A Few Things We’ve Learned Along the Way

This April, GIG celebrated 25 Years of Catholic Development! We have learned many valuable lessons in the thousands of campaigns we have conducted across the US and evolved our plan accordingly as times have changed. We have led parishes, schools and dioceses in successful capital campaigns in the best of times and the worst of times including uneasy economies, international conflict and a global pandemic. While many things have changed in fundraising over the last 25 years, we have found that the core principles of fundraising have remained the same.

You know that saying, “If you wait for the right time, you will wait forever.” This is true of so many things, and we’ve discovered Catholic Fundraising is no exception. While there is never a perfect time to raise money, if you have solid needs and support from your community, it is always the right time.

Clearly Communicated Need 
While the way we have communicated the case for support has evolved dramatically over the last 25 years as we continue to use more technology to reach the community where they are, when there is a clear need supported by the community, the campaign is set up for success. The case needs to be clearly explained with financial figures, timelines and imagery.

Sometimes a need is clearly defined, but a parish, school or diocese is uncertain about support for that need. Or they have a few ideas for a case but are not sure where to go.  Conducting an effective planning study allows you to ask your parishioners directly about the proposed case  and allows you to build the strongest case for support.

A parish, school or diocese may have the perfect case, but without strong clerical and lay leadership to communicate that need, the campaign will not raise its full potential. Our directors work directly alongside the church leaders to ensure they are prepared to eloquently  communicate the need and ask for support in the most effective way.

Establish an Achievable Goal
Setting a realistic achievable goal is imperative. The perfect goal amount is a culmination of need, the geographical location, size and personality of the community and capacity of the donors. Setting a goal too high, or too low can be detrimental to the perceived success of a campaign. How do we set a goal that is measurable, supports our needs, and is achievable? GIG has a proven strategy, evolved over 25 years, that allows a parish, diocese or school to set the right goal, allowing the campaign to achieve success with the maximum amount of funds raised, while being respectful of the environment in which the campaign is taking place.

A Perfectly Tailored Campaign Timeline and Strategy
We have a case, we have a goal, and now we create the campaign plan.  If we could choose one thing we’ve learned over the last 25 years, that we know will be true for the next 25 and beyond, is that no two communities are the same. That’s why each campaign we conduct has its own unique plan. From the committee, to the volunteers, to the marketing and pledge redemption, we craft a plan that captures the spirit of the parish, diocese or school. This allows our on site directors to integrate our plan into your system, and not the other way around.

When we work within your framework, we create a comfort level for the pastors, the staff, our volunteers and our Catholic families.

Facilitate Redemption of Pledges
Our pledge redemption rate is remarkable, at 92-95%. This unheard of rate is a credit to our plan, our ask and continued methodical follow-up. Gone are the days of pressure to make the gift. We believe that all gifts begin and end with prayer. And with prayer, each family or individual will arrive at a comfort level that allows a sacrifice that is an achievable challenge, one they are capable of fulfilling. We call our process the “no ask, ask” and we’d love to share the details with you.

For those who have partnered with us on our 25 year journey: Thank You! We know many of you came to us with just these questions of timing, level of support, planning and achievability. We appreciate the successes we have enjoyed together and continue to enjoy. 

For those looking towards success with their next fundraising endeavor, we say: Welcome! Come see what GIG can do for you!