Religious orders to match monthly donations to Development and Peace


Religious orders to match monthly donations to Development and Peace

Lenten alms-giving to Canada’s Catholic international development agency is getting turbo-charged by religious orders.

From Ash Wednesday until Pentecost Sunday (May 23) a handful of religious communities will match new monthly donation plans dollar for dollar, up to a total of $130,000 to aid Development and Peace – Caritas Canada.  Even increases to existing monthly giving commitments will be eligible for matching.

So far nine religious communities have committed matching funds — the Scarboro Missions, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI Lacombe Canada), the Jesuits, the Marthas in Antigonish, N.S., the St. Boniface Oblates, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie, Our Lady’s Missionaries, the Benedictines at St. Peter’s Abbey in Saskatchewan and the Ursuline Sisters.

“Monthly donations are crucial for organizations because it’s stable, sustainable funding and it reduces admin costs,” said Development and Peace head of public engagement, advocacy and fundraising Genevieve Gallant.

It’s also the future of fundraising in the Church.

“People are becoming much more savvy about electronic donations,” Gallant said.

Over the years, monthly giving to Canada’s Caritas agency has grown mainly by word of mouth.

“We’re not Medecins San Frontieres or Amnesty International where we have someone on the street corner making a pitch for monthly donations who is being paid $15 an hour. It’s our members and donors themselves who are recruiting their friends and family to become monthly donors,” Gallant said.

Boosting monthly, planned giving won’t stop parish and diocesan campaigns during Lent or at other times, she said.

“The life of Development and Peace is embedded in the parishes. So even if you have monthly donors, we’re still going to be active in the parishes,” Gallant said. “Because that’s where we belong. That’s our roots. That’s the Catholic community.”

In fact, more monthly giving should mean more and better education programming in parishes, she said.

By Michael Swan

Published on The Catholic Register website.