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Fundraising and development best practices

Five keys to successful fundraising

By Steier Tips

In his book “A Spirituality of Fundraising,” renowned author and philosopher Henri Nouwen described fundraising as “proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission.” But how do we get people to give to something we believe in? And what keeps people supporting this in the future? These five keys to successful fundraising can be used for any fundraising effort – a church, school or local nonprofit. We are confident that if you apply these tips, your fundraising effort will be a success. Be authentic:…

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Campaign connection brought St. Francis of Assisi community closer together

By Steier Tips

St. Francis of Assisi in Wichita, Kansas, is the founding parish of the Diocese of Wichita’s nationally renowned stewardship model. In the 1970’s, Msgr. Thomas McGread served as pastor at St. Francis of Assisi where he developed the stewardship model currently used by the Diocese of Wichita. As a result of Msgr. McGread’s groundbreaking work, families in the Diocese of Wichita today do not pay tuition for Catholic education and there is no diocesan annual appeal. Families, pastors, diocesan leadership and all the faithful are dedicated to tithing at such a level where tuition and annual appeals are not necessary….

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Embracing stewardship during Lent and Easter

By Steier Tips

We sometimes hear of a “stewardship parish.” Perhaps your church sees itself that way. Yet there is no one definition of a stewardship parish. You’ll find many descriptions. But the central theme is the belief that everything we have – whether time, talent or treasure – is a gift from God, and we are called to give back to God a portion of our gifts in gratitude. We give because we are grateful for what we have been given. Understanding this, embracing the joy of stewardship, is what creates in us a “need” to give. We give not first and…

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Henri Nouwen and Nathan Ball, right, kitchen at L'Arche Trosly-Breuil.

The Courage to Fundraise

By podcast, Steier Tips

The Steier Group is proud to debut our new podcast, Twelve Wicker Baskets with Christopher Beaudet. Subscribe now on your favorite podcast app. In the Gospel, Jesus fed 5,000 with only five loaves and two fish. After the crowd was satisfied, there were 12 wicker baskets left over. God provides the abundance. In each episode of this podcast, we will explore, with pastoral leaders and development professionals, all the many ways God meets the spiritual and temporal needs of our parish communities, our Catholic schools and the diocesan church. And not only meets those needs but provides in abundance. The…

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Use planned giving to ensure long-term nonprofit sustainability

By Steier Tips

Most nonprofit organizations have a life span. The goal is to extend that life span and mission beyond immediate needs. This can be accomplished through strong yearly giving, productive capital campaigns and endowments. But those aren’t the only options. A focus on planned gifts can set an organization up for sustained success and a brighter future. Bequests, planned gifts and estate gifts can be used to build up your endowment. They may also be donated as restricted funds (like buildings and maintenance, scholarships, operations or specific programs) or unrestricted funds to be used at the discretion of the organization’s leadership….

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What is the state of fundraising in 2022?

By Steier Tips

Although the past few years have been tumultuous, data shows that donors have been as generous as ever. The state of fundraising in 2022 looks strong. In November, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project released its data on the first two quarters in 2021, showing an increase over 2020. FEP did see slowdown in the second quarter, but overall fundraising was still up. The slowdown in the second quarter could be due to the abnormally strong growth in quarter one. A few other notes from this data: The rise in number of donors was small (.7%) but total funds raised were up…

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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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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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