Catholic Free Press

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  • May
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Hundreds of new donors boost Partners

Posted By May 16, 2013 | 12:42 pm | Local
As Partners in Charity sits less than $1 million from its goal, the appeal director is most encouraged by the number of new donors this year. “We have received 876 new gifts and pledges from individuals who have never previously supported the annual appeal. This group alone has given a total of $102,000,” according to Michael Gillespie, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development. So far, about 15,000 people have donated. “It is quite evident that our pastors and lay volunteers are recruiting and inviting new individual donors,” he said.

As Partners in Charity sits less than $1 million from its goal, the appeal director is most encouraged by the number of new donors this year.
“We have received 876 new gifts and pledges from individuals who have never previously supported the annual appeal. This group alone has given a total of $102,000,” according to Michael Gillespie, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development. So far, about 15,000 people have donated.
“It is quite evident that our pastors and lay volunteers are recruiting and inviting new individual donors,” he said.
The annual Partners in Charity Appeal has raised 81 percent of its diocesan goal of $5 million. Some $4,032,798 has been received in pledges and cash as of Wednesday.         “Last year at this juncture we were at $3,915,128 which represented 78 percent,” Mr. Gillespie said.
The appeal needs to raise $967,202 to achieve the 2013 goal. Mr. Gillespie said new donors and having every parish reach its individual goal will bring the campaign over the top.
The St. Paul Society, whose members pledge a minimum of $5,000 has raised $668,850 so far, he said.
“It’s impressive to see so many people giving from the heart throughout the diocese. I believe we are experiencing a new positive energy in the life of our appeal,” Mr. Gillespie said.
In an effort to reach younger Catholics “where they are” Partners is making good use of social media.
“Our revamped Partners in Charity website (www.partners-charity.net) makes it easy to access information on ways to give. The website also shares the difference each gift positively makes,” Mr. Gillespie said.     Online gifts have exceeded $240,000.
Anyone who wishes to know more about the good work of Partners in Charity can find information online. Steve Kaufman, in the diocesan Office of Communications, recently produced a variety of Partners in Charity video clips, according to Mr. Gillespie.
“These engaging testimonials will hopefully engage and inform donors to support the appeal sharing the importance of making a gift,” he said.
To view these clips, visit vimeo.com/channels/partnersincharity.
“Our appeal office is committed to utilizing all present and new tools of engagement, specifically social media so to broaden our reach and to grow our donor list,” Mr. Gillespie said. But it will not abandon more traditional methods of relying on parish bulletins, direct mail and the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Free Press, he said.
Nineteen parishes have now exceeded their goals, he reported.  He promised to provide a complete listing of those parishes for next week’s Catholic Free Press.
Also encouraging is the fact that 11 parishes are between 90 and 99 percent of their goals and 21 parishes are between 80 and 89 percent. Fifty parishes remain below the 80 percent threshold, he said.
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.