The Catholic Fundraiser

There Is No Fear In Love: How Development Officers Can Love Donors Into Giving

Posted by Randy Bronkema on 6/13/18 8:04 AM

The other day a colleague of mine, Linda Cunning, presented a verse in the Bible that I have read many times before. But, on that morning, it was like I was hearing it for the first time.  

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  

This is an incredible statement. What if it is really true? What would this mean for how we do our job as development leaders?

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Topics: Donor Relationships

Want to Retain First-Time Donors? Treat Them Like First-Time Church Visitors.

Posted by Steven Shattuck on 5/17/18 11:06 AM

This past weekend, my family had the opportunity to visit two churches that we do not regularly attend. On Saturday, we attended my niece's first communion mass and on Sunday visited a church where an old family friend was guest-preaching.

In both cases, we were warmly greeted at the door and warmly greeted by those sitting around us, some of which were curious about what brought us there that day.

There is a mountain of research advising churches on how to treat first-time guests with the goal of return attendance: be welcoming, be curious but not overwhelming, and make it easy to follow up. There is also a mountain of research advising fundraisers on how to treat first-time donors with the goal of a second gift: be thankful, communicate the impact of the gift, and start a dialogue.

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Topics: Donor Relationships

The Art & Science of Retaining Digital Donors [New Digital Resource]

Posted by National Catholic Development Conference on 5/8/18 8:38 AM

Online donors can be the biggest challenge to engage since they are the least likely to renew their gifts, which puts digital donor retention at risk. Your job is to take specific, creative steps to engage these people and continue to retain them while also drawing more in.

How should you get started?

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Topics: Donor Relationships

The Four Main Components to Your Online Donation Form

Posted by Jarred Schremmer on 4/29/17 10:33 AM

As fundraisers, we spend most of our time focused on finding potential donors, sharing compelling content and stories, and giving donors reasons to give. We redesign our website to provide a clearer presentation of our organization, encouraging them to support us. We develop paid search and display ad campaigns that target potential donors to introduce them to our mission and to drive engagement. We send emails that provide spiritual encouragement, that deliver stories of life-change, and that ask for support.

Unfortunately, after all this effort, we frequently overlook the most important part, the final point of decision, the donation form.

A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a direct marketer who made the statement, “Does the donation form really matter that much? I mean, once they get to the donation form, they are going to make a gift. Right?”

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Topics: Donor Relationships, Donor engagement

Why Baby Boomers Are Upending The Fundraising Landscape

Posted by Kn Moy on 3/3/17 10:15 AM


This is an era of great uncertainty for fundraisers. As one career fundraiser recently said to me, “Nothing works like it once worked. It’s like the ground has shifted under my feet, totally upending things as I once knew them.”

If you look across today’s marketplace, what marketers do to engage customers has changed almost beyond recognition compared to a decade ago. Apart from information technology, it’s hard to find another discipline that has evolved so quickly. Tools and strategies that were cutting-edge just a few years ago are quickly becoming obsolete. New marketing approaches are appearing every day.

Yet, if you’re the average fundraiser, you’re probably fundraising the same way you fundraised in the last century, except that you’ve added another fundraising channel — the Internet.

Today, the average fundraiser is asking more and receiving less — and watching every fundraising success metric continue to decline.

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Topics: Donor Relationships

About The Catholic Fundraiser

In this weekly blog we share tips, tactics and case studies for professionals in the Catholic fundraising community. Learn how to advance your mission with articles on technology, donor engagement, nonprofit leadership, social media, and emerging trends.

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