|October 1, 2012 • VOL. 50, NO. 17 • Oakland, CA|
| Bishop's Appeal
hits $2.1M goal
For two years running, the Bishop's Appeal, the annual fundraising campaign of the Diocese of Oakland, has reached its goal — $2.1 million in gifts or pledges.
Key successes in reaching the goal: changes in the way the diocese processes donations and an expanded speakers bureau. "We had more speakers in more parishes across diocese this year than last year," Wright said, including "ministry directors, key lay leaders, members of the finance council, stewardship and a couple of retired priests."
There are now almost 13,000 donors — about 8 percent of the diocese's registered Catholics, Wright said.
In a letter to Catholics, Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, apostolic administrator of Oakland until Oct. 4, wrote: "Each year, appeal donations help us to provide operating grants for parishes and inner-city schools in need. They enable us to offer programs and services for seminarians and clergy, as well as religious education and formation opportunities for children and adults, and support pastoral ministries and services such as youth ministry and marriage and family life.
"With your help we can continue to be a beacon of hope for those we serve. We can continue in our mission to spread the Gospel and to make Christ visible in our lives," he wrote.
Follow up efforts to those who gave last year but not this year will begin this month, Wright said. Parishes that achieve their goal get the excess money returned to the parish. That ceremony and an event honoring those who give $1,000 or more is scheduled Oct. 20.
There's the potential for improved fundraising. Comparable US dioceses give about $5 million a year to their annual appeals.
"Parishes are really starting to integrate this plan as part of their actions. It shows the communication is working from the diocese to the parishes and from the parishes to the people. We're hitting our goal faster," Wright said.
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