I ran my first fundraising campaign 10 years ago.
But it wasn’t until a few years later that I discovered something that made my fundraising explode.
I know “explode” might sound over-the-top, but looking back, that is how it felt.
Suddenly, I went from making slow and steady progress with my campaigns to experiencing giant leaps forward. I saw a significant increase in donors and donations.
You could say that I discovered a few secrets about fundraising. Yes, there are some things that many people – including you – do not know about fundraising.
Today is your lucky day! I am going to share these fundraising secrets. Here you go:
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Other articles you might be interested in:
“Who Really Cares” – Who Donates and How to Ask Them to Give
3 Common Questions about Fundraising Answered
Fundraising Tips from Saint Augustine of Hippo
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Greetings my fellow Catholics! Today, I am going to be sharing with you the secret to more donations. How do you actually raise more money? I am going to share with you three simple steps that will unveil that ‘secret’ as we go along. So I think you are going to get a lot out of the next few minutes.
But before we dive in, a quick introduction. My name is Brice Sokolowski, and I’m the founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, the apostolate website completely dedicated to helping Catholics like you with their fundraising. So whether you’re starting out with building donor relationships, or well on your way and just looking for fresh ideas, you are in the right spot.
I want to make sure that you download – absolutely for free – my gift to you, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. These are my 10 steps and foundational principles to fundraising. It’s been downloaded by thousands of Catholics looking to grow support, and their consensus is, two thumbs up. I’ve also received a lot of great feedback that I’ve incorporated into updating this guide over the years. So I believe you are going to appreciate the timely tips in The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. The link is right below as well as the notes from today’s show. The notes I’m looking at are the notes you can get, too, at the link below. You can find everything from today, plus show archives, on my website.
Okay, let’s dive into the “secret” to more donations. How do you do it? Well, point number one that I want to share with you is that people donate because of impact. Not because of plans. You might have an incredible plan for how you’re going to evangelize your community. How are you going to catechize? How are you going to open up a school and do great things in the future? That’s all wonderful. My only recommendation to you, as a fundraiser, is that people do not necessarily donate to plans that promise to bear fruit, but to the fruit in your hands right now. So my first big recommendation is to focus on impact and you will be on the way to raising a whole lot more donations.
My second point is people donate to organizations that they already know. So this second step should be pretty easy. You just have to make sure that people know – really know – who you are, what you do, and how you do it. So before you get on that phone, or send that email, or send that letter saying hey, please donate, make sure people understand point number one, your impact.
Very, very simple. Point number one, point number two, and then…
Point number three. People donate when you ask them directly. This is the hard truth for people to learn. Fundraising is not convenient, not always friendly, and no, not a lot of fun. It isn’t. But the thing is, if you just ‘bite the bullet’ as the saying goes, and ask people directly, you are going to raise more money.
That’s pretty much it. I understand how that’s difficult, and you want to weave left and right and try to find a different approach because there’s just got to be another way to do this than to ask people directly. You want to bargain about how God wants you to do this, and you are going to do it, but please, let’s just find a different way to ask! And I’m going to tell you to just take the medicine. I know it tastes awful. When we were kids we didn’t like it either, but we still had to take our medicine. It only feels ‘bad’ for a few seconds and then you feel a whole lot better. It’s the same with fundraising! You have to ask people directly and (to be honest), present how it will look from the other person’s side, even though the entire exercise feels absolutely overwhelming for you. I get it. I am a fundraiser, too, and sometimes it’s still difficult for me because at some point or another it’s difficult for everybody. But from the perspective of the donor, they actually enjoy this kind of interaction more because they see how they have your undivided attention. If they have questions, they can ask you. When you create opportunities, even impromptu ones, that lead to one-on-one conversations with donors, it tends to lead to a much more fruitful outcome. If all they get is an email or letter, their likely reaction will be an, ‘Okay, I’ll think about it.’ Because they’re not really getting what they want: they really do want to know who you are and they want to know your impact.
So that’s why the third secret to more donations is that, when you ask, make it direct. Don’t just hide behind an appeal letter and you will raise a whole lot more. That’s it. Those are my three tips. I hope that you found these past few minutes helpful. If you have any questions, please, of course, reach out to me. And feel free to share this with your board, share this with an apostolate or nonprofit group that you think might find this information beneficial. And please visit CatholicFundraiser.net where you’ll find many more resources and archives of advice from prior shows. I want to try and give you all the information and help possible so you can do more of what you want to be doing – raising support for the saving of lives and souls. So please remember that God loves you and I will speak to you again soon!
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.