The Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans was stunned by the success of the inaugural iGiveCatholic online fund-raising campaign, which in 2015 raised more than $1.3 million in 24 hours on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving for Catholic churches, schools and organizations in the archdiocese.
That proven success has fueled an expansion of the campaign this year to include five additional dioceses: Baton Rouge and Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana, Biloxi and Jackson in Mississippi and Austin, Texas.
While the actual online giving date is Tuesday, Nov. 29 – so-called “Giving Tuesday,” which is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – donors can make advance donations online Nov. 18-28. All donations will be officially processed on Nov. 29.
Josephine Everly, chief operating officer of The Catholic Foundation, said the number of Catholic churches, schools and organizations in the Archdiocese of New Orleans participating this year has increased from 112 to 145, with the largest number of additions coming from entities that serve African-American and Hispanic Catholics.
“We have more diverse participation this year, and that makes me very happy,” Everly said. “We have increased participation from rural and diverse organizations. We’ve got geographic diversity and ethnic diversity.”
With the addition of the five other dioceses, nearly 325 Catholic entities will participate this year in #iGive Catholic.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans has increased its overall fund-raising goal this year to $1.5 million, Everly said.
One of the modifications this year was including the advance giving days Nov. 18-28. In assessing the inaugural campaign, organizers decided to add the advanced days, especially to help schools that have scheduled vacations during Thanksgiving week.
“It makes it convenient, especially for schools who are out the week before,” Everly said.
People can make online gifts of at least $25 using credit cards through a secure online portal. The analysis of last year’s campaign proved that many of the contributions were from first-time donors.
“We asked the organizations what the most important outcome was, and across the board, the majority said it was a fun and exciting way to promote giving and share their mission,” Everly said.
The campaign’s new logo this year – the loaves and the fishes – “conveys the message that with iGiveCatholic, even a little goes a long way when God is in it,” Everly said. “Our expectations may be small, but when we bring them to God, there is incredible abundance.”
Beginning Nov. 18, visit http://iGiveCatholic.org to support your favorite Catholic parishes, schools and ministries in #GivingTuesday.
Peter Finney Jr. can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.