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Steier Tips

After nearly a quarter century of helping nonprofits plan, reach and exceed their fundraising goals, we’ve accomplished a lot – and learned a thing or two. Our Steier Tips page features the latest Steier Group fundraising advice from our team of experts, case studies and helpful insight to consider as you plan your next campaign.

Boost year-end fundraising with a focus on stewardship

By Steier Tips

As 2021 ends, nonprofits are discussing how best to solicit end-of-year gifts. Most often, the discussion centers on methods of giving such as taxes and retirement accounts. But, during the Christmas season, we believe a focus on stewardship – the heart of giving – serves to enhance year-end fundraising. The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops unveiled four tenets that define stewards: Our lives, and all that we have, are gifts from our loving God. As stewards of God’s gifts, we take care of what we have and generously share it with others. Seeing everything before us as gift –…

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Endowment campaign strategies that work

By Steier Tips

For many nonprofits, raising money for an endowment is the ultimate dream. To have the resources and support necessary to increase an endowment beyond an organization’s operating needs seems like a challenging, yet desirable goal. When you think of an endowment campaign, you might generally think of large nonprofits with endowment funds in the hundreds of millions. While those large institutions are often the most prolific endowment fundraisers, more modest sized nonprofits can and should raise endowment dollars when they are able. Small nonprofits, those raising $5 million per year or less, should generally focus on expanding their general and…

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Embracing stewardship helped Diocese of Hamilton in successful campaign

By Steier Tips

How can we ask for money at a time like this? That has been a common question from nonprofits since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020. For the Diocese of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada, the question arose as it was halfway through its $35 million One Heart, One Soul Campaign. After a brief pause, the diocese restarted its campaign in fall 2020, despite strict limits on Mass attendance and other COVID-related restrictions. The diocese has no regrets. “When you look at this through the lens of stewardship, through the lens of faith, it became clear that the option…

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Despite challenges of pandemic, parishioners propelled dioceses to campaign success

By Steier Wire

Strong parishes, strong diocese. This mantra, from the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, Bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton, during its capital campaign, sums up the benefit of a diocesan-wide capital campaign. When the Catholic faithful of a diocese comes together to support one another and the Church as a whole, a rising tide truly lifts all boats. Never was this truer than during the pandemic. In addition to the usual challenges of a diocesan campaign, dioceses faced navigating the rough waters of lockdowns, virtual Mass, social distancing and economic hardship. By following capital campaign best practices and adjusting to pandemic…

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Finding fundraising success during a crisis

By Steier Wire

In addition to our diocesan partners, the Steier Group helped churches, schools, Newman Centers and Catholic Charities across North America weather the pandemic storm. Many of these organizations stayed the course even as lockdowns occurred. Thanks to nimble adjustments, changes in strategy and tailoring fundraising goals to the new state of the world, each found fundraising success. Here are a few campaigns that were successful in 2020: ST. ANNE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY IN HOUSTON In late 2019, St. Anne engaged the Steier Group to direct the final wave of their Generations of Faith Capital Campaign. At that point, the campaign had…

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Meet Christopher Beaudet, President of Diocesan Services

By Steier Wire

In March 2021, after more than six years of experience managing campaigns for a variety of Catholic high schools, parishes and dioceses, the Steier Group promoted Christopher Beaudet to President of Diocesan Services. Chiefly responsible for engaging diocesan leaders across the United States and Canada, Christopher gains familiarity with the unique pastoral context of each diocese, assists in identifying and defining their funding needs, and then orchestrates the Steier Group’s design and implementation of planning studies and capital campaigns to address them. He serves in a leadership capacity for all Steier Group diocesan campaigns. Before joining the Steier Group, Christopher…

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The state of fundraising in 2021

By Steier Wire

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of life as we know it. And had a big impact on fundraising. But, despite economic hardships and social changes, fundraising performed well in 2020 with a bright future on the horizon. In this issue of Steier Wire, we’ve explored the ins and outs of successful campaigns for our clients. Now we can look at the bigger picture. According to Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report, giving grew by 2% in 2020. Which is good news, considering the financial upheaval that came with the pandemic. Also, Blackbaud found that online giving grew by 20.7% compared to…

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Newman Center at Northern Arizona University persevered through pandemic challenges

By Steier Tips

When the pandemic shutdown much of the U.S. last year, campaign leadership with the Newman Center at Northern Arizona University (NAU) did not waver. They never hesitated in their goal to continue raising the funding needed to address their capital needs. “I thought ‘God is with us. We can do this,’” said Angela Vargas, the chief operations officer for the ministry center. She served as a leader for the Together, Let Us Go Forth Capital Campaign. While most Americans viewed the restrictions and a slowed economy through unnerving eyes, Vargas remained confident. Aware that leadership with other campaigns across the…

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How to plan a capital campaign launch

By Steier Tips

I wish I could say that a capital campaign launch was as easy as 1-2-3 – meaning you have three easy steps to follow. The process contains more steps than that – and each is critical to your organization’s success. The first step is to determine the need for a capital campaign. Do you need to build an education center? Do you need to reduce debt or strengthen an endowment? Do you need support for operations? Notice the emphasis on “need.” We know from experience that donors prefer to fund needs rather than wants. Donors will support projects that are…

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Planning study feedback proved vital to St. Pius’ successful campaign

By Steier Tips

Planning studies are intended to set the stage for a successful capital campaign. The 2019 study at St. Pius Catholic Church in Urbandale, Iowa, accomplished just that. The parish took into consideration its parishioners’ feedback, adjusted its campaign goals and ultimately raised over $5 million through the Living Our Mission – Building Our Future Capital Campaign. After beginning a master planning process in 2013, parish leaders developed plans to construct a 28,000-square-foot parish center at a cost of $7.3 million. St. Pius engaged the Steier Group to conduct a planning study to gauge support for the project and prepare for…

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