As the 2018 Diocesan Development fund Campaign enters its early months comes news that last year’s DDF effort exceeded several markers for success.
According to information released by the Diocesan Office of Mission Advancement, the 2017 DDF Annual Appeal raised a total of $7.4 million. Each parish was able to meet its DDF goal, and 98 percent of parishes exceeded their goal. Per the policy of the Diocese, any monies raised by a parish through the DDF beyond its goal amount are returned to the parish for local projects or expenses.
That means the Diocese met its goal of raising $5.2 million and an additional $2.2 million was returned to the parishes. The Diocesan Development Fund benefits a wide variety of diocesan ministries that support four categories:
• Serving families
• Strengthening Parishes
• Caring for priests and seminarians
• Serving the poor
“Our priests and the faith communities have turned it around,” said Julio Chavez, Major Gift Officer in the Mission Advancement Office. “They’re looking forward to the kickoff [of the campaign].”
Chavez said he thinks one important key to the increasing success of the DDF campaign is the engagement of Hispanic donors who had not previously given to the Appeal. Chavez has worked extensively with Hispanic Catholics throughout the Diocese to explain the importance of giving to the DDF, a cause not as visible as others they may be more inclined to support.
“We’re moving toward the true concept of stewardship,” he says.
This has involved providing a greater explanation of how they can and should help the larger work of the Church of San Bernardino, Chavez said, and by understanding the different realities of Hispanic communities in different parishes of the Diocese. “They need to be met where they are at.”
Supporting Chavez’s assertion, of the approximately 1,175 new donors to the Appeal last year, he said about 75 percent are Hispanic.