Sunday, November 29, 2009

Buffalo diocese joins schools fundraising effort

Kelly at Catholic Ponderings has an item up detailing the Diocese of Buffalo's participation in the Catholic Alumni Partnership (CAP),

a new, privately funded effort in support of Catholic elementary schools. A pioneering undertaking, CAP aims to implement strong, sustainable annual fundraising programs for each of the Catholic elementary schools participating in CAP, with alumni support as its foundation.

The CAP website indicates that there are seven arch/dioceses currently participating in this effort, along with 303 of their Catholic schools.

The NY State participants include the Archdiocese of New York and the dioceses on Buffalo, Brooklyn and Rockville Centre.

Conspicuous by its absence is DOR.

11 comments:

Kelly said...

Holy Family School in LeRoy was chosen to participate in the pilot program (at least 3 or 4 years ago)in the DOB before it went Diocesan wide. They helped to market the participating schools, gave direction in regard to methods of family retention, developed websites for the schools, created tri-fold brochures, held monthly trainings for the principals on varying topics, helped come up with ways to get alumni more involved -- all at no charge to the schools.

Mike said...

Kelly,

Do you have any sense how successful those efforts were for Holy Family?

More students? More donations? More volunteers? Those kind of things.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how these liberals demand lay participation to elect bishops and lay people can themselves determine what's riht and wrong, but when it comes to Catholic schools., lay people in Rochester can take a hike before they will be asked to contribute to problem solving the school problem. Parish after parish has had schools closed in spite of talented people who could have saved them.

These wolves in sheeps clothing only use lay people to advance their own, selfish heretical ways.

I think there DOR liberals are afraid of giving control of Catholic schools to the laity.

In the choir loft said...

The lay Catholic would probably make the schools Catholic again. Send you kids to Archangel or St. John Bosco Schools. These schools teach the Catholic faith.

The Well Done Review said...

Clearly, Mike, you didn't get the memo. The DoR clearly is doing GREAT when it comes to Catholic Schools. Why would we need a silly thing like this when the bishop can unilaterally just close over a dozen schools in a given year, independent of Parish desires/willingness to pay...

Why fundraise when you could just FUN-raise? Instead of having schools for our kids, we'll teach them to prance about the church and call it "liturgical dance." Instead of catechizing them, we can let them simply attend public schools, where anti-Catholic, anti-Religious, anti-Life, anti-Family sentiments abound. Clearly, that's the goal...it's just more FUN that way!

-Arialdus

Mike said...

Arialdus,

I realize you're being facetious but you've still hit that nail squarely on the head.

Kelly said...

Mike,

It has created stability for the school, but we have so many variables to look at. I am not sure how you can accurately measure progress or lack thereof given the variables.

*HFS has been designated as a regional school. They have kids from the DOR as well(and HFS receive NO assistance from their parishes since they are outside of the DOB) and districts include Byron-Bergen, Caledonia, York, Alexander, Batavia, LeRoy, Brockport, Warsaw, Pavilion and more. There are parents who drive their children in each day from the Rochester area, though I do not know which school district.

*The DOB has changed the way schools receive funding. All parishes must pay a 'tax' which goes to pay for all schools in the Diocese. Schools are no longer the sole burden of each parish - which is the way it was previously.

*DOB schools have always had much lower tuition than those in Rochester.

*HFS has excellent enrollment in the lower grades. This is the sign of a very healthy school. If the upper grades have higher number than the lower, the school is in trouble.

*HFS loses kids to public schools beginning in the 6th grade, depending upon when their junior high begins. LeRoy kids who do not go on to Notre Dame high school in Batavia, for example, typically leave after 6th grade. Brockport kids typically leave after 5th grade.

*Notre Dame has formed a partnership with HFS over the past couple of years which has helped with upper grade retention. HFS students in 7 & 8th grade can now be on Notre Dame teams. Kids in grades 5+ have been invited to pep rallies and various Notre Dame activities - this has helped

*HFS has always had very successful fund raisers. Despite the downturn in the economy, we still continue to raise good money. (Magazine drive (same time of year for the past 30+ years), 10-trip dinner night, vegas nite, auction.

*HFS has had religious, in full habit, back in the classroom since the Mercedarians have been in charge of the parish. This has been a huge draw for parents. Currently, Sr. Brigit teaches upper grade religion and is 6th grade homeroom teacher and Sr. Rosaria teaches the younger children religion. Prior to a parish linkage, a priest taught fourth grade. Brother Martin is currently working on training a new group of altar servers. We have had other sisters teach or assist with varying grades.

*All HFS parents are required to serve on one fund raising committee each year and are required to sell a small number of tickets for each one as well. The parents also must work at the fundraisers. That makes for plenty of volunteers.

*It is hard to gauge whether more students because of the CAP program or if because many other schools closed and we inherited their kids.

*We do not live in LeRoy, but that is where our son attends. The great test scores closed the deal for us.

Frankly, many parents (re: poorly catechized 30 and 40-somethings) are not committed to raising well-catechized children. Sports is often at the top of the list and they pull their kids -- perhaps 'Muffy' wants to be with her friends in public school.

We have a Pastor who is a voracious fighter for our school. The Mercedarians count elementary education among their list of ministries. You will not find a Mercedarian-run parish without a school.

Has CAP helped us? I don't know. I know it has put a new focus on developing the Pre-K program (which we never had before). Administration is now very conscientious about retention and the importance of making Catholic high school the 'new cool' place to go. I think the one thing that needs to be improved is the feat of getting alumni more involved.


Perhaps I'm too close to see the big picture. Any insight you have to add would be great.

Anonymous said...

It's OK in the DOR for laypeople to get their hands involved in the Mass where they don't belong, but it's not OK for them to help keep the Catholic schools running and successful.

Mike said...

Kelly,

"I think the one thing that needs to be improved is the feat of getting alumni more involved."

Next to getting the entire diocese involved (as in the case of Wichita) this is probably the most important thing that can be done.

When Bishop Clark decided to close Holy Cross School (along with 12 others) the outpouring from that parish - most of them alumni - was fantastic. The money and the people were there to keep that school going, if only they had been permitted to do so.

Anonymous said...

More bad news on school closings in the DOR - St. Ann's School in Hornell, where I attended CCD classes from grades 1-12, will close at the end of this school year unless enrollment rises.

http://www.eveningtribune.com/news/education/x1792918452/Drive-to-stay-alive

Christopher said...

An anonymous donor funded CAP. A letter was sent out to all dioceses in the New York. The first to respond were selected as the pilot dioceses of the program. Hopefully, it lays the groundworks for other diocese to follow a blue print for building a fundraising program from its alumni.