Preparing for Success


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Parish Leadership

CFSA Chairperson

CFSA Secretary




Preparing for Success

As we begin to prepare for Catholic Family Sharing Appeal 2016 there are several goals to keep in mind to help make your parish appeal successful:


1. A gift from each and every parishioner – It is important to broaden the base of support. Everyone should be encouraged to give something. No gift is too small. At this time it is important that on the parish level the stewardship theme could be pressed. Participating financially is one avenue of responding but also participating through time and talent is another and just as valuable. Remember that no gift is too small and none is too large. We would like everyone to participate. Do not suggest a specific amount. Simply state that the suggested guideline for generosity is 1% of household income.


2. Pledges instead of one-time gifts – Encourage everyone to take advantage of pledging. It is easier to give a larger gift if it is paid in increments. Stress a down payment, followed by three quarterly payments. Monthly contributions are still an option. Parishioners should be encouraged to make a pledge and to spread their payments over the 10-month period


3. Every parish exceeding its goal- By utilizing all of the people and materials available to actively promote the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal, coupling it with a parish project, it is probable that the parish will have funds raised above the CFSA assessment. This money remains within the parish and pointing this out can be beneficial to your pledges. Please note if the parish does not reach its goal, it will be responsible for making up the difference.


4. There must be a good “case”- It is important that a Good Case be made to the parish. For any individual to give there must be a clear understanding what their giving goes to. It is important to point out resources provided by the diocese, which have been utilized by or could be utilized by the parish. Within this handbook are many examples of diocesan ministries that can be reviewed and made a part of your Education Sunday. Some of them will be highlighted in Bishop Swain?s audio message.


5. There must be good leadership – You cannot expect good results from an appeal without committed, dedicated and articulate leadership. A successful parish appeal is directly related to the leadership, enthusiasm and motivation provided to the parishioners. It has to start from the pastor and be strong enough to filter down and touch every member of the Parish. Think about the reasons why you really believe in the work of the Diocese of Sioux Falls; consider how you will convey your enthusiasm. Success will depend upon your willingness to support the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal.


6. Utilization of weekends of the appeal - Utilizing all opportunities to educate is vital! Education weekend commitment weekend and the follow-up weekend encourages and reminds people to be participants.


7. Follow-up Program – Parishes that have a successful parish appeal make an attempt to contact each family or individual with a source of income. It is unreasonable to expect success from just one day's efforts, one try or one solicitation method. Experience in every diocese that has done the telephone follow-up phase has produced outstanding results. The recommended procedure is as follows:


  • Form a committee of volunteers
  • Make a phone list of all the registered parishioners who have not responded
  • Screen the list, best as possible, for “special circumstances” (i.e. death, unemployment, etc.) and set those aside for further conversation.
  • Divide the list among the volunteers
  • During a concentrated 2 or 3 day period, telephone each person on the list and…

          1. Introduce yourself as a neighbor and volunteer for the parish CFSA Appeal

          2. Note that their gift or pledge has not been received

          3. Offer to send another pledge envelope

          4. Offer to answer any questions about the Appeal

          5. Offer the opportunity to volunteer time or talent to the parish or diocesan ministries

          6. Thank them for their consideration


8. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you – Probably the most important and vital portion of any appeal is to say thank you! In any way we must convey to the members of our parishes the thanks for their gifts to the parish and appeal. So always be prepared to say thank you!


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Parish Leadership

Within this section you will find information pertaining to the roles of each member of the CFSA program. It is our hope that this will provide some direction in making your parish successful in reaching their goal.


If you desire more information or direction please feel free to contact Melinda North at 605-988-3725.


The ministries funded by Catholic Family Sharing Appeal are intended to be a support, which may help to empower our brothers and sisters in Christ to boldly proclaim the message of Jesus Christ. We thank you for your assistance in this appeal.


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The role of the Pastor is paramount to the successful implementation of the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal. You are the spiritual leader of your faith community. There is no replacement for you, a man of faith, who witnesses to God's call for his people to be givers. Your strong and enthusiastic support of CFSA and its ministries is vital to the success and fulfillment of the campaign.



  • Conduct the parish appeal
  • Make a personal gift to CFSA
  • Recruit and select CFSA chairperson(s), Secretary and Volunteers
  • Speak in support of CFSA from the pulpit.
    • Your personal endorsement is the single most important part of a successful parish campaign.
  • Utilize prepared campaign material - bulletin and church announcements, homilies, prayers, Bishop's audiotape and posters.
  • Encourage participation of every registered parishioner through homilies, lay witness, pulpit announcements, follow-up letters and phone calls and door to door canvassing.
  • Recognize all donors and volunteers
  • Assist the CFSA office in evaluating the appeal effort


Recruitment Procedures

The following is a suggested method of recruiting workers for the appeal. A strong enthusiastic appeal for workers should be made from the pulpit by the pastor, the associate pastor, or a lay person (e.g. the parish chairperson). Catholic Family Sharing Appeal is a good tool to help teach good stewardship. Ask parishioners to share some of their time by giving the gift of self in acting as a parish CFSA representative. After these appropriate remarks are made, a request to enroll workers should be made.


In seeking their involvement:

  • Be factual and honest about the reasons and goals of the appeal
  • Be positive
  • Create an atmosphere of confidence;
  • Endeavor to involve men, women and young adults;
  • Emphasize they are NOT just collecting money - but they are "People helping people". Ask parishioners to sign up to help. Meanwhile, emphasize the need for workers and create the enthusiasm necessary to motivate your people to be good stewards and to participate in this worthwhile endeavor. Collect the names and thank the people for their cooperation. Thank those who volunteered with a note or phone call. Hold a training motivational meeting for the workers.

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Parish CFSA Chairperson


Why have lay presenters?

It is most likely that those who attend mass on Sunday are those who will contribute to CFSA. It is also likely that, in spite of our best efforts to communicate through written materials (letters, brochures, newspaper, etc.), many have either not read the material or they may have put off making their pledge. This is a last opportunity to reach these parishioners. The use of a lay presenter is an effective means of increasing participation.


As the lay parish leader you have an important role of communicating to your fellow parishioners that they are a part of a larger diocesan family. You are the “insistent voice” of the CFSA campaign. You are the link between the appeal and the people of your parish. It is important that you express your own commitment to the financial support of the CFSA.


Together with your Pastor, your responsibility is to see that the overall appeal plan is appropriate for your parish and that the steps of the plan are carried out within the time frame established.



  • Organize the structure of the parish appeal
  • Make a personal gift to the appeal
  • Review the Parish Manual and all related materials
  • Insure that all materials i.e.: Posters, bulletin inserts, are properly displayed
  • Supervise every phase of the parish campaign under the guidance of the Pastor
  • Enlist volunteer workers for pre-campaign and follow-up effort
  • Recognize volunteers and donors
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the CFSA in all parish activities
  • Give Lay Testimonial on Education weekend

What you are asked to do as a lay presenter

  • Meet with your pastor and parish chairperson as soon as possible. Review the process and your role.
  • It is essential to create a schedule for bulletin inserts and the pulpit presentation. Inserts should appear at least two weeks prior to the first in-pew event.
  • Call and visit an agency/program funded by Catholic Family Sharing Appeal. A Telephone list is included in Section IV.
  • Prepare and practice your presentation.
  • Make your presentation on Education Weekend. 

Some basic hints for developing your talk

  • Start your preparation early
  • Outline your thoughts
  • Write the outline fully - large print, double spaced
  • Real people stories work better than statistics
  • Make sure parishioners know what the Bishop's Fund Appeal is

Some suggestions to consider in preparing for your presentation

  • Appearance
  • Practice
  • Be clear on how the pledge card process works and where they return it.

Some final suggestions of do's and the do not's

  • Do Not lead off your talk with "When Father asked me to speak to you...
  • Do be emotional.
  • Do give some specifics - brief statistics, name agencies.
  • Do mention how people in your region or parish have benefited from programs supported by the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal. Be as specific as possible by telling an actual story.
  • Do practice.
  • Do plan how to close with a strong appeal for generosity.
  • Do be confident, speak from your heart and enjoy the experience.
  • Include a thank -you in your talk.


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Parish CFSA Secretary

As CFSA Secretary, you are the person who makes the parish campaign run smoothly. You are the one whose presence is often unseen but whose efficiency, care and helpfulness have an impact on every aspect of the campaign.

As a member of the parish leadership team, you will help your Pastor and Chairperson(s) to promote and implement the appeal.


  • Prepare bulletin inserts, general intercessions, and announcements each week
  • Coordinate follow-up and thank you letter mailings
  • Process Pledge cards and payments
  • Keep accurate records of the appeal results
  • Fill out Transmittal and Pledge Payment Reports
  • Report CFSA results to Pastor/Chairperson and appropriate committees


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There are many unsung heroes in any successful parish appeal. These individuals are the volunteers who so generously give of their time and efforts behind the scenes to see that the appeal is a success.

Here are a few good reasons:

  • The CFSA volunteer uses his or her time and ability to promote the kingdom of God through the educational and charitable programs supported by CFSA.
  • Working for CFSA is a way of thanking God.
  • It is fulfilling one's duty to share his/her faith and blessings.
  • It is a way of doing something for one's parish, one's diocese, and one's community.
  • It is a way of showing one's deep loyalty to our Universal Church. 

Volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Helping to enlist other volunteers as necessary to effectively carry out the parish appeal program.
  • Assisting the pastor and/or chairperson (s) in carrying out the program of solicitation of parish members.
  • Assisting the parish secretary in tabulating incoming gifts and pledges.
  • Working with the Pastor and Secretary to complete all follow-up procedures to make sure all parishioners have had the opportunity to give. 

Recruitment Suggestions:

  • A strong enthusiastic appeal from the pulpit, from the pastor and lay chairperson
  • A request to enroll workers after Mass
  • Emphasize they are not “collecting” money, but, doing ministry work for the Church.
  • Utilize the parish council, finance committee or Young Adults.
  • Network within the volunteers themselves.

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