Why are People so Reluctant to Donate?

Reasons why people are so hesitant to donate to your Catholic apostolate

Have you ever wondered why people might be reluctant to donate?

If you’ve ever had people reluctant to donate to your Catholic apostolate, then keep reading.

Asking for donations, as you can imagine, can be tricky. You spend all this time, energy, and effort fundraising, but instead of receiving financial support, you get crickets.

Why the silence?!?

Why were people so reluctant to donate?

This week, I dive into the reasons why people are so hesitant to donate to your apostolate. Check it out:

Tired of YouTube?

You can watch this video on Rumble (the alternative to YouTube) below.

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

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.

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Question: Which saint, Catholic document, or Church teaching has given you great advice on how to raise funds? Please leave your comment below.


Greetings, my fellow Catholics! Today, we are going to be answering an important question: Are people reluctant to give? Are people reluctant to give to your apostolate, or any apostolate, for that matter? We’re going to be diving into that answer today, so stick with me, because I’m going to give my perspective (and also a very interesting take on the question) plus provide you with a few resources as well, to help you help people less reluctant about giving. So that’s the introduction to our next few minutes together. 

Hi, my name is Brice Sokolowski, founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, the website completely dedicated to helping Catholics, just like you, who are looking to fundraise better. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re well on your way to your next campaign and just looking for some new ideas, you’re going to get a lot out of the next few minutes. Especially about this important topic, because I get asked about this quite frequently. People are emailing me almost every day and this topic I would say is at the top of the list. 

But, before we dive into answering this question, I want to make sure that you download — absolutely free — my Ten Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. I’ve got my copy of it right here and it has been downloaded by more than 10,000 people. Now, I don’t keep complete track, but a lot of people have downloaded this, and yes, it’s absolutely for free. The link is below. It contains 10 pieces of advice that I think you should consider doing when fundraising. Obviously, everybody has advice on what works, how to fundraise, how somebody else is doing it. But if you’re just looking for a good place to start, if you want to stay focused on your fundraising, then download The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising, written by a Catholic, for Catholics. 

Okay, let’s turn to answer the question, Are people reluctant to give? And by the way, I’m reading my notes, and those are going to also be included right below. If you’re on my website now or when you do go to my website, jump on over, the notes are going to be right below. 

Okay, my straight, direct answer to you is… No,, people are not reluctant to donate. However, you might feel that people are reluctant to donate to you and I’m going to be walking you through that. Why? Because that may be why people appear reluctant to donate: You. 

The first reason somebody might give you the impression that they are reluctant to donate is that it really depends on how well people know you and your apostolate. I’m just going to say it. If they’ve never heard of you, if they’ve never seen your website, if they’ve never heard anyone speak about you, then yes, people are going to be reluctant to give to you. It’s a fact that people donate to organizations, churches, apostolates, monasteries, and individuals that they know. So the first thing is if people are reluctant to give the question is do people actually know who’s asking them for a donation? That’s point number one. 

Number two, it also depends on how you ask. How you actually make that donation request. Are you making it clear that you are fundraising? There’s a huge difference between having a donate button, like on your website, or sending a letter where, at the bottom, is one of those sentences that say, hey, please consider a donation and actually conducting a fundraising campaign and appeal that actually goes through all the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of why you are asking for support. There is a huge difference between casually dropping an ask where somebody might pick up on it, and making a direct request. (I talked about making a direct request in a recent video, so make sure you check that out as well). So that’s point number two. It makes a difference how you ask if you feel people are reluctant to donate.

 And number three, it really does depend on who you’re asking you. Are you asking strangers? Are you asking anyone and everyone? Or are you being very specific about who you are approaching for a donation? The best fundraisers are the ones who know the people they will ask. So it’s important to know your people. It’s important to also note that it’s not just about rich people. Just because you don’t know someone who is wealthy doesn’t mean you can’t raise what you need to raise. Statistically, wealthy people actually donate less than everybody else. 

There’s a great book (I’ll have the link below) written by Arthur C. Brooks, and I’m going to put it right out here: It outlines pretty much everyone who actually gives and why. And a lot of the information that I share with people is from this book. As well as other books that I have listed on my website. If you go to my website, you can actually do a search for books, and you’ll find a lot of the books that I recommend. 

But back to my point about who you’re asking. The more specific you are about who you’re asking, the greater your chance of having a much more successful campaign. 

So hopefully that has helped you better understand why people may be reluctant to donate to you. It is not because people don’t have the money, or they’re stretched too thin, or they don’t want to give. It’s rarely about the individual. It’s about how you approach people. 

I’ll leave you with this: People are designed to give. God created us in His image and He gives freely. So, if you can tap into people’s godly nature (by approaching them correctly, and not confusing them or leaving things open-ended), if you can be more direct and follow the advice that I provided in these past few minutes, I think you’re going to find much more success in your fundraising. God bless you, God love you and speak to you soon. Bye!

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.

Click here to subscribe

Brice was born and raised Catholic. After enjoying a successful career in technology consulting with Accenture and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in cities across the United States (Dallas, San Francisco, Paris, Abu Dhabi, and London) around the world, he left it to help his Catholic diocese in London, England with a fundraising campaign. The campaign went on to raise over $60 million, the largest sum ever raised for the diocese and in the United Kingdom.

Learning from professional fundraisers, he figured out the basics and then left the diocese to focus on what he loves most: building Catholic charities that change the culture, save lives, and save souls.

Brice currently lives in Texas and travels the world helping Catholics fundraise. This website is where he shares what he is doing and how he is raising funds for Catholic causes and missions. That way you can move more quickly with your next appeal.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, protect us as we announce the good news of God's beloved Son, Jesus Christ.