In approximately 10 weeks, most Northeast Ohioans will have cleaned up from their Thanksgiving meals and will be Googling to find the best Cyber Monday deals.
Holiday prep time is just around the corner, but it’s the following day – Giving Tuesday – that brought more than 80 leaders from parishes, schools and Catholic organizations together to prepare for the fourth annual day of crowdfunding.
Since 2015, momentum has grown across the country to highlight Catholic philanthropy on Giving Tuesday, a global day to give to charity. The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is one of 29 dioceses this year that will embrace the online crowdfunding platform with the local #weGiveCatholic campaign on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
The Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Cleveland helps support #weGiveCatholic participants as they gear up for the one-day, online fundraiser. On Sept. 10, the foundation hosted a training day workshop aimed at helping participants define their message to potential donors and sharing the basics of development efforts.
“A Giving Tuesday donor is looking to give to those with a concise message, a clear goal and hoping that at any contribution level their monies can make an impact on lives,” said keynote speaker Julie Kenny, national program director of #iGiveCatholic. That initiative, which started five years ago in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, was the model for #weGiveCatholic.
Last year, $380 million was raised on Giving Tuesday. Of that tally, $11.4 million went to religion-related causes and $5.6 million was from a combined total of #weGiveCatholic in the Diocese of Cleveland and national #iGiveCatholic campaigns.
Those who attended the training also had the opportunity to hear success stories from previous #weGiveCatholic participants, such as Father Matt Byrne from St. Barnabas Parish in Northfield. Last year, St. Barnabas had a goal to raise $25,000 to renovate restrooms and create mobility friendly spaces in the rear of the church.
“For Catholics, generosity is faith in action: as we have received, so we are to give,” said Father Byrne.
St. Barnabas utilized social media, pre-developed marketing templates and other tools provided by the Catholic Community Foundation.
Participants were encouraged to use short videos and to try different approaches to captivate donors. A donor impact report from last year’s campaign indicated that 21% of donors were new and had not given to the participating organization before. Their inclination to donate was driven by an inspiring story or visual pitch posted to social media.
“Our goal is to rally our participants together through this training,” said Patrick Grace, executive director, Catholic Community Foundation. “Having the opportunity to share best practices from parish to parish and organization or school will drive creativity.”
For more information on the initiative or to preview this year’s participants and their programs, visit wegivecatholic.org.