In 2018, my organization, Prenger Solutions Group, ran a nationwide research project with parishes that use the eCatholic web hosting platform. We sent a 40+ question survey asking thousands of parishes across the country about their financial health and communications practices.
After combing through the results, we found something that sets financially healthy parishes apart. They post daily on social media, specifically on Facebook.
As a group, the parishes that were posting daily on Facebook also reported their average household catholic online giving was 44% higher that parishes that posted less frequently. That’s $834 per household versus $581 per household, annually.
Did it matter if they were on TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter as a parish? Nope. It also didn’t matter how large or small their bulletin was, or how many pulpit announcements they gave at the end of Mass. It was very simple. The parishes that posted once a day on Facebook specifically were doing 44% better.
If you’re wondering why that might, consider the following:
- 77% of Americans have a social media account. That’s 250 million souls online. The Pew Research Group found in 2018 that 74% of them (185 million) check Facebook daily. (And before you ask – yes, despite the rise of platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, all studies show that Facebook is still king.)
- Social media is not just for young people. More than 82% of Baby Boomers are on Facebook! Contrast that with the fact that only 39% of Catholics attend Mass on a weekly basis.
- Each year, your parishioners are spending more time online. Right now, the average American spends almost five hours on the internet each day. This dwarfs every other activity measured with the exception of sleep and work.
Now, let’s think about that in the context of your parish. There’s not a church in America that has 77% of its parishioners visiting its campus daily. And yet, those same parishioners are on Facebook daily. So where does your parish need to be? On Facebook. That steady drip, drip, drip of engagement pays off in the long term. Your parishioners will see and hear from you every day, causing them to feel close to their parish family each day. And in the end, they will be more generous.
Prenger Solutions Group is a specialized Catholic fundraising firm that uses technology to help parishes, schools and dioceses raise more money with fewer headaches. PSG’s fundraising and communications experts have raised more than $450 million for Catholic causes while helping more than 4,000 parishes to engage and inspire their parishioners through social media.