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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