Friday, April 9, 2010

More $$$ available for Catholic schools

Last Monday, the day before the start of the National Catholic Educational Association convention and expo in Minneapolis, a group of eight panelists shared their dioceses' or organizations' approaches to helping Catholic schools not only survive, but grow.

Frank Butler, president of Washington-based Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, attested to philanthropy's important but changing role in funding Catholic education.

Fundraising looks different today than it did 10 or 20 years ago, Butler said. "It's really an interactive sport. The fact is, you've got to get engagement," he said. Traditionally, Catholic education fundraising has been "insular," and not open to ideas from donors, he said.

"That is a formula for disaster in today's fundraising environment," he said. Instead, Catholic schools should take advantage of Catholic networks and actively engage their donors in their mission, Butler said.

Despite the difficult economy, the climate for raising funds "could not be better," Butler said.

"Catholic schools are the hottest issue in Catholic philanthropy right now. ... We've never seen the level of donor interest as high as it is today," he said. [my emphasis]

I wonder if the people over at the Monroe County Catholic School System know this.

Full story here.


gretchen said...

"I wonder if the people over at the Monroe County Catholic School System know this."

The question isn't if they know. The question is if they care...

Mike said...


I almost concluded my piece with that line. I had it typed out but then decided it was a tad too snarky and deleted it. But I think you're right.

Frank Butler said that Catholic schools need to "actively engage their donors in their mission."

That's a non-starter for the folks at Buffalo Rd.

These people have never been open to ideas that do not originate within their little circle of closed minds.

That's a big part of the reason they just about lead the nation in closed schools and lost students over the last 10 years.

The Catholic Apologist said...

Tell me about it sir!

Catholic School fundraising is very much, it seems to me rather outdated. You can't run schools on candy sales and Magazine sales. You need more far more substantial funding then what can be produced by selling candy and Magazines no one wants to read anyway.

Many dioceses are won't to examine outdated models of raising money. Many priests it seems to me think that the less they talk about the need for the people to support their community financially, the more the people will give. They haven't figured out that if they don't ask for money, they aren't going to get it. (In defense, priests are tired of the old standard "All my priest does is talk about money.") Many Dioceses place all their Faith in the once a year "Annual Appeal" etc.

The Catholic Church in my opinion needs to re-examine the whole system by which it raises necessary funds, and the whole way in which it presents the concept of stewardship before the people.

My opinion? The Church should adopt a PROTESTANT model of stewardship, and hire companies with a uniquely Protestant backround to help, given the large sucess Protestants typically have with raising money.

What say you?

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