How to fit fundraising into your Catholic faith

My fundraising started to kick into high gear when I better understood how it connects with my faith. The word “faith” gets thrown around a lot and unfortunately, it loses its meaning.  I took a close look to understand what faith means and what it does not mean.

The common phrase about faith when you fundraise is, “You just have to have faith, and it’ll all work out.” In everyday terms, we often hear, “I’m living on faith.”

What do these phrases mean? When someone says them, I also hear, “Just sit back and do not worry. What is supposed to happen, will happen.”

My conclusion is that people associate faith with not having to do much. This is entirely false. Just read what the Catechism says about the subject. With regards to fundraising, having faith means, if God wills it, people will donate. So you don’t have to spend lots of time fundraising because faith will take care of everything. Faith will magically make happen what you want. This approach has you believing more in magic than in faith.

How faith works in fundraising

I do not want to dive too deep into a theological lecture about faith, but I do have a few comments which I think will help you find a more Catholic approach with fundraising. Let’s first start with a Catholic definition of what faith actually is because it doesn’t mean to wait for things to magically appear out of nowhere.

Saint Paul defines faith in Hebrews 11:1 as

“the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”

Faith is the belief in things we yet cannot see. In the context of fundraising, you can say that faith is believing that donors and donations exist even though you cannot see them. It’s not that they will magically appear. They are just not in front of you at this very moment.

Therefore, faith doesn’t mean that donors will show up one day. Faith means that they are out there. This is a small but important distinction.

[Tweet “Faith doesn’t mean that donors will magically show up one day.”]

So when someone says you just need faith that you’ll receive donations, don’t think that donors will come with open checkbooks to your door. Faith means what you are looking for is out there. That’s it. It doesn’t mean donors and gifts will come to you. To have donations come to you, that’s where the work kicks in.

Have faith in God, not money

To have faith work in fundraising, you have to be crystal clear on what precisely you believe but cannot see. I am not talking just about money and donors. Money is bi-product of what you want. I am talking about having a clear understanding of what God is calling you to do.

If he wants you to take care of the homeless, does that mean God wants you to build a shelter? To take care of the sick, does that mean God wants you to build a hospital? To be a missionary, does that mean God wants you to build a network of people around the world?

Faith means getting clear on what you want. That’s step one.

Be clear on your mission.

Then, when you move forward, you have faith that God will surround you with the people that will support you. Those people start appearing in your life, and you stop them to say, “Hey, I want to talk to you.” With your eyes fixed on your vocation, you start recognizing the people along your path. It’s not that people appear out of nowhere. Nor is it that people appear after you ask. They show up because God wants you to succeed. You just have to keep your eyes open. This is how fundraising works. Fundraising happens when you are already doing what God wants you to do.

[Tweet “Faith means getting clear on what you want. That’s step one.”]

Again, let me be clear. Fundraising is a tool to help. It’s not the tool that makes it happen. You don’t need money to start realizing your vocation, cause, or mission. You have to already be moving forward. As you move forward in faith, fundraising can help you to keep going.

[Tweet “You don’t need money to start realizing your vocation, cause, or mission.”]

Again, a small distinction that has a tremendous impact. Fundraising is used to expand your reach, but it is never the catalyst or what keeps you afloat.

Grab a copy of my book, Alms: Your Definitive Guide to Catholic Fundraising, for even more ideas on how to move you forward.

How hope comes into play

Faith is also tied to hope. To go back to Saint Paul, he says that faith is the realization of what is hoped. Well, what do you hope for? Let’s open one of my favorite books, the catechism. I love being Catholic because everything is so clearly explained in the catechism. (If you don’t have one, I recommend purchasing one today.)

The Catechism states:

“Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.”

Hope for me is that burning fire that keeps me going to pursue what I yet cannot see. Hope doesn’t come from me. It’s from God. When you are looking for those donors that you have not found yet, hope helps you keep looking. Fundraising deals with constant rejection. Sometimes you will get weeks, even months, of people saying no to your requests. Hope, however, keeps you going. It’s important to recognize that hope kicks in when we are striving for the right purpose.

If you desire to find people who believe in your work, who see what’s possible, and passionate about your cause, then hope helps you make the journey.

“With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones.” – Ephesians 6:18

Hope helps build your confidence that you will reach your goal. You can pair the word hope with perseverance. Each step of the way, hope is guiding you with how to inspire people. Hope doesn’t mean going from one lukewarm campaign after another, thinking the next one does better. I see this a lot. It’s a skewed version of hope. If you’re dragging your feet from one campaign to another, it means you evaluate your approach. I say this because the Holy Spirit is giving you the wisdom, knowledge, and guidance on how to improve.

“But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.” – Luke 8:15

Putting your faith in fundraising

My goal is not to show you how we can place faith in money. I want to move fundraising a bit closer to the truths of our faith. The challenge with fundraising is that it lives in its own bubble, separate from the virtues. This is the problem. You have to look at fundraising with the right perspective if you want to get better at it.

For more on this topic, check out my article on how to rethink fundraising altogether with respect to your Catholic faith.

When we talk about faith in the context of fundraising, it doesn’t help to say, “have faith that donations will come.” That’s not going to get you moving forward. If anything it’s going to drain your desire to move forward with your mission. Money is not a necessity of life. We should not be sitting around waiting for it to appear. What is necessary is for you to find what your faith is actually telling you to do. This means finding your vocation, otherwise known as the answer to, “What does God want me to do?”

When you fundraise, you can be too focused on the idea that money is what will move you forward. When this happens, you become blind to what God wants you to do and who he places in your life. Sometimes he places donors where we least expect it. Sometimes he gives us guidance when we aren’t looking. We are so fixated with receiving money that we aren’t aware of what’s happening around us. We don’t see the people God is placing in our lives.

Always remember that every donation you receive comes from the hands of someone. Therefore, keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Get to know people. Build your community. Most

[Tweet “Always remember that every donation you receive comes from the hands of someone.”]

Therefore, flip your thinking on faith when it comes to fundraising. Start with getting clear with where God wants you to go. Then start walking in that direction. Don’t wait for the money to come. Just move forward. You don’t need money to start. Move forward and have faith that God will provide. As you move forward, watch who God places in your life.

Exercise

My goal is that you look at faith through a different lens when you fundraise. This adjustment moves you closer to understand what God wants you to do and how fundraising can help. Here is my recommendation for how to do just that.

Pray – Take time to have clarity of your mission. Where does God want you to do? Read part three of the catechism, “Life in Christ,” and review all the footnotes. The footnotes are a great resource of wisdom to move forward with your mission. Journal your thoughts on how you see your life in Christ.

Pray – Answer the question: “What is it that I truly hope for?” Then, ask yourself how you will persevere in your mission and fundraising. Detail what your prayer life needs to be to support you. Find mentors who will give you confidence. Build a community of people around you. It’s important to have your hope be on your mission, not on finding donations.

Pray – Write your plan of action. What acts of charity will you complete for the people you meet? You don’t have to wait for someone to give you money to be charitable to them. Be the first in showing generosity. Charity helps you realize your faith and hope.

Ask – Take action with every person you meet. Whether it’s asking them to donate, volunteer, keep in touch, pray, or attend an event, take action to build the relationship. Keep a list of the people you meet. Grow this list and keep in touch with everyone. Remember, the most important relationship you will have is the one with Jesus. Keep him close to you.

Question: What could you do to have fundraising better fit within your Catholic faith?

How to fundraise for your pro-life charity

Ever wonder how to fundraise for your pro-life charity?  Fundraising for pro-life charities is one of my favorite activities. I know that my work is helping one of the most important missions of the Catholic Church: saving lives of babies.

This week I want to share what I’ve seen works best in pro-life fundraising so that you can do more of what they do best.

When I speak to the leaders of pro-life causes, they frequently go straight to the point and ask, “How do I fundraise? I want to raise more money.” I understand why they are so direct because there’s no time to waste.

This is my response. “If you want to raise more money, you have to focus on your story. Don’t focus on money. I’m not saying you should never ask for donations. What I mean is that you have to get more and more people involved in your work by sharing your story 52 weeks of the year. Up the story telling. People have to know who you are, why you do it, and most importantly, how you do it. That’s your story, and people want to hear it.”

Therefore, the better question to ask is, “how can I share my story to more and more people about how I save lives?”

When you do this, I guarantee you’ll raise more funds, and fast. I know this because this is how I fundraise, and I get immediate and positive results.

As you attract people’s attention to your work, they trust you more. They see you as someone who they’d like to help, and when the time comes to donate, they do. Also, by focusing on storytelling and meeting people, you know who to ask, and in fundraising, this is key.

No more chasing. No more running. No more wasted time. Instead, you’re focused on your mission.

Too often pro-life organizations spending 10% of their time sharing stories and 90% of their time chasing people. Reverse this. You should spend 90% of your time sharing stories and 10% chasing.

Let me correct that. 90% sharing. 10% asking. 0% chasing.

The 3-Step Fundraising Plan for Pro-Life Fundraising

Here is my simple 3 step plan that any pro-life cause can follow to increase its donations quicker and easier.

1. Tell your story to 10 people a day

Rather than invite people to sign a petition or donate to a campaign, I challenge you to speak to 10 new people every day about what you do, how you do it and invite each of them to stay in touch. Don’t ask for a donation or sign a petition.

Just ask them to stay in touch with what is happening each week in your organization. Then, do this for for another month, and then another month. The goal is to do this for 12 months.

2. Have a clear and definitive beginning and end to each campaign

Run a three to four week long campaign, but only to those people who have been connected with you more than two months. I also recommend you have a clear start and end to the campaign because you will get significantly higher participation rates and donation levels.

Don’t run year long campaigns, as you give the impression to people that you constantly ask for money, and that can be draining.

3. Take care of those who God places in your life

Make sure to take care of your donors. Thank them personally. This means writing handwritten notes, calling them on the phone, and meeting with them in person. These actions will help you keep your donors year after year.

The easiest way to increase the amount you raise each year is to keep your donors. Also, by getting to know your donors, you will inspire them to increase their donations. This will increase your total amount raised dramatically in the next two to three years.

How to fundraise for your pro-life cause with more success (and less stress)

This is the simplest as most effective fundraising plan I’ve used. It’s worked for me, and I know it will work for you.

Fundraising should not be something that is holding you back. You are doing great work, and with this plan, you can do more.

If you want more help with how to fundraise, I recommend subscribing to my website which offers a library of free and Catholic content on how to raise funds.

Already, over 20,000 Catholics use CatholicFundraiser.net to help them improve their fundraising each month. Join the largest community of Catholics who want to do more of what they do best: save lives and souls.

I have a question for you: What is the one task you found most helpful for how to fundraise funds for a pro-life organization? (please respond below – I do want to hear from you, and I will respond)