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1. What is the Catholic Charity Appeal?
Bishop William A. Hickey established the Catholic Charity Appeal in 1925. The Catholic Charity Appeal provides desperately needed financial support for education, human service and spiritual development programs in the Diocese of Providence. The Appeal is one of the most cost efficient federations in the state of Rhode Island. Ninety-two cents of every dollar raised by the Catholic Charity Appeal goes directly to those in need. This year we proudly celebrate 86 years of sharing God’s love with those in need.
2. What is the goal of this year’s Catholic Charity Appeal?
As we begin the 2012 Appeal, we are embarking on a bold effort to heed the call to discipleship and bring hope to, and change the lives of over 200,000 Rhode Islanders. After careful discernment, it is clear that we must raise $7.8 million or more this year to meet the needs of those we serve. This is an extraordinary challenge, but also a very special opportunity. This challenge requires the kind of generosity and spirit that filled the hearts of the women and men who built and sustained our diocese to the shining example of Christ’s love that it is today. The opportunity for you, our fellow partners and friends, is to join us in raising our Appeal effort to new heights. The challenges presented are an opportunity to give thanks for our many blessings and encourage us to support and help those in need within our diocesan family.
3. Who receives support from the Catholic Charity Appeal?
The Catholic Charity Appeal supports 39 of our diocesan agencies. The annual appeal also provides for the spiritual and educational needs of approximately 190,000 Catholic households. Funds raised through the Catholic Charity Appeal reach individuals and families residing in every town and city throughout the Diocese of Providence. From families in crisis to at-risk children, from the sick and elderly to the homeless, the appeal reaches out to those in need. In addition, support of the Catholic Charity Appeal enables approximately 13,500 students attending 34 elementary schools and nine high schools to receive a quality Catholic education, as well as 32,400 Catholics enrolled in religious education programs.
4. What is the Bishop’s Partnership in Charity?
The Bishop’s Partnership in Charity was established in 1992 to motivate donors to increase their sacrificial giving to the annual Catholic Charity Appeal. This phase of the annual Catholic Charity Appeal encourages donors to be a beacon of hope to those less fortunate by taking a leadership role in giving, and setting an example of Christian stewardship for others to follow.
The Bishop’s Partnership in Charity recognizes those individuals who truly possess hearts touched by compassion and a sincere concern for the mission and work of the Church. What a wonderful opportunity to show thanks and appreciation for the many blessings bestowed upon you.
5. How can I become a Partner in Charity?
We invite you to become a member of the Bishop’s Partnership in Charity with a gift of $1,000 or more to the Catholic Charity Appeal. By doing so, you will join many other good stewards in our journey of faith together. Your charitable gift to the Catholic Charity Appeal qualifies for tax benefits as allowed for by law.
6. How can I make a gift to the Catholic Charity Appeal?
You may make a gift to the Catholic Charity Appeal by making a pledge which will enable you to increase your generosity with modest periodic payments spread out over an entire year. You may also choose to make a one-time cash gift to the appeal. Gifts to the Catholic Charity Appeal are also accepted through the use of Mastercard, Visa, American Express or Discover cards. Donor designated gifts to the appeal can be done through payroll deductions with your employer or by utilizing the United Way Philanthropy Fund # 9380. A gift of appreciated securities is another way to make a significant contribution at a reduced cost to you.
7. How can I make a gift online using my credit card?
All you need to do is simply log on to our secure website at http:// www.providencediocese.org. Then, click donate at the top of the page. To make a gift using your credit card, complete the form by filling in all the requested information including name, address and e-mail address. When you are done, click continue. Next, indicate the amount of your gift and select whether you want your card charged either monthly or quarterly. Select your parish designation. Now enter your credit card number, type of card, expiration date, cardholder’s name and card security code. When you are finished, click the “Proceed to Verification” box.
8. Can I make a direct debit gift? If so, how?
Using the flap attached to your in-pew envelope, indicate the amount that you would like electronically deducted either monthly (for 10 months) or quarterly (for four months). Please note that you may also choose to have the full amount deducted. Next, indicate whether you would like this electronic transfer to occur on the 5th or 20th of the month. Now decide whether you want the transfer from your checking account or savings account. If you choose your checking account, you must include a voided check. If you choose your savings account, you must include a savings deposit slip. Once completed, write your name, date and signature. Please insert the completed form in the in-pew envelope.
9. Will my parish receive credit for my gift?
Yes, please be assured that your parish will receive credit for your contribution.
10. When making my gift, who do I make the check payable to?
When making your gift to the Catholic Charity Appeal, please make all checks payable to the Catholic Charity Fund.
11. If I make a pledge, do I have to include a down payment on that pledge?
No. If you are making a gift using your in-pew envelope, just indicate the amount of your pledge in box B. Next, decide whether you want to be billed either monthly (for 12 payments) or quarterly (for 4 payments). The Office of Stewardship & Development will bill you for your gift.
12. When completing my in-pew envelope at church, how do I inform my parish that I will be making a gift online using my credit card?
Whether you are making a pledge gift in Section B or a one-time cash gift in Section C, simply check the box which states, “I will make my gift using my credit card (directions on envelope insert.” Your parish will also be informed through a weekly parish donor report from the Office of Stewardship & Development which will document that your gift was made online using your credit card.
13. I am an employee of the Diocese of Providence and want to make a gift to the Catholic Charity Appeal. Is there a Payroll Deduction Form that I can use?
Yes. You must complete a form for a request and authorization for payroll deductions for Catholic Charity Appeal pledge payments. On the three part form, indicate the amount that you authorize to reduce your weekly payroll earnings as well as the maximum amount per year. Then, complete the section for employee information such as your name, address and parish affiliation. Next, sign and date the completed Payroll Deduction Form. Be sure to return the white copy to your employer for payroll processing. Return the yellow copy to the Stewardship & Development Office and retain the pink copy for your records.
14. I heard that my employer may match my Catholic Charity gift. Is this true?
Yes, it is true. You can multiply the value of your contribution by having your gift matched if a company with a Matching Gift Program employs either you or your spouse. When a donor makes a pledge or cash gift, their employer may match that gift to a certain amount. Please obtain and complete the appropriate Matching Gift Form from your employer’s Human Resources Office and forward, along with your gift, to the Office of Stewardship & Development.
15. Can I make a gift to the Catholic Charity Appeal through the United Way?
Yes. Donor designated gifts to the Catholic Charity Appeal can be done by utilizing the United Way Philanthropy Fund and designating your gift to “Catholic Charities of Rhode Island.”
16. What is the “Parish Report Record” included within our parish’s Tool Kit? Once completed, do we send this report to Letter Concepts along with our return?
This Parish Report Record has been designed to serve as a summary of returns submitted to Letter Concepts for processing. This record is optional and is intended for parish record-keeping purposes only. Therefore, there is no need to submit this record to Letter Concepts along with your returns. In addition, please do not send this record to the Office of Stewardship & Development.
17. I cannot locate a parishioner’s in-pew label. Do I just send it along to Letter Concepts without a label?
No. In you parish’s Tool Kit, you will find five sheets, or 70 “New Parishioner In-pew Labels.” These labels should be used when a parishioner label cannot be located. In most cases, this will occur when there is a new parishioner who has made a gift. We ask that if you cannot locate an in-pew parishioner label, simply place this label (which states that a label cannot be found) in the box indicated on the in-pew envelope. This will enable our gift processors to assign the correct parish affiliation for each gift, thereby ensuring that your parish receives credit for the new parishioner gift.
18. I am missing items in our parish Tool Kit and we need more supplies. Whom do I ask to speak with when calling the Office of Stewardship & Development?
If you are missing Tool Kit materials or if you need additional supplies, please contact Robert Spirito in the Office of Stewardship & Development at 277-2121.
19. Should we track our returns to Letter Concepts using the Delivery Confirmation Receipts provided in our parish’s Tool Kit?
It is recommended. Using the delivery confirmation receipts is simple. Before bringing your return (placed in the United States Priority Envelope provided in your parish’s Tool Kit) to the post office, fill out the delivery confirmation receipt. At the post office, inform the clerk that you would like to track the package. The clerk will give you this stamped receipt back. To track your Catholic Charity return, go online to www.usps.com and enter the tracking number on the receipt. It will then state when your package arrived at Letter Concepts in Berlin, Connecticut.
20. What do we do with the completed Bishop’s Partnership in Charity Pledge Cards?
Once your Bishop’s Partnership in Charity prospects are approached on a personal level, all BPC pledge cards should then be included with your return to Letter Concepts for processing. We ask that group these BPC pledge cards with an elastic and thereby separating them from the rest of your return (general pre-printed pledge cards and in-pew envelopes).
21. Should our parish plan for one or two in-pew weekends?
It is recommended that in-pew solicitation be conducted on two consecutive weekends. Having two in-pew weekends will give those parishioners, who were unable to attend Mass last weekend, an opportunity to make a gift to the Appeal. Scheduling a second in-pew weekend will also reduce the number of parishioners who you need to contact during your parish’s follow-up phase. You will conduct the in-pew solicitation in the same way as you did last weekend with one exception. There will be no need to have a lay witness presentation during your second in-pew solicitation. Rather, it is suggested that in-pew envelopes and pens remain in the pews while allowing parishioners two to three minutes after the celebrant’s homily to make their gift. The celebrant can make a brief announcement mentioning the tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders who benefit from the annual Appeal every year. It is very important that everyone has an opportunity to make a gift.
22. In our parish’s Tool Kit, we found some pre-printed parishioner pledge cards. What should we do with these?
These pre-printed parishioner pledge cards are intended to be used for your parish’s follow-up purposes. We suggest enclosing the parishioner pre-printed pledge card with a letter from the pastor, along with a return envelope, to those parishioners who have yet to make a gift to the annual Appeal. Upon receiving a gift, please send, along with the completed pledge card, to Letter Concepts for processing.
23. I heard about “The Loop” Newsletter. I am a parish chairperson but never received a copy. Can I be put on an e-mail distribution list?
Absolutely! Please call the Office of Stewardship & Development at 277-212. We will gladly add you to our database so that you will receive future editions of our Catholic Charity Appeal newsletter. “The Loop” Newsletter contains informative articles regarding the annual Appeal that will be of help to you in conducting a successful Appeal at the parish level.
24. Do you have Catholic Charity bulletin and pulpit announcements? How about sample Prayers of the Faithful?
We are glad you asked. Bulletin and pulpit announcements as well as Prayers of the Faithful are great ways to promote the Catholic Charity Appeal in your parish community. Bulletin announcements for six consecutive weeks can be found on pages 35 to 36 of the Leadership Resource Manual. Five pulpit announcements that can be utilized during the course of the Appeal are located on page 37 of the Leadership Resource Manual. Prayer is essential for the success of the annual Catholic Charity Appeal. Therefore, it is recommended Prayers of the Faithful be utilized during your parish liturgies. Please refer to page 34 of the Leadership Resource Manual for a listing of Prayers of the Faithful.
25. Where can I find more information about the annual Catholic Charity Appeal?
Please visit our Catholic Charity website at www.providencediocese.org. It is here where you will find our informational brochure, resource guides, impact statements and even a workshop video. If you have any questions, please call the Office of Stewardship & Development at 277-2121.
If you have additional questions about the Catholic Charity Appeal, please call the Office of Stewardship & Development at 277-2121.