Join our Lenten Campaign 2024.
The Diocese of Wilmington, in Delaware, is celebrating the incredible success of its 2023 Faith and Charity Catholic Appeal, breaking records for the annual appeal that has been held for nearly 50 years. While it is not the first time the appeal has surpassed its goal of raising $5 million, the surplus of donations has far exceeded the previous record, by a good margin.
The Dialog reports the 2023 campaign, which commenced under the theme of “Shining the Light of Christ,” raised $5,695,169 from 13,157 donors.
This figure marks an increase of some $218,000 from the previous high and saw participation increase by more than 600 donors. The fundraising resulted in more than $600,000 returned in the form of rebates to tend to the needs of the diocese’s parishes.
The success of the annual appeal will allow the diocese to assist more parishes, while putting more emphasis on the dioceses’ priorities: namely, Catholic Charities and Catholic education.
On the Catholic education side, the funds will help strengthen faith formation ministries, with a focus on religious education for youth and young adults. Along with a strengthening of faith, the diocese hopes to be able to provide more opportunities for young Catholics to participate in the community through lifelong faith formation programming.
Meanwhile, Catholic Charities will use its funding to broaden the reach of its services. These include serving meals through its food bank, homeless initiatives, support of unwed mothers and young families, behavioral health assistance, utility assistance programs, and more. It is estimated that these services have assisted more than 83,000 people within the Diocese of Wilmington.
The diocese credits its successful campaign to the dedicated efforts of its workers, as well as the decision to treat fundraising as a ministry of the Church, rather than a means to an end. The strategy looks at fundraising to be a means of creating opportunities for the faithful to deepen our spiritual connection and “manifest the Catholic teachings on stewardship”: to share our gifts generously to the benefit of the community.