Preparing for Success in Your Parish

As we begin to prepare for Catholic Family Sharing Appeal 2018, there are several goals to keep in mind to help make your parish appeal successful:

Establish a foundation of prayer for the appeal

Add your parish community, Catholic Family Sharing Appeal and the Diocese to a prayer chain.  Be specific in your request.  “Open our eyes and our hearts Lord that we may see all that we have and all that we is a gift from you. (Give thanks for five things each day.)  Grant us the wisdom to steward our many gifts so that each of us may grow closer to you.”

 

Set goal for 100% participation

It is important to broaden the base of support.  Everyone should be encouraged to give something, even if it’s a gift of continued prayer.  No gift is too small.  At this time, it is important that on the parish level the stewardship theme be emphasized.  Participating financially is one avenue of responding, but participating through time and talent is just as valuable. Remember that no gift is too small and none is too large.  We would like everyone to participate in some way.  Please do not suggest a specific amount.  Simply state that the suggested guideline for generosity is 1% of household income.

 

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.  If online giving is not available through your parish, the Catholic Diocese and Catholic Community Foundation can facilitate this giving for your parish.  Call Melinda at 605-988-3725 or Amanda at 605-988-3788 for more information.

 

Set a stretch goal

This appeal is a great way to create an effective fundraiser for your parish. By utilizing 100% parish participation, promote Catholic Family Sharing Appeal by pairing it up with a parish project. Identify a need and set that as your parish project, which will create excitement for fundraising. Any money raised over and above the Parish Share stays within the parish; this can be beneficial to your pledges.

 

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 of what their gift 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. The additional stretch goal of the parish should be something everyone can get excited about; fixing the roof, youth programming, additional staffing, community project, etc.

 

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 and consider how you will convey your enthusiasm.  Success will depend upon your willingness to support the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal.

 

Utilization of weekends of the appeal

Utilizing all opportunities to educate is vital! Education weekend, commitment weekend and the follow-up weekend encourage and remind people to be participants.

 

Follow-up Program

Parishes that have a successful parish appeal make an attempt to contact each family or individual starting with those who have contributed in the past. 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…
    • Introduce yourself as a neighbor and volunteer for the parish Catholic Family Sharing Appeal
    • Note that their gift or pledge has not been received
    • Offer to send another pledge envelope
    • Offer to answer any questions about the Appeal
    • Offer the opportunity to volunteer time or talent to the parish or diocesan ministries
    • Thank them for their participation and/or consideration

 

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!