Ideas for parishes to make the most of this new giving day
By David Kissell, Director of Stewardship & Chief Development Officer
In response to the need caused by COVID-19, the organization for Giving Tuesday has announced a new global day of giving called #GivingTuesdayNow on Tuesday, May 5. We’ve developed a website for the day, but here are some thoughts for parishes to consider to help make this a successful day.
1) Tell your story, share all the good that is taking place
Your parish is a spiritual home for families. I’ve done thousands of one-on-one interviews with parishioners over the years for various parish processes. When it comes to the question, “What most impresses you about your parish?”, the #1 answer by far is always “the people here, we are truly a family.” Your parish is a spiritual home for families. Make this connection and let your families know that their parish, their spiritual home, needs their support right now.
Continue to share how your parish is ministering to families right now. Talk about all the live streaming options, the phone outreach to families, how you are helping your local community, or how your teachers are working hard to make the best of the online education required to finish out the school year. Whatever you are doing to serve and minister in your parish, share this good news.
Your ministry has not been put on hold or taken a break, it’s simply changed. And as I’ve heard and read about all throughout our Archdiocese, parishes have risen to the challenge and are meeting the new demands and needs of their parish communities. This is inspiring! Share this good news and use this as the primary reason for needing continued support. It’s not just about paying utility bills, it’s about being Christ for one another, especially in difficult times, and that’s what your parish is doing. Share that story!
Share Your Stories and Ideas with Us: Do you have an exciting, innovative, or new way that your parish is ministering or connecting with your parishioners right now? Do you have ideas on ways parishioners could be generous with their time, talent, and treasure? Share it on our website using the “We Want to Hear From You” form and we’ll give you a shout out on #GivingTuesdayNOW.
2) Set a Goal for the Day
To help create some buzz around the day and something for the parish to rally around, establish a goal on the amount you hope to raise for the day. Don’t go overboard, but come up with a goal that is a stretch, but yet still possible.
One way to go about this is to look at your parish financials since the shelter-in-place went into affect in mid-March. How down is your weekly offertory in comparison to the same stretch of time last year? This could be the basis behind your goal for the day. Example: if your offertory is down $50,000, report that and challenge the parish to raise half, $25,000 on May 5.
With setting a goal, it’s important to then report your progress toward the goal throughout the day on May 5. Keep a close eye on your online giving for the day and report how things are going — report the # of gifts made and the total dollar amount raised.
3) Identify who is going to be zoned in for the day
A team of a few people is ideal, but at least one person needs to be designated the point person for this day. Their only focus for May 5 is the giving day — sending emails, posting content to social media, watching the online giving progress and posting updates on your website/social media, etc. More people will participate as more excitement is built throughout the day — someone has to be in charge of your excitement building!
4) Increase Communication & Invite Support
Utilize as many communication channels as possible — especially your website, email, and social media — to promote the day and invite your parishioners to consider giving back.
- Website: Announcement and call to action on your homepage, it doesn’t have to be very long, something simple such as, “Support Your Parish for #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5” — follow this call to action with a “Donate” button.
- A side note about donate buttons on your website. I helped go through parish websites to find online giving links for our webpage listing these options (see the page at: stewardship.org/supportyourparish). Many online giving links were very difficult to find on parish websites. Go to your parish homepage to see where your online giving link is located — make sure the “Donate Now” or “Support Your Parish” link or button is at the top of your homepage, a place that is visible and easy to find.
- Email: If you already send regular email updates out, be sure to include an announcement about the giving day and/or consider a special email designated to talk about the day. If you are not sending out emails, now is the time to start. At the very least, send an email out to your parish leadership committees (pastoral council, finance council, etc) and ministry leaders to let them know about the day and invite them to help you promote it (see Social Media below).
- Social Media: Ask your parish leadership to Like and Share your social media posts to increase your digital reach. To take it step further, invite them to post their own testimonial on why they are supporting your parish on #GivingTuesdayNow.
- Also, when posting on your parish social media pages, please tag the Stewardship Department and we will re-share your posts. To tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, use: @aocstewardship
- Lastly, to help us out with our digital reach, please Like and Share the social media posts from the Stewardship Department Facebook page: facebook.com/aocstewardship.
5) We are here to help
If your parish needs assistance with any aspect of this day (social media posts, creating graphics, drafting email messages, anything else that comes to mind!), our Stewardship team is here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Hoping and praying that this is a great day for your parish!