Building Relationships

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

The Fall is typically full for our offertory programs at OSV. Parishes are asking their parishioners to renew and update their commitment to supporting the parish through the Sunday Offertory. One of my co-workers who is very passionate about this solution shared this article with our team a few weeks ago. The old, tried and true, way of simply sending a packet of envelopes to each house and meeting budget isn’t working anymore. It’s more than that.

So what’s the more? It’s about cultivation of donors, sharing your mission, demonstrating how their contribution is making a difference. If you’re shaking your head saying, “But Katie, that’s a lot of work – we don’t have time for this.” Then keep reading…

If you say you don’t have time for it and also you aren’t meeting budget, seeing increases from your current donors, and finding new donors – then you don’t have the luxury of not doing this.

I have heard more than once about how “millennials don’t give” – but that’s not true (and I say that as a generous millennial). They don’t give to causes that aren’t making a difference in the world or transforming people’s lives. Millennials are transforming the way donors are cultivated not eliminating generosity. This article supports what I see among my peers, millennials donate at a rate of 85%, higher than the general population (70%).

However, if you’re waiting for them to send a check, you’re going to be waiting for quite some time. I don’t even know where my checkbook is – I believe it might be in the bottom of a box that was shredded last year since I still had checks with the original address I moved to Charlotte with 12 years ago. I only just now ordered some (the smallest quantity possible) from the bank so I could easily pay the down payment on the new house I’m building. That might seem like a cute anecdote from me, but I’m not the only one.

So what do millennials (and others) need from you to become donors who actively support your mission. I’m going to propose three things:

  1. An online donation platform: This is literally the way you are going to receive money from them. It needs to be easy to use, mobile friendly (not necessarily an app), and free for the donor. It should be set up for recurring donations in multiple ways: weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, quarterly, etc.
  2. Share your mission: People will donate to get on board with a mission or project they are excited about supporting. When you’re asking, it needs to be surrounding your mission, the ways you’re transforming lives, the difference you’re making in the community, and how they can be part of it.
  3. Cultivate a relationship: No longer are the days when you can make a quick announcement before Mass, put something in the bulletin, and share a link on your website. Get to know your donors, their stories, and find out what they’re passionate about while you build a relationship with them.

If you’re looking for someone to help with an offertory recovery to begin this new way of asking and building stewardship at your parish, we’d love to help you out at OSV. You can take a deep dive into our newest solution here or request some information.

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