Steps underway to recoup CSA shortfall

| November 11, 2015 | 4 Comments

 

2015_csaf_logo 1Donations to the 2015 Catholic Services Appeal to date are $1 million short of the $9.3 million goal of the annual campaign that funds 17 ministries in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

However, Jennifer Beaudry, executive director of the Catholic Services Appeal Foundation, said she and foundation board members are optimistic about the campaign and working on several fronts to reach the goal.

The consequences of the CSA not reaching the goal would likely mean cuts in programs that the funded ministries serve, she said.

The amount of the shortfall at this stage of the campaign is unique for the CSA, Beaudry noted. “For the past four or five years at this point we’ve been over goal,” she said.

In one strategy to reach the goal, foundation board president Tim Healy is writing to those who have already given to the appeal to ask for an additional gift.

“Each and every dollar we receive helps immensely,” Healy wrote. “And your dollar could be the dollar that allows another student to stay in a Catholic school, or another child to be given a warm meal, or a sick person to be anointed by a hospital chaplain, or a college student to build a relationship with God and become part of the next generation to carry on the mission of our Catholic Church.”

For the first time, too, the foundation is participating in Give to the Max Day (Nov. 12), an Internet-based fundraising effort, Beaudry said, that isn’t just one day but actually continues through Dec. 15 at http://www.giveMN.org.

An anonymous donor has offered a $2,500 matching gift to those who donate to the CSAF through the online initiative, Beaudry said.

Members of the CSAF board — all lay people — will also be telephoning those who have made higher-level gifts in the past but who have yet to donate this year.

Beaudry noted that the 2015 CSA has 8,000 fewer donors to date than the previous year. The average gift, however, is higher than last year.

She also said it would be helpful if those who have yet to fulfill their pledges to the CSA would do so.

If the CSA numbers were to stay at their current below-goal level, Beaudry said, many of the 17 ministries would receive approximately 75 percent of the funding they are anticipating.

Scholarships that help 320 students attend Catholic high schools would not be impacted, however, nor would funding of the St. Paul Seminary or St. John Vianney Seminary, Beaudry said.

“There are 17 good reasons for people to contribute to the Catholic Services Appeal, the 17 ministries,” she added. “A number of them do not get funds any other way than through the appeal.”

Beaudry said the foundation won’t have final figures until the end of the year, and even then contributions trickle in.

“The shortfall could potentially turn around,” she said. “There’s a positive attitude in the archdiocese with Archbishop [Bernard] Hebda [the apostolic administrator of the archdiocese until a new archbishop is appointed].

“We’re optimistically moving forward. We’re positive healing will happen here.”

For information about the Catholic Services Appeal and a list of the 17 funded ministries, go to http://www.csafspm.org.

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Category: Local News

  • Charles C.

    Everyone agrees about the need to support the Church, and I’m delighted that it happens with the generosity shown in this Diocese.

    I tend to look at details which, in this case, may draw me away from the larger picture of the Faithful giving money, which is hard to come by in this economy, in response to God’s generosity to us.

    One detail I looked at was the audit report. In the note, the support to parishes program is described. The amount of support to a parish is dependent upon the amount donated to the fund compared to the goal that was set for that parish.

    If the goal for a parish is, say, $100,000, and the parish donates $90,000, the parish will receive $9,000 back (10%) for a net contribution of $81,000.

    If that same parish donates $110,000, it will receive a check in the amount of $27,500 (25%), for a net donation to the fund of $82,500. The extra $20,000 will benefit the fund by $1,250.

    Of course, it stays within the Diocese, so no harm done, but it struck me as a little odd.

  • Nancy Jo

    Thanks for your comments, Charles. What strikes me as a bit odd is that the goal for each parish is directly related to the percentage each parish takes in, which I understand is the “parish assessment” determined by the Archdiocese. This does not communicate independence’ from the Archdiocese but, rather, seems like ‘entanglement’. But as you so well make note of, since the donations benefit those we support and care for in the diocese, it is not particularly harmful but merely irksome.

    The article quotes Jennifer Beaudry as saying a number of the 17 ministries have the Catholic Services Appeal as their only source of funding. I would like an article to clearly delineate those ministries. Although I have given to the appeal in the past, I have also received solicitations from the St. Paul Seminary, St. John Vianney, the Venezulean mission, etc.

    • Charles C.

      Thanks, Nancy Jo, you’re absolutely right. Now, money gets collected for a variety of causes and “Poof!” it’s added to the pool and sent somewhere worthy. It’s possible to find out where by looking at financials more detailed than those provided in their website, but it becomes very tangled, very quickly. It’s like reading the President’s 5,222 page trade agreement. He offers to let us read it, proving his transparency, but no one will.

      Here’s an extreme solution, list all the groups that get more than $500 from the Diocese in a year. Then each parishioner, two or three times a year, indicates how much he wants to contribute and what percent goes to each of the individual groups.

      There would be a box for “Divide it evenly,” and a box for “Spend it however you want” as well. Plus, an automatic percentage off the top goes to the Archbishop to do with as necessary.

      I’d like it.

  • tschraad

    My experience has been that giving to Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities, Bishops Appeal, United Ministries, United Way etc.. I find that some of my money was going to provide abortions, contraceptives, etc. which is against my beliefs and should be against Catholic Teachings.

    I since then, I have never given to these and now give directly as Mary Jo has done. Such as pro-life organizations, Religious that follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, and certain organizations that provide for the truly needy. My wife and I feel good as we close out each year knowing that our money, as best as we can ascertain, is being used for the purpose we gave and not for things that we are fighting against.