Renewed Focus on Faith
The development office settled on “Together in Faith” as the theme for 2004. “It spoke implicitly to our sense of shared mission and to the recognition that reconfiguration was an issue that was confronting all parishioners,” DeVasto says.
The 2004 Appeal raised $11 million and was successful not only because of the monetary increase but also because it sparked a dramatic increase in the number of donors. The improvement in the effectiveness of the Appeal from 2002 to 2004 was amazing, given the seriousness of the obstacles.
“We saw an increase of over 20 percent in funds raised and over 30 percent in donor participation from 2002 to 2004,” DeVasto says.
The 2005 Catholic Appeal, named “Our Faith At Work,” is another step toward making the campaign more forward thinking and responsive. The Appeal’s messaging is revamped yearly. Through the assistance of clergy and laity, the role of pastors and lay leaders is being made more prominent. Parishioners are being encouraged to reflect on the meaning and need of the Appeal.
“Our challenge at this time as Catholics is to take a hard look at how we relate to our faith and to be even more involved,” DeVasto says. “It’s not simply about raising funds, although that’s critical. It’s about participating in our mission as a community.”
David McKenna is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer.