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Feb 9th, 2020 | The 23rd Times

By February 6, 2020No Comments

The CFA: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Catholic Faith Appeal and for what are its proceeds used?
The Catholic Faith Appeal (CFA) is a Diocesan-wide fundraising effort that supports charitable and pastoral work throughout the Diocese through programs such as: Pastoral Outreach & Ministries; Missions, poor Parishes and convents; Catholic Charities; Evangelization; Worship; Respect Life; Peace & Social Justice; Vocations & Seminarians; Catholic Education; Diocesan administrative support services; etc. On an annual basis, Parishes in the Diocese of Venice make a required contribution to financially support these efforts. The Catholic Faith Appeal is a means by which all Parishioners may participate in helping their Parish to meet its goal. A Parish Catholic Faith Appeal goal is determined by the income of the Parish. It is not based on the number of registered families. During the winter time, the number of Parishioners greatly increases due to winter residents. This greatly adds to the success of the Appeal.

How does the CFA benefit my Parish and me?
First, by participating in the Appeal, Parishes and their Parishioners come together to renew their commitment to evangelize, form, and care for men, women, and children beyond the confines of their Parish community. Secondly, a portion of the money that is pledged over goal will be returned to your Parish for its own programs and services. Many of the departments funded by the Appeal assist Parishes or provide services to the Parish community. Programs such as marriage enrichment, divorce support group, and Faith-based conferences are enjoyed by all. In addition, several departments in the Diocese work closely with Parishes in such areas as religious education, youth and young adult programs and the curriculum for our Catholic schools. See the brochure for more information.

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Why does Catholic Charities do additional fundraising?
Approximately 15% of the Diocesan budget is given to Catholic Charities to help support its very worthwhile presence in our Diocese. However, this amount is only a percentage of the money needed to carry out its work. In addition to what the Diocese is able to provide, further fundraising is required.

Why are the administrative services included?
The mission of the Church is to continue the work of Christ. To do so requires overseeing and supporting more than 1,000 employees in our schools, Parishes and agencies throughout the ten counties within the Diocese. These shared services help streamline operations and reduce the overall cost for everyone.

Why are there so many mailings?
More than 3.5 million dollars of the appeal comes to the Diocese through the mailings. Once you have responded to a CFA mailing or made a gift through your Parish, mailings to you will stop with the exception of a thank you letter and yearly tax receipt. Tax receipts are sent to anyone who gives a gift of $250 or more, which is required by the IRS. It is always wise to keep receipts of your charitable giving for audit purposes.

How much should I give?
As stewards, we should take the time to reflect on our God-given gifts of time, talent and treasure. Giving back to God, either through contributions to our Parish or the CFA, should involve a sacrifice, one that reflects God’s generosity to us individually. Therefore, your gift is a personal decision between you and God, and should be made after prayerful consideration.

Should I make a pledge or a one-time gift?
Making a pledge allows you to spread your gift throughout the year, which may make it easier for you to pay, and may also allow you to give a larger gift. Pledge statements are sent out monthly unless otherwise requested. These are simply reminders and not bills. You can pay your pledge anytime before the end of the year. If your situation changes, you may also adjust your pledge.

How can I make my gift?
We try to make your giving as easy as possible! You can make a gift through checks, credit cards, stocks, direct debit, IRA transfer, online giving at, and approved gifts of real estate. Give us a call and we will happily answer your questions (941-486-4719).

Will any funds from the CFA be used to settle lawsuits or for legal expenses?
No, the Catholic Faith Appeal funds are restricted for the funding of the ministries and programs outlined in promotional materials and are not used to settle claims or pay claim related expenses.

If I contribute to my Parish’s capital campaign, does the Diocese get a portion of my gift?
Funds from approved Parish capital campaigns are not assessable. Therefore, the fully donated amount is available for use by the Parish for capital campaign purposes.