By Chrissy Geimann
The only true constant in the world of donor cultivation and donor stewardship is that it is relentlessly changing and evolving, keeping fundraising professionals on their toes and possibly beating their heads against the wall.
The idea of engaging young families is not a new concept in the non-profit world as they have been successfully navigating these waters for years. The Catholic church needs to take a cue and learn from the success of others in order to further engage younger donors who are slowly but surely becoming the new lifeblood of the church.
Lead by Example, Creating a Culture of Giving
Start simple from the very beginning as early as the toddler days. You can encourage young children to throw their birthday party for a cause such as donations of goods to an animal shelter, food drive or donation of clothing to those in need. Provide a monthly allowance with the expectation that they donate a portion of it to a charity or cause of their choice. Once they are at the appropriate age, engage them in volunteer work at your church, school and in your community.
Churches can embrace this idea by providing an ample amount of volunteer opportunities for young families such as food drives, rosary making societies, card making for the homebound and ill, eucharistic ministry to the home bound, faith formation teaching opportunities, etc. The more involved parents become, the more generous they will likely be to the collection each week digitally as they are more invested.
St. Paul says in his letter to Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
Embrace Social Media
The reality is that we live in a world where young people spend the majority of their time on social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, just to name a few. Social media is how we connect to friends back home, how we get news and how we stay connected to community happenings. Churches need to embrace social media and tailor messaging to these mediums to better connect and engage young donors and families. The good news is these social media platforms are a cost-effective means to steward and cultivate donors. Some examples of how to engage through social media are sharing your weekly bulletin and/or expand the content on your website, social media, text, email or mobile church app. Podcasts are a great way to connect to parishioners between Sundays and engage them during the week on key topics. Messaging through the week will nurture a person’s faith and relationship with God as well as further connect them to your parish. Become their one-stop shop for all things of faith. Above all, be sure to make the messaging relevant and relatable.
Some impressive statistics on Crowdfunding are that over half of people who receive an email about a crowdfunding campaign make a donation and that campaigns with personal videos raise 150% more than those which do not have videos. Donors want to learn how they can help directly by providing support and see tangible evidence and take comfort in knowing the money raised stays local and supports the church. If your church has a special campaign to raise funds for, remember to embrace technology and bring to life the impact the campaign will make and how the dollars will be spent.
Greater Mission’s fundraising consultants serve the Church and faith-based organizations. For a complimentary consultation to learn how Greater Mission can put you onto the path to success of engaging young families, contact us today at (800) 741-9210. Learn how our firm can help you inspire faithful generosity.
Greater Mission’s fundraising consultants serve the Church and faith-based organizations.
Learn how our firm can help you inspire faithful generosity.