Suggested $4 per CD"
When Donations Don't Exceed Reorder Costs...
What Parishes Have Done to Better Bring in Donations
*Many of these ideas can be adapted to fund an initial order as well as fund reorders.
Increase donation awareness and appreciation through announcements and notices:
End both pulpit and bulletin announcements with the simple phrase, "Donations
keep Lighthouse Talks and kiosk materials coming."
A priest can announce, "If you can't afford the $4, put in a dollar or two. If you
are able, please put in $5 or even $10 to help cover costs and keep Lighthouse Talks
Place "price tags" (mailing labels work well) on the CDs and even on the
booklets. This has shown a substantial increase in donations.
Place an announcement in the bulletin or announce from the pulpit that the
parish would like to see the CD program financially self-sustaining by parishioner's
donations. Share that the $4 donation just covers the cost of the CD...and that it's
a bargain price.
Place a small but noticeable sign (on bright colored paper) with "This ministry is
made possible through your donations. Thank you!"
One parish priest announced that they would not be able to continue providing
CDs if they didn't see donations to cover the cost. Since then, donations have, for
the most part, been in the box.
Find other avenues for money to support (or begin) the program:
Have a second collection specifically for a reorder one weekend or ask in the bulletin.
Ask organizations such as the Knights of Columbus for a donation to help sponsor the
Ask parishioners who appreciate the Lighthouse Talks to donate to help continue the program. People whose lives have been impacted by the CDs themselves or have seen the impact in a family member are often more than happy to give and often give generously.
Have a special "rejuvenation" weekend to encourage new interest.
Have volunteers stand by the kiosk after each Mass. They can be available to answer questions about the Lighthouse Talks and kiosk materials, yet their presence also increases donations and lessens CDs taken without donations.
Introduce a new item such as a book. This has drawn more people to the kiosk and parishes have seen an increase in donations.
Keep the requested donation amounts except on special occasions such as a weekend of special bundles. This price is already at a discount. Offering them for less can 'devalue' the items.
It has been known for a parish to find a $100 check in the donation box. Maybe
Father can say with a smile that he would not refuse a large check in the donation box.
"But if they don't donate, who cares!"
See three priests' thoughts below.
"Left in the vestibule and at each of the exits, people will pick them up and usually leave a donation. But if they don't, who cares! We're interested in souls. If there are concerns about expenses, don't worry; with one CD-listening convert or one lapsed Catholic who returns "home" we would probably cover most of our costs in the first few Sunday collections!" - Rev. Francis Peffley (taken from 30 Ways to Sanctify, Evangelize and Catechize a Parish by Rev. Francis J. Peffley)
A priest, new to Lighthouse, was concerned about the Lighthouse apostolate and if it would bring in money to cover the program. The very next time he saw his volunteer, instead of the hesitation, he was enthusiastic and wanted more CDs. The difference? "We've saved a soul!" he said. While he couldn't share the details, he did share that a parishioner had come to confession after many years away....and it was a Lighthouse CD that had brought him to the confessional. The priest then added, "The cost doesn't matter...we are going to save souls!"
When we recognize we've received a gift, there is a desire to be more generous, not only with our finances, but also with our time and our presence...
I haven't been worried about finances... I've trusted that the CDs are good, not only for me but for my people... Whether it costs us a few dollars or not, it's still worth doing.
My own confession...When people are generous to me at Christmas or birthdays, I'll put a hundred dollars in the CD box so that I can stand up there and say, "Look, I'll cover your costs of the CDs if you'll listen to them. And if you feel you've received something, just be generous in return so that we can get more..."
(When asked what he'd say if a priest worries about selling CDs, Father replied...) Make it a part of your budget to feed your parishioners with these CDs, so you don't have to worry about selling them. I think a big part is trusting God. If I believe that this is what's good for my people, I'm going to do it even if it costs the parish some... The chances of them giving are far better if they listen to them than if they don't listen to them... I tell them, "Listen to them and then respond with what you've received."
I tell them, "We pay for the CDs whether you use them or not, so the only tragedy is if you don't listen to them."
These three priests' similar philosophy?
Lighthouse is a program saving souls....
very much worth investing some money and being generous,
trusting in God.
The Final Decision...
Is It Worth Your Investment?
Spiritual Value..... There is a spiritual value worth more than we can measure.... What would
we pay to have people come back to church, be more involved in the Mass and church life,
believe in the True Presence in the Eucharist, frequent the confessional, participate in
stewardship, and even get to heaven? Remember, too, that CDs leaving the stand without
donations still means that Lighthouse Talks are being listened to!
Monetary Value..... Using Matthew Kelly's philosophy and math, forget the spiritual benefits
for a moment and focus just on the financial benefits. If one person comes back to the
Church because they took a CD on the way out of Church on Christmas or after a wedding
or funeral and that CD re-engages them, here are the statistics: If that person is 40 years
old and lives to be 80, and this person puts just $10 in the basket each week, that returning
Catholic will contribute $520 over the next year... and $20,800 over the rest of his/her
lifetime. That's a $20,800 return on your $2.50 investment. Now, do the math if this person actually tithes!
"God has plenty of money." - Blessed Mother Teresa