St. Brigid of Kildare is a Catholic parish that has been part of the Dublin, Ohio community for over three decades. This thriving parish has over 3,000 registered families, more than 12,000 members, an elementary school with over 600 students from preschool through eighth grade, a Religious Education program of 800 students, and is the only Roman Catholic parish in that city. The vibrant ministry at St. Brigid of Kildare revolves around not only their parish but also their elementary school, youth
Standardized Church Management & Creating the Foundation for Online Giving
The partnership between St. Brigid and ParishSOFT began when the parish purchased ParishSOFT Desktop in 2004. Throughout the years, parishioners have consistently answered the call to leverage their gifts to glorify the Lord. The staff at St. Brigid continued to be mindful stewards of technology and provide parishioners with the best tools they need to support the work of the parish.
Sarah Moore has been the Development Director at the parish and a user of ParishSOFT software for over 15 years. When the concept of online giving was still new to many churches, St. Brigid introduced it to their parish. After the first year of using online giving, St. Brigid had 75 people signed up to give electronically. “It was a slow but steady culture shift. We encouraged people to support the church by donating online. This allowed for steady, predictable giving that permitted our Finance Committee to be able to budget for our future. The parish is there to support our parishioners 365 days a year. Online giving has provided a way for our parishioners to give throughout the year. Whether they are attending our church, or are celebrating mass elsewhere,” according to Moore.
Transitioning from Legacy Giving to Online Giving
In 2017 the parish transitioned from ParishSOFT Desktop and Legacy Online Giving to our web-based ParishSOFT Family Suite software and our next generation ParishSOFT Giving. The parish had already laid the groundwork for success by educating and communicating with their parishioners of the many benefits of online giving for their parish, so they quickly become comfortable with the concept of online tithing with ParishSOFT Giving, which is seamlessly integrated with ParishSOFT Offering and Pledges.
It was important to St. Brigid that they set-up ParishSOFT Giving for their parish in a way that met the unique needs of both their parishioners and their staff. The parish chose to manage all online donations through the parish office, which works well for all donors at St. Brigid. By managing online gifts through the parish office, donors and parishioners have additional confidence and comfort that their data is secure, so they can feel more comfortable with the concept of tithing online.
Weaving the Threads of Online Giving
With St. Brigid’s Tapestry Program, the parish helps each person find a way to express their own gratitude by sharing their time, talent, and treasure. Together the parishioners of St. Brigid weave the vibrant fabric of the parish that empowers others and glorifies the Lord. St. Brigid has also continued to make online giving a key way that donors can help the parish. The benefits of online giving are consistently communicated in bulletin announcements, at mass, and on the parish website.
The role of the Catholic Church is important in the lives of every member at St. Brigid. And Moore notes of tithing at St. Brigid, “Supporting the parish is more than just throwing a few dollars in the offertory basket. We have created a culture of sacrificial giving where parishioners decide what the parish means to the spiritual life of their family and make a pledge. Because of the parish’s ongoing efforts to promote online giving, the number of online givers continues to rise among parishioners of all ages.
In 2018, the parish had over 1,000 people tithing online. According to Moore, it was a culture shift that helps St. Brigid to ensure their parishioners are making and keeping up with their pledged offerings. As Moore notes, “By moving so many parishioners to electronic giving, the parish is able to get people to make a commitment and honor it.”
Online giving is important because it provides a steady and consistent source of income and is important so the parish can continue its ministry. “Our parish could not have continued to grow in our ministries and parish life without sustainable giving at the parish,” Moore added.
Implementing Best Practices
Tithing online is not just referred to as an optional way for them to give but as the preferred way for the parishioner to fulfill their commitment to the parish and the Catholic Church. When parishioners sign up for online giving, they are ensuring that their offering is made a top priority.
Ease and convenience are promoted frequently in all parish communications. The parish has learned the importance of communicating to their donors that all gifts to the parish are worthwhile and that every person has the ability to make a difference. Donations are needed to fulfill the parish’s mission and when parishioners learn that online giving is secure and reliable, they are more willing to sign up for electronic giving.
For the parish though, it’s not all about money. The staff at St. Brigid takes the time to communicate throughout the year how much the parish has received in tithing and how the parish’s donations are making a difference in the lives of others which brings transparency. By making it clear and transparent how the donations are used, it keeps the heart of the parish open to considering other ways to give their time, talent, and treasure to the parish.
One tip that Moore offers for those just getting started with online giving is to work with your parish leaders, so they fully understand and support the concept of online giving. This will allow them to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with other parishioners and can help to change the perception of what online giving is, why it is important, and how it can help them have a more reliable source of income for the parish. By building a solid foundation based on the benefits of online giving for both parish staff and parishioners, everyone becomes more comfortable with the concept of online giving and the technology behind it that keeps donor data safe, confidential, and secure.
St. Brigid of Kildare Parish is committed to sharing the Gospel with others and welcoming all of God’s children with open arms and faithful hearts. By God’s grace, they continue to live their mission to make still more room for all to encounter the love of Christ through the witness of the Catholic community. ParishSOFT and the entire ParishSOFT Giving team is honored to be able to serve the people of St. Brigid of Kildare as their online giving partner!