5 Key Steps to a Successful Catholic Parish Fundraising Campaign

John Cunneen

Managing Partner, Vice President
Strategy and Consulting

How can Catholic churches effectively raise money for critical capital projects? Imagine your church needs a new roof, larger events hall, or even new instruments for the choir. Before you start asking for money, there are five important steps your church should consider. When properly executed, these steps will help your church gather the funds needed while bringing your parish community closer together. Let’s examine these steps to understand how they can make your fundraising campaign a success and why each is important.

  1. Know What You Need: Before you even think about asking for money, it’s critical to figure out exactly what you need the money for. Maybe your church needs a new HVAC system, improved space for a nursery and faith formation classes, or maybe new clergy and choir vestments. Once you know what you need, it’s easier to explain to others why you’re asking for help. Later, you’ll have to take the next step and explain WHY what you are asking for is important to the parish, so it’s important to begin asking this question early on. (More on this later.) 

  2. Make a Plan: Just as you would plan for a large work project, your parish needs a plan for its fundraising campaign. This means setting goals, like how much money you want to raise and when you want to raise it by. It also means understanding the logistics happening behind the scenes, whether it’s something as simple as a Sunday morning announcement or as complex as a targeted fundraising letter, email, and social media blitz. Having a plan helps everyone know what they’re working toward and what needs to happen when to keep things organized.

  3. Tell Your Story: People are more likely to help when they understand why something is important. So, tell your parish’s story! Explain why your church is special, how it helps the community, and why the project you’re fundraising for matters. New classroom space, for example, can encourage young families to attend and build a sense of community by creating spaces that encourage the formation of small groups. When people feel connected to the story you are telling, they’re more likely to open their hearts and their wallets.

  4. Get Everyone Involved: Fundraising isn’t a one-person job. It’s like putting together a team for a sporting event. Everyone in your parish can help, whether it’s by talking to friends and family, making posters, or organizing events. When everyone works together, the campaign becomes stronger and your parish does, too, as its sense of community grows.

  5. Say Thank You: When people donate, they are going out of their way to support you. So, it’s important to say thank you! A simple “thank you” can make donors feel appreciated and happy that they helped, reinforcing their connectivity with your parish. You can send thank-you notes, make a video, or even have a party to celebrate the success of the campaign.

Remember, successful fundraising isn’t just about getting money. It’s about coming together as a community, supporting each other, and making your church a better place. So, if your Catholic parish is thinking about a capital fundraising campaign, make sure to keep these five things in mind: know what you need, make a plan, tell your story, get everyone involved, and say thank you. Good luck, and happy fundraising!

Want more information on how to conduct a successful Catholic parish fundraising campaign? Reach out to us to learn how we can partner with you to empower growth.