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Fundraising during a crisis Archives - Steier Group

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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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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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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Supporting parishioners during pandemic helped St. Anne in long run

By Steier Tips

Despite significant challenges, including the pandemic, the St. Anne Catholic Community in Houston, Texas, came together to raise more than $19.5 million to fund a complete transformation of its nearly century-old parish campus. “When we decided to move forward with our campaign, we never imagined we would be facing two hurricanes, a global pandemic, an economic shutdown and a change in parish leadership,” said Fr. David Zapalac, CSB, pastor of St. Anne. 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 been…

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How JPII Newman Center overcame COVID, debt crisis to run a successful campaign

By Steier Tips

A few months into her new role as director of advancement with the St. John Paul II Newman Center, Susan Gnann knew she would soon begin preparing for a fundraising campaign. “I looked at the debt service line item and saw a deficit of $742,000 on a $1.6 million budget,” Gnann said. “I saw that nearly half of our budget was debt. I knew I couldn’t talk to a donor about mission when their money wasn’t going to support our mission or a retreat. I knew we had to run a campaign.” Faced with a $14.6 million construction debt, Gnann…

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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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Tools to stock your fundraising toolkit in 2021

By Steier Tips

The fundraising landscape changed dramatically in 2020. But the Steier Group’s message to our partners has remained the same – keep communicating, keep sharing your story, keep shaping your vision and keep asking for support. Do not leave these most important tools in your arsenal on the sidelines. Your donors want to support your organization and are eager to help. Your needs are real and aren’t going away. Whether it is a debt reduction campaign or a campaign to expand your campus, address deferred maintenance, or strengthen an endowment, nonprofits across the country are finding success. As you strive for…

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