It’s a question many Catholic apostolates struggle with:
“How do I manage my time when fundraising?”
Balancing your time can be tricky. Should you organize an event that will attract many people all at once, or do you meet with people in smaller groups – or even individually?
A lot of people will tell you, “it depends.”
But I don’t think that’s true.
I believe there is a best fundraising strategy when it comes to managing your time. What’s more, this strategy works regardless of your mission, where you live, or how long you’ve been an apostolate.
Find out how I think you should manage your time:
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Greetings, my fellow Catholics! Today, we are going to be talking about time management in fundraising. How to save yourself a lot of time and how to do things that actually make an impact on your fundraising. I’m going to give you three tips (the best tip I’m going to save for the last because that’s going to encompass everything). So stay with me through all three tips on how to improve your fundraising.
Hi, I’m Brice Sokolowski, founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, the website dedicated to helping Catholics with their fundraising. If you’re a lay apostolate, religious order, parish, diocese, or individual fundraiser, whatever it may be, as long as you’re Catholic and looking for advice on how to fundraise, you are in the right spot! So, before we dive into the topic of time management, I want to make sure that you have downloaded — absolutely for free — my 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. This is the guide that I have developed over many, many years and it has been downloaded by thousands of Catholics. It has the 10 things that I think you should really consider doing if you want to move forward with fundraising as a Catholic apostolate. So make sure that you download my absolutely free guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. The link is below.
Now, let’s dive into our main topic: time management. I get a lot of questions about how “I don’t have a lot of time. I need to get this done quickly.” Everybody is in a rush, they’re in a rush to get things done. I get it and you’ve probably got 100 other things that you want to do, too. And at the top of the list usually isn’t fundraising. That’s something you just want to get done. So I’m gonna offer you three pieces of advice on how to fundraise faster and more efficiently, and I think it’s going to really help you.
My first time-saving tip is you’ve got to get really specific about where to put your energy. My recommendation is to make a shortlist of people to ask first. If you’re trying to get anyone and everyone to donate, because you’re thinking well, we don’t want to leave anybody out, more likely than not you won’t get a lot of giving. The ‘secret’ to fundraising is to be as specific as possible regarding who you are going to ask. Start by making a shortlist, whether that’s 10, 20, 50, or 100 people, just make a list of those people where you want to start asking for a donation. Start small, start focused. That’s one of my biggest pieces of advice about time management and fundraising.
This second piece of advice that I have is… make sure you understand why you’re asking somebody for a donation. The easiest way of doing that is to make a list or outline of the costs of your project. For example, if you are a homeschooling center, a charter school, or an independent Catholic school trying to raise, let’s say, $100,00 or more. Well, the question is, what is all that money going towards?
You should make a list, specifying the various aspects that you’re raising money for, whether it’s for books, rent, teachers’ salaries, etc. Make that list, but also link that list to how it’s going to directly connect to the mission. For example, if you need to pay the salaries of teachers, don’t just say, ‘teachers’ salaries.’ Identify what that teacher is actually going to be teaching, whether it’s (obviously) religious education, or if they’re going to be teaching theology, the Bible’s New or Old Testaments, etc. Try and get as specific as possible regarding why you’re fundraising. So you can present that to people, because people are generous, and you have to understand that they are eager to be generous if you can just present your case. You don’t really have to convince them, but you do have to make it clear why you’re asking for money. People are stretched thin these days and they are getting asked by a lot of organizations. So when you have to contend with earning their attention, a well thought out shortlist will ensure that you clearly specify why you are asking for their donation
Last, but not least is, invest in yourself. Fundraising is not one of those things that you can casually do and then park to the side while doing everything else for your apostolate. The best fundraising that I’ve ever seen is by those who are dedicated to fundraising. It’s not to say that you have to fundraise all the time and have these massive campaigns. Usually, big campaigns aren’t as successful as smaller campaigns. What I’m recommending is that you start working off a shortlist, but you also have to train yourself and give yourself a little bit of time not only to learn what to do but definitely what not to do, too. Don’t necessarily follow what everyone else is doing. In reality, what others are doing usually won’t entail the most effective ways of fundraising. Especially if you’re trying to find some time-saving tactics.
I hope that’s been helpful. Please, reach out to me at CatholicFundraiser.net. Make sure that you download my free guide, and share this with a Catholic apostolate that you think might need these tips. I’m always here to help with your Catholic fundraising! God bless, and speak to you 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.