I’ve received a lot of messages from people diving into fundraising for the first time.
The rookies are coming because September, October, November, and December are the most significant fundraising months.
So, it’s understandable more apostolates want to launch a campaign.
Here’s what I would do if I were a ‘rookie fundraiser’:
Listen to the audio version of this 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.
New to fundraising? Then you need my top three tips for very efficient — and successful – fundraising.
Hi, I’m Brice Sokolowski, founder of CatholicFundraiser.net, the website dedicated to helping you fundraise better and answering all of your questions about giving and donations. Now, before we dive into my three steps on where I would start, or what I would do, if I were new to fundraising, I want to make sure that you download absolutely for free my guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising, that will give you 10 pieces of proven advice that I think everybody, especially people who are new to working in fundraising, should be doing every single day. It’s going to make your life a whole lot easier if you click my link below, and download for free, my guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising.
If you’re new to the work of fundraising, these are my three recommendations to get started. Because I’ve received several questions over the past few weeks from those who are new to the world of asking for donations, and they have been asking me, ‘What do I do? I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know how to ask.’
So here are my three tips:
Number one: Learn, learn, learn how to fundraise. Don’t be afraid to ask what should you do or how should you ask? Learning how to fundraise is the first step to doing it successfully, and that’s where you can turn to the resource section on my website (you’ll find it in the links). In that resource section, you will find my 10 Commandments to Fundraising (the definitive guide) plus other resources and help that you can conveniently access in one place. Subscribe to my podcast. Join my contact list and let’s keep in touch. Everything that I’m doing you can learn, too. I am always moving forward with my fundraising and sharing what I learn. So your key tip and the first step are to keep on learning.
Tip number two is to understand that people donate to people, apostolates, and non-profits that they trust. If you’re trying to find donors or trying to raise funds from people who have never heard of you and don’t know your name or the name of your organization, you are going to face a very tough uphill battle. You might be saying to them, ‘Hey, I’m Catholic, you’re Catholic.’ But that’s not going to be enough to build trust with somebody. The blunt realist is, and you can’t shortcut around it, people have to feel familiar with you if they are going to give to you. You must really take this advice to heart because it’s going to be one of your key building blocks as a new fundraiser. Trust builds trust. Don’t try and go around it. Simply ask yourself: If somebody asked me for a donation, what would I want from them before I felt comfortable giving them my money? When you can answer that question and implement your response into your fundraising, then you will be off to the fundraising races!
Point number three is to pay attention to the people around you. Your next donor, more likely than not, is someone you have already met and may even be in your life., So, as you prepare to identify new donors, are you going to walk up to a stranger you’ve never met before, or are you going to try and ask the people who already know something about you and your mission? That’s really how fundraising works, going back to point number two and the concept of trust. This “notion of trust” is also discussed in the parable of the talents: God has already given you talents that He is certain you can use! Resource those talents! He has given you your mind and intellect. He’s also given you the ability to build relationships with people and from those relationships, there are bound to be some people who will say yes, they are willing to donate. So, instead of running around and trying to get support by asking random strangers, turn to the people God has already put somebody in your life. And to be honest, this is the Catholic approach. This is what you want: a connection with the people that God has been bringing into your life. You want to be building your relationship with them, and helping them see what’s so great about what you’re doing, and to use the ability God has given you, to communicate with one another and share ideas and connect as one over a shared mission.
Now, putting all of this together: Number one, keep learning because learning will help you gain the trust of people, and help you identify and ask for support. So I hope this has helped you feel more confident about your role as a fundraiser. Please, reach out to me if you have any questions, and share this with other Catholic apostolates that might benefit from the advice.
Remember, God loves you, and thank you so much for your attention and we will speak again soon. Good-bye!
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.