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Giving Tuesday: December 1, 2015

Giving Tuesday: Giving Thanks and Giving Back

Here at GiveCentral, we are really looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday this year. It brings us all together in so many different ways with its simple focus on being thankful. Now, thanks to Giving Tuesday, which happens on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving week, there is a great focal point for expressing our thanks, and for kicking off the holiday giving season.

This global day of giving, created by 92nd Street YMCA in 2012, is in its fourth year. The growing movement brings together communities to work for a common mission to help give back, and each year, more and more organizations are joining the effort. Honestly, after the spending frenzy of Black Friday and the holiday weekend, Giving Tuesday is a bit of a needed reset for each of us!

At GiveCentral, we share the sentiment and the spirit behind Giving Tuesday, and we are going to help you and your organization take advantage of the excitement around it to rally your donors. While many of you have appeals and holiday giving programs running, Giving Tuesday can be a fun, one-off opportunity to get folks excited, and to increase giving.

If you’re wondering how to best highlight this global mission, here are a few of our tips to get you started.

  1. Key Messaging

It’s crucial to know your audience and their key values to tailor your Giving Tuesday messaging. Position Giving Tuesday as a universal day to celebrate and encourage giving, while using personal anecdotes that will resonate with your audience. The goal of your messaging should always be to effectively get your donor base to believe in your mission.

GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Don’t be afraid to share what the donated funds will be used for. Sharing that the funds will be used towards a new playground or to fix the roof can drastically help increase funds. Donors are more likely to give when they can relate to what their funds are going toward.

  1. Communicate

Whether it’s a note in your bulletin, a handout, text message or email, be sure to maximize all of your communication platforms to share your Giving Tuesday mission. Educate your audience on what Giving Tuesday is and how they can get involved to make Giving Tuesday a success for your organization.

GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Don’t forget to say thank you! A personalized thank you for a donation is an effective way to turn a one-time donor into a lifelong supporter. GiveCentral makes it easy for organizations by sending automatically customized thank you notes after each donation.

  1. Engage Your Resources

It takes a village! Don’t go at your campaign alone. Create a committee of individuals who are energized and excited to make Giving Tuesday a success for your organization. Leverage these individuals to be key communicators of your campaign through word of mouth, social media and more!

GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Take advantage of the smartphone phenomenon and directly connect to your donors through GiveCentral’s Text-To-Connect platform. Texts are sent to your custom cell phone number to collect information and donations to take your Giving Tuesday campaign to the next level.

  1. Get Social

Giving Tuesday is catching momentum across the globe on social media. Jump in the conversation and share your story. Create tailored Facebook posts and Tweets to remind your followers of Giving Tuesday and your mission while gaining new followers.

GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Create a personalized hashtag for your Giving Tuesday campaign for donors to easily tag, track and share!

With these tips, your organization will be well on its way to helping members celebrate Giving Tuesday and get into the holiday giving spirit!

GiveCentral new fundraising partner Christian Brothers Services

Fundraising Partner : GiveCentral with Christian Brothers Services

GiveCentral is proud to announce its new fundraising partner – Christian Brothers Services (CBS).

Christian Brothers Services is a nonprofit, Catholic organization that administers cooperative programs in the areas of health, retirement, property/casualty, information and technology services, Catholic School Management and consulting. We are particularly excited to promote CBS’ parish and school web templates, which will help our client organizations improve their web presences and online giving practices.

“This agreement marks an exciting collaboration between both companies to better serve our Catholic client base by providing expanded and enhanced services.”

Patrick Coleman, President and CEO

As fundraising partners, GiveCentral and CBS will be able to provide members and clients “with a unique, multi-faceted set of offerings,” said Brother Michael Quirk, FSC, Ed.D., president and CEO of Christian Brothers Services. “By joining forces we are able to leverage both groups’ expertise for our members.”

You may view our official press release here.


A Parish Plan for Advent

This liturgical season is an occasion for many to revisit their faith. Throughout your Advent services, and especially on Christmas, it is important to reach out to the parishioners you see less often. Along with Easter, this is one of the best times to rekindle a person’s relationship with the Church.Not coincidentally, this is also the time to prepare for fundraising success in 2016.

Let GiveCentral help you with your Advent plan

  1. Welcome Them Home

    Let returning parishioners know that you’re glad to see them, and hope they’ll be around more during the rest of the year. Address them during announcements at Mass, if not during the homily.

  2. Get in Touch

    Ask everyone to provide their latest contact information (especially email addresses), so they won’t be left out of important announcements. Many parishes choose to provide paper slips to be handed in with the offertory.Even faster, ask everyone to text you their contact information all at once. That’s right, texting during Mass! GiveCentral can help you do this for free—contact us to learn more.

  1. Ask for a Commitment

    Don’t be shy—ask everyone to commit to making a regular gift to your church. For those who have been out of touch lately, this is a great way to begin reconnecting while they are in the pew.

  2. Sign Them Up

    Place GiveCentral signup forms in the pews, and ask parishioners to fill them out and drop them in the offertory basket. By completing a card during Mass, parishioners can give you all the information to automate their weekly or monthly giving.

  1. Stay in Touch

    Use your improved email address list to start reaching out to your parish community. Start with a message thanking everyone for participating in the Advent liturgy, and continue with a new message at least once per month. Use GiveCentral’s free email templates as a starting point, and customize them however you like.

A group of parishioners in gloves and aprons, preparing food for a charitable dinner

Great Things are Happening! The Value of a Hands-On Approach

I get a great deal of pleasure and fulfillment sharing the success stories of our clients, and I’ve started to document some of the more notable successes I’m seeing in a series I’m calling “Great Things are Happening!”Recently, I shared the story of Fr. Wayne Watts and St. John Berchmans parish in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, and how the two C’s of Communication and Community had such wonderful, positive impact on their fundraising efforts.

Today’s Great Things are Happening! success story is all about the value of a hands-on approach with members. Not just to help in fundraising efforts, but also because caring for each other is so important to our community’s health and happiness.

St. Teresa of Avila in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood recently enjoyed over 200 percent growth in their donor base, and it was due in no small part to a message of caring.

Case study: growth in giving and donors, year over year, at St. Teresa of Avila
A hands-on approach helped the church grow in online donations, number of donors, and Sunday Offertory from one year to the next.

Rebecca O’Brien, who heads up stewardship for St. Teresa, had realized the church would benefit from growing donor base, and that to do it, they needed to take a very personal approach to helping parishioners learn and understand how to use the GiveCentral online donation platform.

Fortunately, GiveCentral is remarkably easy to use. Still, for some, the leap from offering plate to the digital world can feel daunting without a little love and attention, which is exactly what St. Teresa gave.They went “all-in” as I like to say, offering assistance on how to register in the system, get payment information uploaded, create a donor profile, and set up giving preferences.

Meanwhile, the church stayed in near constant communications with donors new to the system, making them feel at ease, and demonstrating the benefits of how much more connected to the church parishioners feel when using the online giving platform.And the results bear witness to the success of their efforts.

Over 30 new donors were registered in the first week of the push, and ultimately, their Sunday Offertory increased by an amazing 433 percent!We can talk about the importance of online giving platforms in increasing donor contributions, and there’s no doubt GiveCentral played a role in this success, however the kind of care and attention the leadership at St. Teresa gave to their drive is the real meat on the bone in this success, and it makes me proud to have them as a partner.

I believe that no matter who we are, we are lifetime learners, and a few insights here and there about why we succeed can go a long way.

Download a case study of this great success story here.