Planning of any kind starts by looking at where you are, determines where you want to go, and then decides upon the strategies that you will employ to travel that distance. Fundraising planning is no different. You need to understand where you are and where it is that you want to go before you can determine the best course of action.

Here are a list of questions that will help you more clearly see where you are. There’s a little math involved here, so I’ve created a little spreadsheet to help you. Hopefully, some of these questions will be an opportunity for you to see some opportunities to improve fundraising at your parish.

  1. How many households are in your parish?
    1. What percentage give regularly (weekly or monthly)?
    2. What percentage give annually (once or more times a year, but not on a regular schedule)?
    3. How many households do you estimate are tithing a full 10%?       (This is a hard one to estimate. I’ll be adding a spreadsheet for a calculator that will estimate what a full tithe from your community will be)
  2. How much of your annual giving comes from your weekly offertory?
    1. How much in cash? What percentage?
    2. How much by check? What percentage?
    3. How much online? What percentage?
  3. How many ‘Charitable Enterprises’ (bake sales, pancake breakfasts) occur each year?
    1. How much revenue comes from charitable enterprises? What percentage of your annual total?
    2. If you have a full time charitable enterprise (such as a religious house might have) what percentage of your operating costs does it cover?
  4. Do you have an attached parochial school?
  5. If you have an attached school, do you do any active cultivation of alumni, parents of alumni, or future alumni (beyond the standard tuition)?
  6. Do you have an attached religious community?
  7. Do you have any fundraising staff at your parish? In your deanery?
  8. Do you do an annual stewardship campaign? (a dedicated time period each year where homilies and activities help focus attention on giving time, talent, and treasure to the church?
  9. Is your annual campaign lead by volunteers, paid staff, or consultants?
  10. What percentage of your Annual Budget comes from your Annual Stewardship campaign?
  11. Do you have any professional fundraisers on staff?
    1. How large is your fundraising (development) staff?
  12. Do you run any direct mail fundraising campaigns?
    1. How many annual mailings do you do?
    2. Do you outsource your direct mail program, of do you have staff or volunteers run it?
    3. How much revenue comes from your direct mail program? What percentage of your annual budget?
  13. Do you have any online solicitations going on (apart from weekly offertory, examples crowd funding like GoFundMe)?
    1. How much revenue comes from online solicitations?
  14. Do you do any phone based solicitations?
    1. How much revenue comes from your phone solicitations? What percentage of the total?
    2. Do you make phone calls as a part of your annual stewardship campaign?
  15. Do you have a staff member devoted to cultivating major gifts?
    1. What do you consider a major financial gift?
    2. How much of your revenue comes from major gifts? What percentage of the total?
  16. Do you have a staff member devoted to writing grants?
    1. How much of your revenue comes from grants? What percentage of the total?
    2. Is your donor list growing or shrinking?
  17. Does your parish financially support any missionary activity?
    1. How many missions/missionaries do you support annually?
    2. How much money does your parish invest in missionary activity?
    3. What percentage of your annual budget is devoted to missionary activity (it doesn’t have to be in Africa, there are heathen living practically on your doorstep)?
    4. How do you raise funds for missionary activity? (Special collections, out of the annual offertory, special speakers, person to person fundraising, charitable enterprises)
  18. Do you do any major event fundraising during the year? What kind of events?
    1. How much revenue do these bring in? What percentage of the annual revenue? What were the costs of the events?
    2. Are these events led by volunteers or staff?
  19. Do you have an endowment? Are you familiar with the use of endowments as a fundraising tool?
    1. Do you have a staff member devoted to cultivating planned gifts (gifts from wills to an endowment)?
Previous Types of Fundraising
Next Parish Types