Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Sep
  • 12

Partners ends year ahead of 2012

Posted By September 12, 2013 | 12:57 pm | Lead Story #2

The annual Partners in Charity appeal ended on Aug. 31, having raised $4,868,683 in cash and pledges, Michael Gillespie, diocesan director of stewardship and development, reported this week. This is 97 percent of its goal of $5 million, $33,526 more than it raised last year.
“Allow me to express my gratitude to clergy, religious and laypeople who worked together so diligently on this campaign,” said Bishop McManus. “May we all offer a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude for the many sacrifices our donors make in order to support the ongoing charitable, educational and pastoral works which rely on this annual appeal.
“The continuing economic pressures on families and individuals have challenged our agencies and ministries to respond to the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of those we serve. I am confident that with God’s help the Catholic Church will continue to bring hope to those who turn to our diocesan programs over the coming year.”
Mr. Gillespie said economic pressures also affect donors, of which there were 17,825, down from 20,500 last year. This year there were 1,608 new donors, up from 1,306 last year.
“Anything that happens with the economy will affect the Partners in Charity,” he said. He said some former donors are unemployed or underemployed, and a number of others have died. The appeal also loses donors who want to support their parish capital campaigns, and it takes time to get them back after those campaigns end, he said.
“That’s why there’s always that challenge for parishes, as well as our own development office, to educate and motivate new donors and to share the importance of the annual appeal and why we’re all called to give,” he said.
A number of people tithe to Partners in Charity, giving the appeal 10 percent of their income or a percentage of that 10 percent, he said. He said he’s seen recommendations nationally that people give 4 percent of their income to their diocesan appeal, 5 percent to their parish and 1 percent to family members in need.
This year the average gift to the appeal was $273.13, up from $235 last year. And 67 parishes reached or surpassed their goals, one more than last year.
Five donors joined the St. Paul Society, whose members commit to giving $5,000 or more. This year the Society’s 117 members contributed a total of $807,756.
“Online giving is up tremendously,” he said, adding that $280,000 of the donations came in online, up from last year. “It seems like it’s trending that way.”
“We also owe a debt of gratitude to the pastors and the parish lay leadership, who helped us communicate the need for this appeal so effectively,” Mr. Gillespie said.
Monday the advisory committee of pastors and laity is to meet to review the 2013 campaign, he said. From that, he said, they will start to plan for next year.
The annual Partners in Charity Appeal  helps to support charitable, educational and ministerial organizations in the diocese. They include:
Charity: Catholic Charities, Clergy Retirement, Retired Priests Health Ministry, Haitian Apostolate, McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys, Pernet Family Health Service, Seminarian Health Insurance, St. John’s Diocesan Cemetery System, Diocesan Development, Stewardship.
Education: Catholic Campus Ministry, Catholic Schools Department, The Office of Religious Education, Ongoing Priestly Formation,Diocesan Youth Ministry, Grants-in-Aid for Catholic School Students, Seminarian Education, Central Catholic Schools Subsidy, Advanced Studies for Clergy and Laity.
Ministry: African Ministry, Hispanic Ministry, Office of Marriage and Family, Ministry to Priests, Office of the Diaconate, Respect Life Office, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Vocations Office, Office for Divine Worship.