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December 4, 2018

Year-End Giving: The Importance of Planning Your Parish’s Communication Strategy

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Year-end giving is important for parishes.

Now that we have introduced our step-by-step year-end giving guide for parishes, let’s talk about the Christmas season. During the Christmas, your parishioners and donors are bombarded with nonprofit organizations also seeking their financial support. It’s important that your parish recognizes who you are trying to reach and the best way to reach them.

Segment Your Target Audience

  • Millennials are 20-35 and are most likely to respond to a text message asking for a donation, watch a video detailing your message or respond to social media content.
  • Generation X are 36-50 and are the group most likely to want to help fundraise or volunteer for your parish, and respond equally well to text messages, phone calls, and to email. Plus, they are likely to check social media for updates. It’s important to engage this group before launching your parish’s year-end giving campaign if you want to raise the most money possible.
  • Baby Boomers are generally 51-65 and are the group most likely to set-up reoccurring gifts. This group responds well to phone calls and direct mail, they can respond well to email or even text-messaging in some cases. But phone calls and direct mail are generally best for this age group to encourage donations.
  • Greatest Generation members are 66 and up and are often not considered to be as willing to utilize Faith Direct as other generational groups, but they respond well to direct mail and phone calls and are also like to give by sending a check in the mail.

 

Set Your Goals
The best way to determine if your campaign is successful is to set a realistic but lofty goal that is specific and measurable that can be tied to either your financial giving numbers or your parish’s overall marketing goals. Some examples might include:

  • Increase donations among existing donors by 5% in December 2018 compared to giving numbers from December 2017.
  • Increase the number of new donors by 3% in December 2018 compared to December 2017.
  • Sign up X number of parishioners with Faith Direct before the end of December 2018.

 

Create Your Campaign
Every time your parish communicates to parishioners and donors, the look and feel of the campaign should be consistent. That means the parish logo and colors used in all marketing pieces should be similar enough that recipients recognize its part of your parish’s year-end giving campaign. Plus, the message and even the tone being communicated should also be similar from marketing piece to marketing piece. If possible, include photos and video that capture visually the mission of your parish and why your mission is important.

Donors love to read and hear how their donations are making a positive impact on the world. Create videos or testimonials that address the good work your parish is doing and individuals in the community or around the world that have been positively impacted by your parish. Compel the audience to take action by showing the good deeds they can help support with a donation using Faith Direct. And if you still aren’t convinced, consider this fact: the #1 reason that first-time donors do not give again is that they are unaware of the impact their donation has made. So, take the time to let your audience know how their donation is making a difference. It will be time well spent.

Determine How You Will Thank Donors
Spread the Christmas spirit to your donors when they provide you with a year-end donation. A good initial step is to personally thank your donors on your social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter. You could single out a random recipient, or if you prefer, the messages could be more general. Similar messages can also be posted on your parish’s website and in your parish’s bulletin thanking donors and providing a status update on how much has been raised so far. When posting to social media or to your website, also remind people who haven’t donated that it’s never too late to donate.

For those donors who use text giving to make a donation to your parish, send them a personal message thanking them for their general donation. For those donors to call in or mail in a donation, call them on the phone or leave them a voicemail thanking them for their donation and wishing them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. A personal thank you will go a long way in showing your donors that you value and appreciate their generosity.

In our next year-end giving guide post, we will look at some best practices for your parish, so check back soon. To discuss your parish’s eGiving program with us, please contact our sales team at 866-507-8757 or sales@faithdirect.net.

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November 27, 2018

Year-End Giving: The Step-by-Step Guide for Parishes

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Is your parish ready for year-end giving?

Throughout the year, mobile giving has increased in importance for parishes. During the past year, donations made on mobile devices has increased by 205% and 25% of all donations are now made on mobile devices. The end of the year is the biggest opportunity for Catholic churches to raise money, during this season, Faith Direct can have an even greater impact for your parish.

During the month of December parishes typically receive 30% of their annual donations. For example, on December 31, 2017, the peak time for donations to be made was between 12:00 – 7:00 PM ET and parishes overall processed twice as many donations that month as they did in November 2017.

Clearly, it’s important for your donors that they have an opportunity to give back at the end of the year, but have you ever wondered what’s really motivating your donors to give?

Some people might donate to your parish simply because want to make a difference. Others might want to feel connected to something positive during the Christmas season or perhaps they are strictly looking to take advantage of tax deductions. Whatever the reason, your donors will want to give to your parish at the end of the year. Is your parish doing everything it can to reach them and encourage donations?

Important Year-End Giving Statistics Every Parish Should Know

30%
of all annual donations occur in December

10%
of all annual donations occur on the last 3 days of the year

To assist your parish in this important task, Faith Direct has created a year-end giving fundraising campaign guide that will help you maximize donations during the time of year that your donors are most likely to give. We look forward to sharing this with you in the weeks to come. To discuss your parish’s giving program, contact our sales team at 866-507-8757 or sales@faithdirect.net.

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December 3, 2017

Three Benefits of Online Event Registrations: Is Your Parish Missing Out?

Categories: Inspire Minute, Videos
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For many years now, parishes have been using eGiving services for collecting their regular donations. More recently, parishes have sought to apply the convenience of eGiving to other programs and payments, including registrations for Religious Education, small group meetings, retreats and other events.

Faith Direct spoke to three parishes that are using our event registration platform for their Religious Education signups to discover what they like most. Here’s what they had to say:

Flexibility

For families participating in Religious Education, online registration makes life easier. “It is really convenient for our families,” says Kate Rice of Most Precious Blood in Denver, CO. “We have hundreds of families signed up for different programs, and they appreciate being able to register multiple children all in one place.”

Adaptability

Many parishes that start out using online registration for Religious Education quickly realize that is has many other uses. “We’re using it as much as we can,” says Marianne Larson from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Plano, TX. “One of our ministries has an annual bazaar, and they are using it to handle booth registrations.”

Convenience

“We see online registration as a way to help make programs more accessible to our parishioners,” says Kevin Muller from St. Maria Goretti in Westfield, IN – noting that before, registration involved a special trip to the church office to pick up or drop off forms, or an extra effort to mail in registration materials. “The availability of online registration has been very well-received.”

Does your eGiving program have events registration as a standard feature? If not, it’s putting your parish at a disadvantage. Below is a video explaining how Faith Direct is incorporating online event registration into our eGiving program.

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July 11, 2017

Faith Direct in the News: “A win-win for the parish and the parishioner…”

Categories: General, Press
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Faith Direct is the focus of an in-depth article on church eGiving written by Josephine von Dohlen of Catholic News Service and featured by Catholic news outlets including Crux, CatholicPhilly.com and PittsburghCatholic.org.

As Faith Direct President Brian Walsh says in the article, eGiving is “such a win-win for the parish and the parishioner once they enroll in the program because it’s meeting parishioners where they are today.”

The article highlights parish-level success stories, including a pilot program in Oklahoma:

Peter de Keratry is the executive director of stewardship and development for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. In a trial program, his department offered parishes one year of funding for the use of an online giving program.
“My intention is to get our parishes to wake up to the reality of the 21st century,” de Keratry said in an interview with CNS.
Nineteen parishes in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City began using Faith Direct through the archdiocese’s funding program.
“We already have 14 parishes well past their first-year goals, and we’ve only been at it for five months,” de Keratry said. “So it is working.”

You can read the full article here. To learn how Faith Direct’s game-changing eGiving strategies can help grow your parish offertory and expand your ministries, contact us toll-free at 866-507-8757 or email at info@faithdirect.net.

Categories:General, Press
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June 15, 2017

Faith Direct is in the News!

Categories: Press
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In a front-page article on June 15 focused on charities’ increasing use of online giving, Emma Ayers of The Washington Times highlights Faith Direct’s leadership in this important field:

Brian Walsh, CEO and founder of Faith Direct, got creative with his organization since its inception about 10 years ago, and has ever since been collaborating with Catholic parishes across the nation to help their members easily give online…

Mr. Walsh’s game-changing business recently surpassed $1 billion in processed donations, and is typically named as the No. 1 company of its kind in the Catholic sector. “As of the month of May, we have a 90 percent approval rating by our users,” Mr. Walsh told The Washington Times. “Ultimately [automatic withdrawals] makes for a more stable church or nonprofit, just because of the consistency.”

Mr. Walsh says the means of giving for the church are completely different today than they were even 10 years ago. “We have over 143,000 users who are, largely, over 60 years old,” said Mr. Walsh. “You ask them about check writing, most of them are not doing it at all anymore.”

You can read the full article here. To learn how Faith Direct’s game-changing eGiving strategies can help grow your parish offertory and expand your ministries, contact us toll-free at 866-507-8757 or email at info@faithdirect.net.

Categories:Press
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