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Catholic Voice
 April 22, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 8   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
New community of Sisters bring
'Word of God'

O'Dowd breaks ground
on environmental center
Annual fundraising effort
on track to raise $2.5M

The Bishop's Appeal, the annual fundraising effort to assist Catholic services in the Oakland diocese, is on track to hit its goal of raising $2.5 million in 2013.

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The 2012 appeal was up 9.3 percent over 2011, exceeding its goal of $2.1 million and raising $2.3 million. Also in 2012, 50 of the 84 parishes exceeded their individual goals, up from 44 in 2011.

So far this year, overall collections are slightly ahead of last year. Eleven parishes have exceeded their goals and 45 parishes are ahead of last year's fundraising, reported Ken Hokenson, diocesan executive director of mission advancement, despite some challenges.

Easter came early this year, Hokenson said, and because they had other efforts already planned, "a number of parishes asked to delay the kickoff — to have the kickoff rolled out later."

Several parishes have new pastors or administrators, Hokenson said, and the average gift size is off a bit from 2012. The average gift in 2012 was $166; it's $158 so far this year.

The appeal runs through January 2014. A follow-up letter to past donors who have not yet made a commitment is planned, as are fall announcements in parish bulletins and reminders from pastors.

The appeal helps pay for programs critical to the life of the diocese, Hokenson said. Among them: seminarian education, priest retirement and Catholic education, smaller infrastructure items and social services.

Yet in the Oakland diocese, only 9 percent of registered parishioners gave to the appeal in 2012, compared to 21 percent nationally. Dioceses similar in size to Oakland raise $4 million to $6 million in their appeals, about double what Oakland raises.

Hokenson encouraged those who haven't yet made a gift to consider making a pledge. "At end of the year, I remain extremely optimistic" of raising the $2.5 million, he said.

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