by Vincent Anch
Catholics don’t usually get the credit they deserve for their generosity to nonprofits that rely on their charitable contributions.
It’s been my experience that Catholics are very humble when it comes to their charitable giving and don’t seek rewards in return for their donations. The lack of credit is also partly due to the fact that many people take for granted how charities are able to support people in need.
For most charities in the United States, 80% or more of their revenues come from contributions made by individuals. The remaining 20% comes from a combination of donations from sources like charitable foundations, corporations or income they may earn from investments (if they have any).
This is just a rough illustration of how important individuals and families are in supporting charities across the country.
In my humble opinion, no group of people has been more generous than Catholics. This has been especially true in our community during the last 12 months.
The pandemic has had a dire effect on many individuals, families and businesses. It also has had a big impact on charities like the Catholic Education Foundation.
For the second consecutive year, CEF will have to cancel its spring fundraising event due to the pandemic.
This will result in a loss of approximately $100,000 between the two canceled events. This would have funded around 85 scholarships.
But all is not lost. CEF is blessed to have many generous donors from the Catholic community and was able, with the grace of God, to weather a lot of the pandemic’s effects.
A recent nonprofit report found that overall fundraising was down 40% across the country last year. Most nonprofit organizations have reported declines in at least one of their fundraising campaigns.
CEF was no different. Our annual Scholarship Drive has been down significantly during this school year.
So are donations from foundations. Many foundations shifted their funding to support organizations that provide front-line assistance to those directly affected by COVID. This was definitely needed, but it did come at a cost to other nonprofits. There is some good news though.
In times of crisis, some donors increase their giving to the charities they support, knowing that they will be facing difficult times.
This happened to CEF at a time when it was most needed. The increased giving from some donors in the Catholic community enabled CEF to meet its goal of providing 1,500 scholarships this school year.
Indeed, the faith, hope and charity of our Catholic community are abundant.