Annual Catholic Appeal – Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
about the
Annual Catholic Appeal

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 at the 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 follows:

  • Catholic Education
    Campus Ministry; Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools; Catholic Youth and Young Adult Ministry; Deaf Ministry; Office for Marriage and Family Life; Office of Safe Environments; Religious Education; and Special Needs Ministry
  • Pastoral Services
    Chaplaincies; Deacon Formation and Ordained Deacons; Hispanic Ministry; Ministry for Black Catholics; Native American Ministry; Office for Religious; Office of Worship; Pro-Life Activities; and Tribunal
  • Catholic Charities
    Basic Needs Program; Bayard House; Behavioral Health, Addition Recovery Support and Domestic Violence; Casa San Francisco; Food Assistance; HIV Services; Immigration Program; Pregnancy Counseling; Seton Center; and Thrift Services
  • Administration & Communications
    Annual Catholic Appeal; Archives; Chancery; Office of the Bishop; Office of Public Relations and Media; and The Dialog, Catholic Press, Inc;

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?
During Mass on Commitment Weekend, April 25 & 26, you will be invited to complete a pledge form which will be collected and forwarded to the diocesan development office for processing. If you are unable to attend Mass on Commitment Weekend, you can call the development office at (302) 573-3120 to request a pledge form to be mailed. Or, you can make your pledge online by clicking here

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 Deborah Fols, diocesan development director, at (302) 573-3120.  She welcomes your call and the opportunity to answer your questions.