Dioceses of Grand Island

The Catholic Diocese of Grand Island Raises More, with Less, Using AskGenius

The Diocese of Grand Island wanted to make it easier for donors to give (and give more). The organization wanted a fresh start by using AskGenius to raise more money through personalized ask amounts.

Case Study - Diocese of Grand Island Top Card

Increase in money donated


Hours and hours of time saved

The Catholic Diocese of Grand Island, a Catholic diocese in Nebraska, wanted to raise more donations through their fundraising appeal letters. They recognized they needed to improve their fundraising appeal strategy but were challenged by a small staff and limited resources.

Their Operations Director knew they could maximize their efforts using technology and sought out AskGenius as a solution.

The Story of Grand Island

The Catholic Diocese of Grand Island, a member of the universal Church, includes 50,000 Catholics of various socioeconomic backgrounds and consists of over 42,000 square miles in central and western Nebraska. The diocese provides an organizational structure through its chancery offices and various ministries to ensure communication, education, cooperation, and assistance in the religious needs of the Church throughout central and western Nebraska.

The diocese knew they had a faithful and loyal donor base and had collected accurate donor data, but their fundraising appeal letters and pledge cards were outdated. They knew they were not using current best practice strategies to make it easy for donors to give and raise more money.

When their Operations Director heard about AskGenius he thought it was a “no-brainer” because the return on investment would be significant. Operations Director, Greg Fisher shared, “The research that goes into the ask amounts is incredible. We trusted AskGenius because of all the research and background they have. Not just on ask amounts, but every aspect of the fundraising experience.”

The Catholic Diocese of Grand Island had the best appeal they have had in four years and stated each month they are 10-15% ahead of where they were the previous year.

The Challenge

The Catholic Diocese of Grand Island knew it was important to reach constituents through fundraising appeal letters each year, but the look and feel of the letter were outdated and they had not adjusted their strategy in over five years. Their pledge card had a complicated design, and it was not making it easy for donors to give. They knew they needed a “fresh start.” Additionally, like many dioceses and non-profit organizations, the Catholic Diocese of Grand Island was challenged by a small staff and limited resources.

We know that in small development offices, time allocation for staff is critically important. Technology solutions should not only be cost-effective, they need to be easy to use and not require a large time commitment from staff.

Why Catholic Diocese of Grand Island chose AskGenius

Diocese of Grand Island’s Operations Director is what some would call “a numbers guy” and he knew AskGenius could have a huge return on investment. Not only from a dollar perspective but a time and resource perspective.

The diocese has a small office with limited resources and chose AskGenius, because “having all the ask amounts already done (and better than we could do them) is a big part of why our team chose AskGenius. The research that goes into everything they do is incredible.”

Additionally, the team at the Diocese of Grand Island attended fundraising best practice webinars hosted by AskGenius. Topics included how to improve pledge cards, how to write the best fundraising letters, and how to segment donors. Working with AskGenius provides an array of best practice information, tools, and resources to get the most out of your fundraising efforts.

How AskGenius Responded

From the first conversation with the Diocese of Grand Island, we knew AskGenius was the perfect solution for them. They had a well-maintained mailing list of over 16,000 constituents and an established strategy of sending fundraising appeals. The members of the diocese were ready to give, but they needed to be asked in a way that was easy for them to respond.

We determined Secret Sauce was the right strategy for the Diocese of Grand Island. This strategy asks for a moderate increase for donors at all levels based on a combination of past giving and wealth indicators.

In addition to setting up Diocese of Grand Island with the AskGenius app and Secret Sauce strategy, our team set them up for success with improvements to their pledge card design.

The Results

Not only did the Diocese of Grand Island raise more money, but it also saved them staff time. More staff time means there is more time to steward donors. They tell us, “This (AskGenius) will have paid for itself ten times over by the end of the appeal. It was a small investment upfront for a very big return at the end.”

As we have stayed connected with them, the Diocese of Grand Island reports they are 10-15% ahead of where they were the previous year, and it has been their best appeal in over four years.

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