Bishop’s Appeal raises $4.5 million in 2010

By | October 13, 2010

The Bishop’s Appeal raised $4,501,000 from 32,889 donors. The average gift this year climbed to $138.91. That’s more than a $20 increase from 2009, said Diedrich.BALogo2010web2

“Overall, we were pleased with the results of the Appeal,” he added. “With the economy, a lot of people have lost jobs or are searching for new jobs during these challenging times. To see more than 30,000 people step up and make a gift is amazing.”

Diedrich offered examples of programs supported by the Bishop’s Appeal, including Catholic Charities, which will receive $880,000 for outreach to those in need. Education is the largest recipient at $1,173,000, which helps fund resources for Catholic schools, religious education and adult faith formation. Information on the campaign is available online at www.catholicfoundationgb.org.

“We have all of our materials online as well as a number of different things about the Catholic Foundation,” said Diedrich. “Every year through the Foundation, the Bishop’s Appeal receives a distribution from our Bishop’s Appeal Endowment Fund. This year the fund distributed $11,000 to the campaign. The fund was established by a woman who remembered the Bishop’s Appeal in her will. For a lot of our donors, that’s something that could be done very easily, maybe leaving 5 or 10 percent. This one donor had a love for the diocese and had her entire estate go to the Bishop’s Appeal Endowment Fund.”

The Crozier Society, for donors who make annual gifts of $500 or more, grew by 383 members in 2010. The now 2,112-member society contributed $1.7 million to this year’s campaign. Diedrich also pointed out that 44 percent of donors who gave in 2009 and 2010 increased their gift this year.

Moving forward, Diedrich would like to see more new donors in 2011.

“We invite people who haven’t given before to consider it, no matter the amount of the gift,” he said. “What we have seen is a decrease in the number of donors to the campaign. We saw a little more than 1,000 fewer donors give this year than last year.”

Online donations were accepted for the first time in 2010 through the Catholic Foundation site. A number of donors used the option, and Diedrich said that he expects more next year. All contributions to the campaign are responses to the call to stewardship, he added.

“It always amazes me to see how generous people in Northeast Wisconsin are to the campaign,” he said. “Those gifts of $25 or $50 are just as important as the larger gifts. It comes back to living as a steward. God has blessed us with these gifts of prayer, service and sharing. How am I using these gifts? Am I sharing these gifts the way God would want me to share them? Sometimes that makes for a challenging discussion. If I continue to live as a steward, things will take care of themselves.”

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