Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, and we are now in the season of Lent.
During Lent, Catholics are asked to focus on “almsgiving,” which means donating money or goods and performing other acts of charity.
As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, almsgiving is “a witness to fraternal charity” and “a work of justice pleasing to God.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2462).
If you are thinking of running a campaign or appeal this Lent, I want to share with you me three best tips on how to do so.
Listen to the audio version of the article
On the move? I’ve got you covered! Listen to the audio podcast of this article by clicking the link below and stream this article and many more right on your phone. Subscribe also to the podcast on iTunes.
Question: Which saint, Catholic document, or Church teaching has given you great advice on how to raise funds? Please leave your comment below.
Today I’d like to share with you my three best tips on how to run a successful Lenten campaign. Hello and welcome, I’m Brice Sokolowski, the founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, a website that is helping thousands of Catholics around the world fundraise better and increase donations while keeping aligned with their Catholic mission so they can do more of what they really want to do: saving lives and saving souls.
This week I’m focusing on how to run a Lenten campaign, and that means I’m going to be sharing three of my best tips for running your best fundraising campaign yet. If you are considering running a Lenten campaign then let’s dive into my three points, which I have here, plus you’ll be able to refer back to my notes (that will be posted to my website).
I just want to make sure that you also download my free guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. These are 10 time-saving lessons that I have learned that have really helped me fundraise while staying focused on my faith. So make sure that you download it absolutely for free (the link is below). The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising has been downloaded by thousands of Catholics who have shared with me that they find this guide works really, really, really well.
Okay, let’s dive into our main event: Lent. Lent is a great time to fundraise because we can apply the three pillars of Lent: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Now, here are my three tips for how to successfully run a Lenten campaign.
First, you’ve got to ask, ask, ask. Don’t accept donor fatigue. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, well, I can’t fundraise because other dioceses are fundraising, or my parish is fundraising. You’ve got to do it anyways. Because your overall objective hasn’t changed just because the season has. You’re doing something great, and believe you can achieve even more greatness with more donations, so go and do it. Forget all the excuses why not to fundraise. Just go out there and ask people, one on one. That’s my first big recommendation.
My second piece of advice also addresses our all too mortal flaw of making excuses. I hear this quite often, people saying their own financial limitations keep them from helping their community more. That they’re not wealthy enough to make a difference. I hear this very, very often and well, the reality is, they can make a difference, and maybe more so than they think!
What you’re really looking for are four characteristics in your donors. I believe 91% of people who donate aren’t coming from a place of unlimited financial resources. In fact, I think you get more donations out of people who don’t live in wealthy areas. So sure, wealthier people can write bigger checks. But for the majority of donors, the size of their hearts is as big as some bank accounts.
Maybe they’re not donating as frequently as compared to what we might call the wealthy ‘bigwigs,’ but don’t discount the value they put into being Catholic. They attend Mass. They hold conservative viewpoints. They believe in the Catholic Church and its moral teachings. They have jobs and families. So don’t go looking for wealthy prospects. Look for couples married with children, with jobs, conservative values, that attend Mass. That’s who you’re looking for. It doesn’t matter whether they have a fancy address. Where they really live is in their Catholicism.
So my third and final point is, don’t just randomly ask. Make a list of prospects. Don’t think that you can just say, Hey, I’m going to ask this parish and I’m going to ask that parish. You’ve got to make a list of targeted people to ask (and ask again). This is the season of almsgiving. Lent is the appropriate time to share with others the impact your mission has been having and if they support that work, their donation now would be so important.
I hope this has been helpful and, if you need additional help with your Lenten campaign, please let me know. Send me an email, write a comment. And if you can share this with a Catholic organization that you think would benefit from it, God love you. Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing you again during our next video.
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.