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Steier Tips

Don’t ignore the benefits of planned giving

By Steier Tips

When we met with Bob and Cecilia as part of their parish planning study, we asked them 12 questions. Question 10 was: “Have you considered St. Mary’s in your will?” They looked at each other and said, “we’ve thought about it, but we’ve never gotten around to it, can you help?” Yes, we can. With a phone call from a grateful pastor and a helpful diocesan employee in the development office, Bob and Cecilia completed their will bequeathing St. Mary’s their home, valued at $450,000. Would you be willing to spend a little time and money if it resulted in…

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Four ways to increase your annual giving during the pandemic

By Steier Tips

A physician was once seeing his patient, the principal of his high school alma mater. Asking how the school was doing, the principal shared they were trying to raise money to improve classroom technology. The doctor asked, “How much would that cost?” to which the principal replied, “We think around $50,000.” At the end of the appointment, the doctor offered to write the school a check to cover the full cost. Surprised, the principal asked, “Are you sure?” “My friend,” the doctor replied, “if someone says they want to give you $50,000, don’t ask them if they’re sure. And yes,…

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What to do if your PPP money is running out

By Steier Tips

For many nonprofits, the Paycheck Protection Program provided a much-needed life raft during the early days of the pandemic. Religious organizations have received an estimated $6 billion to $9 billion in COVID relief funds. Catholic dioceses received $1.4 billion. These loans, many of which will be forgiven, have provided urgent relief, saved four million jobs and enabled nonprofits to continue to serve their communities. However, because initial PPP recipients were required to spend their loans within eight weeks, a time period which was later extended to 24 weeks, the funding is quickly running dry for an increasing number of organizations….

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Now’s a great time to conduct a census

By Steier Tips

Remember when you cancelled your landline or got a new email address? Did you call this change into your parish office? Did you alert your church administrator? Likely no. Parishes and congregations are finding out during COVID-19 that membership rosters are ready for a refresh. It may be time to conduct a census. The outcome will be a roster that contains current email addresses, mailing addresses and cell phone numbers for your supporters. You also may discover that some constituents have moved away – and didn’t leave a forwarding address. The result will be a more accurate database. Is it…

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Live forum: Eliminating the Envelope

By Steier Tips

Religious organizations – when faced with plummeting financial support from their members because of COVID-19 – flocked to provide a platform for online giving. What often took parishes and congregations months to convert turned into a transition of days by necessity, Jared Fritz, Pushpay’s marketing manager, told forum participants that focused on “Eliminating the Envelope.” The forum was hosted by the Steier Group. Fritz shared statistics with participants that reinforced the value of providing donors with a platform for online giving: 74% of churches offer some type of online giving. Less than 15 percent donate by using checks. More than…

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Now’s the time to consider a capital campaign

By Steier Tips

The idea of running a planning (feasibility) study or fundraising campaign while society adjusts to life with COVID-19 may seem a bit crazy. But is it? Over the past several months, the Steier Group has seen a significant evolution in thinking about fundraising during this crisis. In March and April of 2020, nonprofits were rightfully hesitant and unsure about how to proceed. Many determined it was best to weather the storm, hoping that as the situation improved, things would return to normal. We all now recognize “normal” has taken on a whole new meaning and, if we don’t adapt, it…

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Live forum: Our return to worship

By Steier Tips

Parishioners applauded when St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Valley, Nebraska, reopened for Mass recently. “They were so happy to be at Mass,” reported Fr. Lloyd Gnirk. They also cheered at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in Omaha, Nebraska, added Debbie Marcil, pastoral associate. Fr. Gnirk’s and Marcil’s comments were part of a panel discussion hosted by the Steier Group that centered on the topic: “Welcome Home … Our Return to Worship.” Panelists reported that parishioners were excited to be back at Mass – but the numbers of attendees weren’t what they expected. Fr. TJ Dolce, pastor at St….

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Giving Tuesday Now Talking Points

By Steier Tips

Make sure to address #GivingTuesdayNow while live streaming your weekend church services. It is the perfect time to communicate the importance of supporting the church and other organizations during this day of giving. And it will serve as a reminder of the fast approaching date. Suggested Pulpit Talking Points- April 25/26 We are probably all familiar with the annual Giving Tuesday movement which has inspired hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity for communities and nonprofits around the world. In just over a week, on May 5, we will participate in Giving Tuesday Now which is…

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Giving Tuesday Email Templates

By Steier Tips

GivingTuesday, a worldwide day of giving is on Dec. 1, 2020. Now is the time to inform your donors and supporters about this important day of giving and unity. The Steier Group has compiled Giving Tuesday Email Templates for you to use while implementing your communication plan for the big day. Save the Date for Giving Tuesday Email Template Subject line: Save the Date! Preview text: Join us on Dec. 1 for GivingTuesday, a worldwide day of giving and unity. Purpose: Announce your Giving Tuesday campaign to your donor base. Let them know why the day is important and share…

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Live forum: Digital Do’s and Don’ts

By Steier Tips

The Steier Group’s latest live forum covered the Digital Do’s and Don’ts of what your organization should be doing online to counter the crisis and keep everyone engaged and giving. “People who want to be engaged are engaged,” said Fr. Tom Holder of Our Lady of the Presentation Catholic Church in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The key is to make it easy for parishioners and donors to stay involved, he said. Fr. Tom talked about how his goal was to make the parish’s website user-friendly so parishioners can easily gain access to all online activities, including weekend Mass and daily reflection….

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