Catholics are baptized into one gigantic family of faith. We have brothers and sisters all over the world, and we can worship freely at thousands of parishes around the globe.
In the Diocese of San Diego there are nearly 100 parishes, 50 schools, and dozens of assistance programs that help the wider community. As Catholics we belong to all of them, and they are all our responsibility, regardless of where we live or where we choose to congregate on Sunday.
In our personal lives, we spend money on immediate needs like food and clothing. We save up for larger purchases like college, cars, and homes. We also invest in our future and help our community.
In your faith life, you make a weekly or monthly gift to your parish, you give to the diocesan annual appeal, and you may choose to support to a community group or two.
In the Diocese of San Diego, we’ve noticed that often parishes are not receiving enough tithes to fund their basic programs, make necessary repairs and invest in parish growth. Some parishes thrive — while others are struggling financially.
On a diocesan level, we’ve seen annual appeal goals exceeded, yet there remains a significantly larger need for a number of programs. (Not every program receives funding every year, and many programs could stand to receive larger gifts from the appeal.)
Also on a diocesan level, our schools (generally speaking) are in bad shape due to low enrollment, which is due to the cost of operating the schools. On average, one year of Catholic elementary school is more than $5,000 per student. Of course, more students could attend if the annual cost was lower. Extensive research has been conducted to pin-point the problems we face in our diocese, in relation to our Catholic schools.
At Faith in Marketing, we’re investigating the idea that each Catholic family in the diocese could make simple monthly investments that would both satisfy their stewardship goals and support parish/diocesan/education needs.
It’s our “100 / 50 / 10 Plan!”
$100/mo to your parish, $50/mo to the diocesan annual appeal, and $10/mo to a diocesan tuition assistance program.
PARISH: We believe the current average gift a family makes to a parish is $20. That’s $80/mo. We would like to see that increased to nearly $100. (Learn more about this by reviewing our $99 Plan.)
DIOCESE: Right now, only about 8% of Catholics in the diocese give to the annual appeal. Of course we’d like to see that grow to 25% — and to get there we propose an easy gift plan with just $50/mo on your credit card. (Large lump sums are intimidating to many consumers. Smaller payments over time are easier for people.) More incoming funds can help more programs. Parishes could still receive rebates, but the diocesan goal could stand to increase significantly.
EDUCATION: Catholic school students are quite literally the future of our Church. They’ll also become our priests and religious. So shouldn’t we do all we can to maximize enrollment? And to do that, shouldn’t we effectively lower the cost per family by subsidizing the schools? We can do that when we all chip in. And to start, let’s all make an ongoing gift of $10/mo to the Bishop Flores Scholars Tuition Assistance Fund.
Sure, the thought is very consumer-driven. It’s easy. It’s automatic. It’s electronic. We also believe that parishioners can dig deeper and give until it hurts and then give a little more. That’s up to each family. But for most families, we need to start somewhere simple in order to get more folks on board with giving.
Families who are able to give even more… YES, please. Companies and foundations that would like to support the many great Catholic efforts (including education) in our diocese… there just isn’t a better investment you can make.
Support your parish, your diocese AND our schools regularly… and we’ll grow like never before.