The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane, Wash. is home to more than 1,000 families, so when the parish’s annual giving appeal rolls around each year, Fr. Darrin Connall, rector of the Cathedral, is constantly seeking a solution for quicker fundraising. This past year, they found incredible success through sending timely, brief email reminders via Flocknote.
“Our annual goal here at the Cathedral is always very large, and it’s difficult to make in a timely fashion,” Connall said. “We eventually get it, but in the past it’s taken upwards of 15 or 20 weeks of asking people to bring their pledge envelopes in. That gets old for them and it gets old for us.”
Each Saturday, the Cathedral would send out a brief reminder for families to remember their pledge envelope that weekend, but would accompany each message with an announcement that wasn’t money-related — be that a funeral, a pancake breakfast, or a volunteer opportunity.
With the effort, not only did the Cathedral reach 60% of its goal in just the first two weeks (a record for the parish), but the overall time it took to reach the yearly mark was cut in half.
When reflecting on why the appeal takes so long without timely reminders, Connall noted that people are well-intentioned, but have busy lives and can easily forget to pledge.
“You announce [the annual appeal] in the bulletin, and you announce it from the pulpit, but people have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to forget,” he said. “But when they receive the Flocknote email on Saturday morning, it clicks something within them, ‘Yeah, I have to get this done.'”
Not only did this strategy work with those who traditionally give, Connall noted further, but he believes there was greater participation than in past years, as well.
The Cathedral recently started their annual fundraising campaign for this year, and by using the same strategy, they’re already halfway to their 2017 goal after just two weeks.
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