What is the Catholic Faith Appeal and for what are its proceeds used? The Catholic Faith Appeal (CFA) is a Diocesan-wide fundraising effort to support programs such as: Pastoral Outreach & Ministries; missions, poor parishes and convents; Catholic Charities; Evangelization; Worship; Respect Life; Peace & Social Justice; Vocations & Seminarians; Catholic Education; Diocesan administrative support services; etc. On an annual basis, parishes in the Diocese of Venice make a required contribution to financially support these efforts. The Catholic Faith Appeal is a means by which all parishioners can take part in helping their parish to meet its contribution. A parish Catholic Faith Appeal goal is determined by the income of the parish and is not based on the number of registered families because our population grows in the winter months from northern visitors. They greatly add to the success of the Appeal.
How does the CFA benefit my parish and me? Thousands of Catholics in the Diocese are directly or indirectly served through Diocesan agencies and programs funded through the Catholic Faith Appeal. In addition, a portion of the money that is pledged over goal will be returned to your parish for its own programs and services.
Why does Catholic Charities do additional fundraising? Approximately 15% of the Diocesan budget is given to Catholic Charities to help support its very worthwhile presence in our Diocese. However, this amount is only a percentage of the money needed to carry out its work. In addition to what the Diocese is able to provide, further fundraising is required.
Why are the administrative services included? The mission of the Church is to continue the work of Christ. To do so requires the Diocese to oversee more than 1000 employees in our schools, parishes and agencies. A commercial business would produce an income, but in the Church the parishioners are the primary source of income.
Why are there so many mailings? More than 3.5 million dollars of the appeal comes to us through the mailings. Once you have responded to a CFA mailing or made a gift through your parish, mailings to you will stop with the exception of a thank you letter and tax receipt at the end of the year. Tax receipts are sent to anyone who gives a gift of $250 or more, which is required by the IRS. It is always wise to keep receipts of your charitable giving for audit purposes.
How much should I give? As stewards, we should take the time to reflect on our God-given gifts of time, talent and treasure. Giving back to God, either through contributions to our parish or the CFA, should involve a sacrifice, one that reflects God’s generosity to us individually. Therefore, your gift is a personal decision between you and God, and should be made after prayerful consideration.
Should I make a pledge or a one-time gift? Making a pledge allows you to spread your gift throughout the year, which may make it easier for you to pay, and may also allow you to give a larger gift. Pledge statements are sent out monthly unless otherwise requested. These are simply reminders and not bills. You can pay your pledge anytime before the end of the year. If your situation changes, you may also adjust your pledge.
How can I make my gift? We try to make your giving as easy as possible! You can make a gift through checks, credit cards, stocks, direct debit, bequests, charitable gift annuities, matching gift program, online giving by clicking here and with approved gifts of real estate. Give us a call and we will happily answer your questions (941-486-4719).