We have been scrambling these last few weeks trying to adapt to the new ‘normal’ but now is the time to focus on what can be done to ensure your church’s future. We will survive this and we will be stronger from working through the challenges presented.
So how do we get on the path that moves us forward? A good step is to start with a 5 step giving action plan for your parish.
Call your parishioners
- Now is the time to thank parishioners for their past support.
- Let them know how your parish is impacted and what areas need support.
- Share information on when and where they can stream Mass, Stations of the Cross, the Rosary, and other virtual events.
- Also, find out what their passions are, special skills, etc. and update that information in your database.
- Encourage parishioners to share some good news, pictures of their quarantine time/activities and add them to your website. There just is not enough good news right now.
- During your call, discuss the importance of their continued support and ask them to be sure to sign up for eGiving if they are not already.
Clean your data and pull donor reports
- Now that you have the time, start cleaning up your data. This is an area that is always on the to-do list. Correct miscoding, spelling errors, family information, archive old or outdated records, etc.
- Encourage your parishioners to update their own contact information. Many software programs allow parishioners to update the info themselves, saving you time!
- Now start looking at your data. Look for lost donors (retention), giving trends (increases/decreases), level of donations and giving totals over the last couple of years.
- Look at a list of your top life-time donors and the list of your most consistent donors. (These are a great place to start your call campaign.)
Re-set your goals and align your budget
- Evaluate your church’s missions, programs and maintenance needs for this year.
- Given the uncertainty of short-term donations, what can be scaled back without any impact?
- Building temperatures
- Grounds maintenance
- Food orders, supplies, other daily operational items
- Facility updates: parking lot resurfacing, painting, non-essential facility updates, etc. (these may be great volunteer opportunities)
- Put printed materials, letters from your priest, etc. online rather than printing and mailing (Send an email with links instead of mailing materials.)
Move your parishioners to give online
- Setup all parishioners to give online. Have them set up recurring giving and ask them to support specific missions that they are passionate about.
- Offer to take donations by phone or set up recurring giving for those who are not comfortable using a computer.
- Remember to reach out to donors during the year to notify them of new missions or stewardship campaigns.
- Be sure to have parishioners pledge specific amounts for the year that can be given in smaller monthly increments.
Thank your parishioners regularly and show your appreciation often!