Stewardship, development and fundraising live forum

During the current COVID-19 crisis, the Steier Group will be hosting live forums to discuss issues pertinent to our partners during this critical time. Join us on Tuesday, March 31 at 1:30 p.m. for our next live forum. We will be discussing how best to engage parishioners remotely during Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter.

If you have topics or questions you would like to see discussed during a live forum, please contact Sean McMahon at [email protected]

Below is a recap of our first live forum.

Staying connected takes creativity. This message served as the foundation for discussion during a forum hosted Wednesday by the Steier Group for its former and current clients. “There is no manual for this,” Fr. T.J. Dolce, pastor of St. Martha Catholic Church in Kingwood, Texas, shared with participants.

Staying connected starts with the pastor and his parishioners. People want to see and hear their spiritual leader. It means making Mass and other worship services available through streaming services. It continues with providing other opportunities for interaction – reciting the Rosary and praying the Stations of the Cross. This is only the beginning.

Fr. Dolce shared how he asked school children to draw pictures of the blessings they have received while at home, which he shared while streaming Mass. The children were excited to see their artwork on television, Fr. Dolce reported. Other examples of creativity in staying connected:

  • A priest in a rural community is walking the neighborhood. He alerts his parishioners of when he will be by so they can come out of their homes for a hello and a safe-distance conversation.
  • Teachers from a Catholic school decorated their vehicles with messages of how much they missed their students. They drove through the school neighborhoods so their students could see them.
  • A Missouri parish has created a calling committee to stay in contact with older members. They ask three questions: 1) Do you have any needs? 2) Are you able to access Mass and other worship opportunities? 3) Do you have any prayer intentions. The caller then responds to request for assistance and prayers.

Our recommendation to all nonprofits is to make sure to update your website to reflect the current state of things. To appear business as usual will be off-putting to your donors and supporters. If you are a church, share how parishioners can participate in services virtually. For schools, address e-learning and other avenues for students to stay engage from home. For other nonprofits, update contact information and ways to seek help in your community.

For more information about stewardship, fundraising and development during the coronavirus crisis, visit our COVID-19 toolkit.