The 2015 Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) has shattered all previous collections. And it achieved this feat in record time as well.
As of Jan. 15, the appeal had raised $3,466,729. That represents 107 percent of its goal of $3.25 million. With close to five months left in the campaign, that total is expected to rise, said Richard “Tink” Guthrie, director of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Mission Advancement.
The appeal — which funds more than 100 ministries and services in the Archdiocese of Louisville — surpassed its goal on Dec. 22 last year, the earliest in recent memory, said Guthrie.
In addition, 71 of the archdiocese’s 110 parishes (or 65 percent) have reached their goals. And, nine others have reached between 95 and 100 percent of goal, Guthrie said.
The 2015 appeal comes on the heels of last year’s widely successful campaign, which raised $3,245,330 for the dozens of ministries and services supported by the CSA.
The number of total donors is down from last year — it dropped from 14,250 to 13,770 this year. But the average amount per donor has increased, Guthrie said, noting this is in line with current giving trends across the nation. He said what he is most encouraged by is the amount of new donors; 340 people gave to the CSA for the first time this year.
To put that into perspective, some parishes have about 340 families, he said.
“It’s like adding a mid-size parish in the archdiocese and having 100 percent of the families participate,” Guthrie explained.
Guthrie attributes the success of the latest appeal to the generosity of parishioners and the behind-the-scenes work of CSA and parish staff.
“Obviously, it’s because of the parishioners — their faith and support,” he said in an interview at the Chancery last week.
Guthrie, who became director of advancement last fall, also said the support of Nick Eve, his predecessor; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz; and other advancement staff were key to the success of the campaign, as were pastors and pastoral leaders who championed the effort.
This record campaign will fund a wide variety of ministries — from social services to religious education. A portion of the this year’s appeal, $226,000, was designated by donors for the Seminarian Education Fund.
In nearly all of the archdiocese’s ministries, the need outpaces the corresponding financial resources, Guthrie said.
“Meeting the goal allows the ministries and services supported by the CSA to continue to do their good work at the level they did before.
“By exceeding goal, and as new donations continue to come in, we have a greater ability to fulfill the needs that have not been fulfilled in the past,” he said. “Parishioners are continuing to support the appeal and the fact that they are giving more shows that they understand the vital nature and need of the support,” he said.
The 2015 campaign officially concludes June 30.
To learn more about the CSA, visit www.archlou.org/CSA.