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We were paying for things that we didn’t need, and some things were costing us more than they should have.
Liaising with the finance committee, I made the tough decision to reduce staffing costs and cut out non-essential spending.
And together, we have been able to turn around the finances without the parish being accused of having an obsession with money. Limit (or eradicate) non-essential spending so that people can see you’re making every effort to use their money more efficiently.
People contribute if they feel their donations are being spent wisely. Focus on using contributions in ways that mark visible progress, even if it’s something simple like new Christmas decorations or vestments. Being transparent seems evident but is also vital, especially these days.
Secondly, putting myself in their position, I asked the bigger question, “why would I contribute more if I had the sense that nothing more was being done? Instead, my immediate focus was to use more efficiently what parishioners were already giving.
I took a hard look at the finances, staffing hours, expenditure, and I saw a lot of waste.
ear Fellow Catholic, I would like to share my experience in fundraising.
I may not have fresh ideas that you haven’t come across before, but I think it may be helpful to hear a priest’s experience on the matter.
When appointed to the parish, I was advised to ask the parishioners at Mass to contribute more. Firstly, I believe that people already give what they can.
[Tweet “I focused on using more efficiently what parishioners were already giving.”] Within a short time span, we increased the amount of available cash.
With the extra funds, I made visual improvements like re-painting worn areas, allowing people to experience how their current donations renewed their church. Things were happening, and no fundraising had even happened.
Also, we can all learn from each other because that’s what being Church is all about. When I arrived at the church two years ago, we were ‘in the red’ and finances were certainly not in great shape.
A lot of time and effort went into discovering how the parish had reached this stage and what could be done to reverse the trend.