If you go to the Wikipedia site right now, you’ll see a note at the top of the site asking for donations. I probably hit Wikipedia at least once a day. Because I find it so useful, I donate. If you benefit from the site, you should too. One of the lines in the Prayer of St. Francis says, “For it is in giving that we receive.” Do your part and donate to your favorite non-profits during this season of giving.
Just like what Wikipedia is doing right now and national public radio does once a year, the Catholic Church is going through its Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. Every church is assessed some amount that needs to be collected, otherwise the money is taken from the church’s savings. As roaming Catholics, Dean and I don’t consistently go to one parish. We’re all over the place and every week, I’m referring to a comprehensive mass schedule that I’ve noted on my Blackberry.
Every church we’ve been to refers to these generic pamphlets which break down how the money is spent: 16% parish ministry and support, 21% clergy support, 14% archdiocesan direct ministry and so on. The only thing I’ve heard from the priests is, “If you feel like you’re a member of this community, please contribute.”
Now if I were a priest, I’d get up there and tell my parishioners, “Here is how the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal directly benefits us…” Then I would go into specific, clear examples of why donating my money to this particular campaign is a worthy cause. Without the background, I don’t want to donate. For all I know, the money is being used for the sexual abuse litigation. Don’t really feel compelled to spend my hard-earned money on that!
I know churches are non-profits and non-profits have zero business savvy, but some of this stuff is pure common sense.