The 43rd-annual Catholic Courier/Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal fell almost 20 percent short of its goal of $50,000, according to Donna Stubbings, appeal coordinator and circulation manager for the Catholic Courier and El Mensajero Cat√≥lico newspapers.
More than 550 donors helped raise $40,264.35, or 80.5 percent of the 2012-13 goal for the annual appeal, which benefits the emergency funds of various Catholic Charities agencies and other affiliated agencies throughout the 12-county Diocese of Rochester. This year’s appeal brought in nearly $5,000 less than the previous year’s campaign, which raised $45,053.64, or 90.1 percent of its $50,000 goal, Stubbings said.
The appeal results were disappointing, she noted, especially since this year three additional events were conducted to support the appeal. On Dec. 12, 2012, the appeal participated in the second-annual ROC the Day, a communitywide online fundraising event to benefit nonprofit organizations. ROC the Day generated $578.40 for the Christmas Appeal, and a bowl-a-thon held Feb. 2 at L&M Lanes in Rochester raised an additional $646.95, Stubbings said.
In late February staff of the Courier and El Mensajero sold books, small pieces of furniture and decorative items they had accumulated in their former office but no longer needed after moving to the diocesan Pastoral Center in the spring of 2012. The sale of those items raised $187 for the Christmas Appeal.
Stubbings said she assumes that the poor economy contributed to this year’s disappointing results. In the past the campaign has attracted at least a few large donations of $1,000 or more each year, but this year no such large donations were made, she said. Nearly 600 people contributed to the 2011-12 campaign, but only 553 people contributed to the 2012-13 campaign.
Noting that the Catholic Courier is mailed to 107,000 households each month, Stubbings said the appeal would be successful if a greater number of subscribers would consider supporting it.
“If we could just get more people to realize that $5 or $10 can make a difference, we might reach our goal,” she said.
Each year the appeal receives quite a few $5 and $10 donations, she noted, and this year was no exception. One woman who had already donated gave another $10 after reading in the February issue of the Courier that the appeal had only reached 76 percent of its goal.
“We actually had several people donate twice. There were probably between 10 and 12 people that did donate again after learning we hadn’t made our goal,” Stubbings said.
Donations totaling approximately $500 came in after the 2012-13 campaign closed at the end of February, and Stubbings said those donations will be credited toward the Christmas Appeal’s 2013-14 campaign.