just say, ‘Hey, well, it’s not the end of the year yet. We’ve got time. We’re going to be doing something for an end of the year campaign.’
Is doing just one campaign over the next six months really going to get you and your mission where you want to be? What are some other things that you can do? How can you more effectively fundraise? So break it down into two-month increments, or, break it down into weeks if you can, and figure out how you are going to be fundraising over the rest of the year to ensure achieving what it is that you want to achieve now. That’s how you help your apostolate’s mission.
I hope these three tips have been helpful. Share this with a friend, please, and share this with other Catholic apostolates that you think would benefit from this advice. Reach out to me either on my website or on social media. I’d be happy to answer your questions. God loves you and I will speak to you next week.
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.