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Fundraising and development best practices

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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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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Track these important capital campaign metrics to find success

By Steier Tips

For many, only one metric points to capital campaign success – total funds raised. And that is clearly an important metric. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of capital campaign success. True success comes from maximizing your fundraising efforts and inspiring support from your entire community. Here are three important capital campaign metrics to track to ensure a successful capital campaign: Number of personal visits At the Steier Group, our fundraising approach has always focused on personal visits. That’s because our experience has shown personal visits to be the most fruitful fundraising tool. The personal touch of talking about…

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Capital campaign fundraising costs explained

By Steier Tips

Warning! This Steier Tips article is laced with clichés and overused statements – but they all are purposely included to make the point that partnering with a professional stewardship, fundraising and development firm to run your capital campaign is a wise investment. Don’t go it alone (cliché No. 1) Launching a capital campaign is important, serious business. Some nonprofits are equipped to run their own – if they have a team of professionals on staff who have the experience and time to manage it. Keep in mind, running a campaign is a full-time job – which is why we assign…

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Customized donor recognition is key to maintaining relationships

By Steier Tips

Donor recognition and expressing gratitude for gifts received are important development responsibilities for every nonprofit organization. Acknowledging a donor’s generosity begins with the understanding that receiving a gift is the difficult part. Thanking them, it would seem, should be the enjoyable part. Then why do so many nonprofit organizations skip it – or fail to take time to properly thank their donors? Unfortunately, it is because they have already moved on to seeking that next gift. That is a mistake. There are different ways an organization can recognize donors for their generosity. The first is group recognition. Most organizations do…

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Strong leadership allows Rice Memorial High School to fundraise through pandemic

By Steier Tips

COVID-19 was officially deemed a pandemic on March 11, 2020. That day all aspects of American life began retreating from the public square, exemplified by a 1,200-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average — a plunge that ended an 11-year bull market. A week later, on March 18, the leadership at Rice Memorial High School in Burlington, Vermont decided to continue their fundraising campaign. Similar projects across the country were paused out of concern for the impending social and economic fallout. But Rice Memorial’s leaders went on to run a successful campaign thanks to their vision, skill and boldness. “We had…

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