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Church Fundraising in Canada

By March 30, 2022April 26th, 2022podcast, Steier Tips

The Steier Group is proud to present our new podcast, Twelve Wicker Baskets with Christopher Beaudet. Subscribe now on your favorite podcast app.

In the Gospel, Jesus fed 5,000 with only five loaves and two fish. After the crowd was satisfied, there were 12 wicker baskets left over. God provides the abundance. In each episode of this podcast, we will explore, with pastoral leaders and development professionals, all the many ways God meets the spiritual and temporal needs of our parish communities, our Catholic schools and the diocesan church. And not only meets those needs but provides in abundance.

The second episode of the podcast is Church Fundraising in Canada with guest Francis Doyle.

With guest Francis Doyle of the Diocese of Hamilton, this episode addresses the philanthropic landscape of the Catholic Church in Canada, addressing cultural, societal and ecclesial challenges to fundraising. Challenges include a decline in Mass attendance, depopulation of rural areas, the tendency of large institutions in Canada to rely upon public funding, a social etiquette that makes asking for money unpalatable, skepticism among clergy and laity regarding the likelihood of fundraising success, scandals that have eroded trust in the Church’s use of funds, and the recent residential school system scandal. In addition to these challenges, few Canadian dioceses have an established development office to conduct intentional large-scale fundraising efforts. The more locally-based fundraising in Canada sometimes suffers from the lack of sophistication that an organized capital campaign can bring. Rather than allowing these challenges to stymie the Church in fulfilling her mission and seeking the financial support to do so, the episode explores how every challenge can also be an opportunity.

The Diocese of Hamilton completed a very successful $35 million One Heart, One Soul capital campaign, bringing new life to the diocesan church and its parishes. Building trust, increasing transparency, communicating more clearly, and witnessing to the faith more convincingly can be spiritual fruits of capital campaigns alongside the financial gains. Organized and intentional fundraising campaigns can help create a shift in mindset, placing fundraising and development work back into relationship with prayer and living discipleship. “We’ll never have a shortage of wounds and challenges,” Francis Doyle notes, “but if we allow them to stop us from inviting people to build the Church, that is compounding tragedy with tragedy. The Lord wants us to stand and walk, and face profound challenges as a call to trust.”

Guest: Francis Doyle
Vice Chancellor of Temporal Affairs, Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario

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