Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Community in Katy, Texas, kicked off its capital campaign in October 2019. The campaign combined the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s archdiocesan campaign with its own needs. The community faced debt from the construction of a new school plus parish improvements and supporting the expanding school.
Four months into the campaign, the world came to an abrupt stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fr. Tom Lam made two critical moves during what amounted to be an 18-month campaign pause. He encouraged parishioners to sign up for periodic messages through the parish email system. Signups exceeded the parish household count. Additionally, he prayed, and asked his flock to pray with him.
“Praying together was the natural thing to do, so I asked our families to join me and pray for their health, their jobs and for their involvement in the campaign,” said Fr. Lam.
As parishioners returned to in-person Mass attendance, the campaign rebooted. The Steier Group’s experience with other paused campaigns helped Epiphany succeed. The campaign manager knew the importance of increasing communications and making them as personal and teachable as possible.
Fr. Lam and his campaign leadership team took the message to heart and developed a communications strategy that would boost the campaign pledge total from $2.7 million to $4.9 million over the next four months.
Parishioners were invited to provide testimonials at Mass, on video and in print form. With face-to-face meetings still limited, volunteers were encouraged to use telephone calls, email, text messages and even handwritten messages on campaign notecards to connect and follow up with prospects.
The Steier Group also assisted Fr. Lam with his personal messaging at Mass, in bulletin inserts and the parish email system. Special “Sacrificial Giving” and “How to Make a Pledge” instructional guides were among those developed.
The messaging continued through Commitment Weekend with a powerful appeal from a deacon candidate. More than $750,000 was raised that final weekend.
This was the parish’s second campaign with the Steier Group. In total, Epiphany has raised nearly $10 million.
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