In an effort to conduct the annual campaign in a more environmentally friendly manner, QR codes have been added to pledge cards for the 41st Catholic Ministries Appeal. Campaign materials recently were mailed to Catholic households across the 12-county Diocese of Rochester.
When scanned by the camera on a smartphone, the QR code on CMA print materials will direct users to an online giving page. The CMA also offers a Text to Give mobile phone app; instructions for the app can be found at www.dor.org/giving/text-to-give.
“What we’re calling ‘green options’ help to save paper, save postage and really to work towards environmental friendliness,” Colleen Brade, campaign coordinator, told the Catholic Courier Sept. 17.
Although donations by check will still be accepted in the mail, Brade described online and text giving as the fastest, easiest and safest way for people to give, since they afford individuals more control over their payment information. Providing financial information such as debit- or credit-card numbers online creates a direct transaction between the donor and the payment processor, and lessens the likelihood of that information becoming lost or stolen in the mail.
Through these “green options,” donors now are able to choose between making one-time donations or participating in a new sustaining-pledge program through which multiple donations can be set to be automatically deducted beyond the campaign’s conclusion on May 31, 2022. Such reoccurring pledges also can be edited at any time.
The push toward green options arose from a concern donors brought to the attention of Doug Mandelaro, diocesan director of the Office of Stewardship and Communications, about the amount of paper CMA materials they receive, Brade said.
Another option to reduce paperwork this year will be emailed acknowledgments to donors rather than thank-you letters mailed to individuals’ homes, she said.
Donations to the Catholic Ministries Appeal provide more than half of the diocesan budget, fully or partially supporting programs that parishes would struggle to afford on their own.
Among CMA-funded initiatives are: faith-formation programs for children and adults; young-adult ministries; Catholic schools; sacramental preparation; youth and campus ministries; diocesan Catholic Charities and its regional offices and agencies; information technology; chaplaincies; social-ministry efforts; support for deacons, pastoral leaders and vocations, including formation and education through St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry; parish support ministries; and the operations and services of the diocesan Pastoral Center.
This year’s campaign theme is “Forward in Faith,” which was selected to reflect how the diocesan family has come through the pandemic by maintaining faith, Brade said.
“We really wanted to give people a sense of hope, a sense of moving forward,” she said. “Our faith is leading us through some very challenging times, and it’s our faith that is going to carry us forward.”
The $6.725 million goal for the 2021-22 campaign remains the same as in as the 2020-21 campaign, which raised more than $6 million, despite having taken place entirely during the coronavirus pandemic.
Both Brade and Mandelaro emphasized that all donations, large and small, are vital to the campaign’s success.
“So we have very large donations, and we have very small donations, but what really matters, in my opinion, is participation,” Brade said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on the Catholic Ministries Appeal and how to give, visit www.dor.org/cma. Campaign funds are used for programs, services and ministries in the Diocese of Rochester, and are not used for the settlement of legal cases.