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Unveiling the Blueprint: Crafting a Self-Sustaining Fundraising Program in 2024

Crafting a Self-Sustaining Fundraising Program in 2024

By Rhen Hoehn, Director of Marketing

Catholic nonprofits are quickly realizing that the future of their ministry relies on building a self-sustaining fundraising program.


In a time of shrinking Catholic demographics, relying on your budget to come from an organization like your diocese does not put you in a position to grow your impact. As the Catholic population shrinks, so will your budget.


Gone also are the days of relying solely on quick-fix solutions like bake sales and car washes. 


In 2024, a self-sustaining fundraising program is a strategic masterpiece that intertwines vision, relationships, and a deep understanding of donor dynamics. 


So, what does it really look like?


What It Isn't: Bake Sales Beware!

Let's start with what a sustainable fundraising program isn't. 


Say goodbye to the days of hastily thrown-together bake sales or car washes that merely scratch the surface of fundraising needs. 


While these events may drum up some quick cash, they often fall short of cultivating meaningful connections with donors. They lack the longevity and depth required for sustained support.


What It Is: A Visionary Odyssey

At the heart of a self-sustaining fundraising program lies vision. It's about painting a vivid picture of the impact your organization aims to achieve.


Set the vision, pray about it, and discern where the Holy Spirit is guiding your ministry. Invite others to join you on this journey, not just as donors, but as active participants in realizing the will of the Holy Spirit.


Relationship-Centric: Building Bridges, Not Burning Them

In the realm of sustainable fundraising, relationships reign supreme. Fundraising is about forging genuine connections with donors that stand the test of time. 


Instead of viewing donors as mere transactional sources of income, treat them as valued partners in your mission.


Nurture these relationships with care, respect, and gratitude, for they are the lifeblood of your organization's sustainability.


Following the Donor Pyramid: Ascending Together

Central to a self-sustaining fundraising program is the donor pyramid principle. 


Fundraisers recognize that most donors begin their journey with small contributions. As they become more engaged and invested in your mission, some of them will increase their level of support. 


Over time, you will see your organization supported by donors at a variety of levels. Many will give at a lower level, some will give more, and a few will give at very high levels.


 A healthy fundraising program works with donors at all of these levels.



By understanding and leveraging this principle, you can guide donors along a journey of increasing commitment and impact.


Consistent Effort Over Time

Sustainable fundraising isn't a one-time sprint; it's a marathon requiring consistent effort over time. 


Just as a well-tended garden yields bountiful harvests, nurturing donor relationships and cultivating support for your mission requires ongoing care and attention. It's about showing up consistently, communicating transparently, and demonstrating the impact of donors' contributions. 


A self-sustaining fundraising program is the cumulative effect of persistent effort, patience, and dedication.


The Blueprint

Do you need help getting your organization’s fundraising program off the ground? That’s what BOAT is for! 

Petrus Development’s Basic Online Advancement Training (BOAT) guides nonprofits like yours through putting the foundational elements of a fundraising program in place.


BOAT is a cohort-based program with 12 online modules and over 40 lessons on fundraising, accompanied by dozens of downloadable resources and templates. Cohorts meet virtually every-other week for five sessions.


Are you curious about what BOAT could do for your development office?  Check out the Petrus website (here) for more info.  You can also sign up for a free BOAT preview course by clicking here. 


But, check it out soon!  The next session of BOAT sets sail April 15, 2024.




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