Annual Catholic Appeal – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Annual Catholic Appeal?
Since 1976, the Annual Catholic Appeal has been a unified effort in which all parishioners are asked to provide critical, financial support to more than thirty diocesan ministries running more effectively at the diocesan level than individual parishes. Appeal funds are the major financial source available to underwrite operating costs of these ministries.

Why is it important for me to support the Annual Catholic Appeal?
Your participation helps those whose needs are the greatest – the poor, the vulnerable, those on the margins of our society. Your gift demonstrates your commitment to Catholic education and the fight of the unborn; it supports those who are ill, imprisoned and dying; and helps to strengthen struggling families as well as offers counseling to the grieving and the addicted enabling thousands of individuals and families throughout the diocese make positive changes to improve their lives.

What programs benefit from the Annual Catholic Appeal?
The programs supported by the Appeal are concentrated in four areas: Catholic Education, Pastoral Services, Catholic Charities and Administration & Communications. A listing of supported ministries and a brief explanation of each can be found under “Ministries Supported by the Appeal”.

How does the new CARES Act help charitable giving in 2021?
Donors who itemize their deductions can now give more cash to charity before reaching their adjusted gross income (AGI) limitation. Formerly set at 60%, the limitation for cash contributions to certain public charities has now been raised to 100% of an individual’s AGI. Any giving beyond this 100% limitation may be carried over and used in the next five years. For those who do not itemize their deductions; the $300 above-the-line charitable deduction has been extended for single filers. This deduction is increased to $600 for married couples filing jointly. Qualifying donations must be made in cash or cash equivalents not stock, for example.

How does my parish benefit from the Annual Catholic Appeal?
Every Appeal gift goes to support diocesan programs and ministries which in turn provide services that no one parish can offer on its own. Additionally at least 50 percent of contributions received beyond a parish’s assigned target is returned to the parish and used to defray ministry and capital costs. Parishes operating or supporting a school receive 100 percent of over-target contributions.

How do I make a pledge to the Annual Catholic Appeal?
Parishioners have received information about the Annual Catholic Appeal through the mail from either Bishop Malooly or their respective pastor. The enclosed pledge card and return envelope can be used to make a contribution to the campaign. A contribution can also be made by contacting the diocesan development office at (302) 573-3120 or on line by clicking

What methods of payment can be used to satisfy my Appeal contribution?
In addition to the issuance of personal checks, payments can be made by credit card, PayPal, online bill pay, gifts of securities, gifts through IRA’s, as well as through corporate matching gift programs. When giving appreciated securities or closely held stock, telephone the development office at (302) 573-3120 or write [email protected] to obtain the necessary instructions.

Why should I make a pledge instead of a one-time gift?
Making a pledge allows you to spread your gift over several months, which may make it easier for you to budget, and may also allow you to give a larger gift.

How much should I give?
Charitable giving is a reflection of our Christian stewardship of treasure. Giving back to God, either through contributions to your parish, the Annual Catholic Appeal, or other worthwhile charities, should require a sacrifice, one that recognizes God’s generosity to us individually. Therefore, your gift is a personal decision between you and God, and should be made after careful reflection.

I may be interested in participating in the Annual Catholic Appeal; however, I have more questions.  Whom do I contact?
Please contact Sheila O’Hagan McGirl, diocesan development director, at (302) 573-3120.  She welcomes your call and the opportunity to answer your questions.