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.
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.