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An appointed time for everything: Engaging the liturgical year in capital campaign fundraising

By April 5, 2016July 6th, 2022Steier Tips

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

We all operate under the cyclic rhythm and pace of seasons and events important to us and our organizations. Just as our annual calendar moves through the four seasons, so too we live by other markers of time: academic calendars, fiscal calendars, tax season and more. The many Catholic clients we serve live by the liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent and Easter. In addition, our communities celebrate special events yearly, from remembering the anniversary of a founding or groundbreaking to annual celebrations of First Holy Communion or Lenten fish fry dinners. These are all opportunities to encourage participation in your capital campaign in unique ways.

Capital campaigns have their own timeline, but when key fundraising moments coincide with the liturgical rhythm of an organization, it’s a good idea to combine the efforts.

It’s important to engage the liturgical year in your fundraising efforts, weaving your campaign into all aspects of your parish life.

For example, consider the following:


  • Emphasize the Advent theme of new beginnings and highlight the start of a new liturgical year when announcing the launch of your campaign or the kickoff to your public phase.
  • As a season of patient yet eager expectation, Advent scriptural texts provide a spiritual foundation for your community’s eagerness for the projects to be funded by the campaign.


  • Christmas parties and gatherings afford ample opportunities to gather key donors together to celebrate and to cultivate their Christmas gift to the campaign.
  • The Feast of the Epiphany highlights the gifts of the magi brought in oblation to the newborn Jesus and could serve as a special opportunity to make a Christmas offering to the campaign.


  • Lent is the perfect season to examine the ancient practice of almsgiving and to reflect on what it means to give sacrificially.
  • A Lenten financial offering can be made for the spiritual benefit of those who will be helped by the pledge.


  • The Easter themes of renewed hope and joy can be woven into groundbreaking or ribbon-cutting ceremonies and prayers to mark the event.
  • Similarly, the theme of darkness and light (the resurrection) can be employed in homilies and print materials to celebrate accomplishments made in the campaign.


  • Be creative about the patronal feasts of your diocese, parish or school. Perhaps you can name donor circles after these important saints and host special events for donors on their feast days.

There truly is a time under heaven for everything, from the right time for creative encouragement in capital campaign participation to marking key milestones in your success. In the end, these milestones are not just markers in your fundraising efforts but are truly reflective of your community’s journey through the seasons of life and liturgy.

I encourage you to contact me with any questions you may have regarding the professional services offered by the Steier Group.