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For the Diocese of Wichita, stewardship is a way of life

By Steier Wire

For the Diocese of Wichita, stewardship is not a goal; it’s a way of life. This diocese strives to be a community that gives generously, sacrificially and proportionally while sharing responsibility for the mission of the Church. There’s a reason they are known nationally for dedication to stewardship. When the diocese hired the Steier Group, deepening the practice of stewardship was as high a priority as raising funds to renovate the cathedral, invest in seminarian education and grow Catholic education endowments. The successful campaign raised $26 million on an $11 million goal. Most important to Mike Wescott, Wichita’s Director of…

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Growing your donor database with innovative technology

By Steier Wire

How does an abbey and prep school in Southern California have donors in more than 41 states and 11 countries? The case for support from Catholics and others living in Southern California is obvious — the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s provide numerous services to the local community on a daily basis. But there are undoubtedly great nonprofits and religious organizations having an impact in each of those states and countries. So how did St. Michael’s grow this support from outside its obvious target area? In part through developing its advancement office’s skills in an emerging piece of the fundraising…

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Meet the Norbertines of St. Michael’s Abbey

By Steier Wire

Consisting of more than 50 priests and 35 seminarians studying for the priesthood, St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California, is home to the Norbertines, who live a monastic common life of sung praises, regular prayer and community service – especially in education. “Our mission is to live a common life of liturgical prayer and religious observance in order to provide for the care of souls,” said the Very Rev. Chrysostom Baer, O. Praem., prior of St. Michael’s Abbey. “We bring Christ to God’s people by serving as priests in multiple ministries and cultivating in all whom we serve a love…

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Developing your digital fundraising toolbox

By Steier Wire

Even if a comprehensive digital marketing platform isn’t right for your organization, there are many big and small ways you can increase the strength of your online fundraising efforts. Here are a few tips you can implement now to develop your digital fundraising toolbox: Online giving platform. If you do not currently have a way for donors to support you online, find one! The Steier Group has partnered with aware3 to provide a capital campaign online giving solution to clients. Use social media. If your organization does not have a social media presence, you are missing out on ways to…

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Research demonstrates the value of personal visits to fundraising

By Steier Wire

For 20 years, the Steier Group has relied on data analytics to manage our successful campaigns. Our statistics show what we know from experience: People give more to religious and community organizations when they are asked in person for support. The Steier Group recently embarked on a major, two-year research project to quantify exactly how much more effective personal visits are than other solicitation methods. We tracked 51 campaigns and 22,757 donor decisions, analyzing the size of gifts relative to how prospective donors were asked for support. We found that donors, when asked in person, give 54 percent of their…

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Funding a new spiritual home in East Tennessee

By Steier Wire

Diocesan capital campaigns are challenging even when the goals have widespread support. When you’re raising money for a cathedral, the challenges can seem insurmountable. The Diocese of Knoxville, a young, vibrant and growing diocese, faced a major challenge: It lacked a true cathedral to call home. The need was obvious, but the benefits of a cathedral can be a difficult sell to those outside the cathedral parish. So how did 51 parishes dispersed across East Tennessee come together and raise more than $44 million? By listening to their pastors and parishioners, adjusting their plan, securing gifts from outside the diocese…

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Powering your capital campaign with data

By Steier Wire

Good data is the cornerstone of a modern, successful fundraising effort. A solid capital campaign database with updated contact information and previous donation information proves vital to a successful effort. The Steier Group helps our clients use wealth research to get a feel for what is possible through a campaign. Then we use that data to design compelling infographics that inspire donors to give. For our diocesan clients, the effective use of data can add millions to a campaign total. Database management An updated capital campaign database is a powerful tool for any diocesan fundraising effort. It’s the key to…

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Are you ready for a diocesan capital campaign?

By Steier Wire

Diocesan capital campaigns are a big undertaking. They require time, energy and often years of planning. They require strong leadership, capable volunteers, competent staff and lots of coffee. Here are five questions to gauge if your diocese is ready to take the next step towards a diocesan-wide effort: Are these really needs? Do we have a pool of capable volunteers and possible donors? YES: Proceed to the next question. UNSURE: A campaign planning study will unlock that knowledge. Proceed to the next question. NO TO BOTH: You are not ready for a diocesan campaign. Can we present a compelling case?…

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Inspiring support in capital campaigns

By Steier Wire

Early this year, I challenged my team to take a critical look at our strategic plan and to share their most honest feedback about areas in need of growth. Our online presence and the overall Steier Group brand emerged as a topic of discussion over and over again. I must admit, the initial recommendations to revamp both our brand and website made me leery. But today, I can tell you with certainty that it was the right decision. Since 1997, we have grown from one to 50 employees with loyal clients stretching from coast to coast. And over the last…

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Why pay for capital campaign counsel?

By Steier Wire

Former clients often have a confession: They never imagined conducting a capital campaign would take so much time and effort. These same clients originally wondered whether they could run their campaigns without outside counsel. I’m routinely asked why organizations should incur the cost of hiring an organization, such as the Steier Group, to run their campaigns. I typically answer their question with a few of my own: Does your organization have a staff member who can devote 100 percent of his or her time to the campaign for the next six months (or longer)? Our campaign managers typically devote up…

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