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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How will the parish goals be determined?
  2. How much will my parish receive as part of this campaign?
  3. Is our parish goal an assessment?
  4. When will parishes begin to receive their 25 percent share?
  5. How will the campaign affect our parish offertory?
  6. Are pledges legally binding?
  7. How much will it cost to conduct the campaign?
  8. When will funds be available for scholarships?
  9. Will any of these funds be used for items other than the established case elements?
  10. How are these funds being invested?
  11. Is there a certain order for case element funding?
  12. Besides the parish share component, how will my parish benefit from this campaign?
  13. Is $30 million enough to take care of the diocesan debt?
  14. Who handles the redemption of the pledges?
  15. Why aren’t we including the Bishop’s Appeal for all four years?
  16. Are campaign funds being added to already established funds?
  17. Can I designate my gift to a specific case item?
  18. How much should I give to the campaign?
  19. Why are pledges encouraged, instead of one-time donations?

  1. How will the parish goals be determined?
  2. Parish goal calculations are based on 110 percent of the average of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 offertories using the reported information for unrestricted plate and donations. These figures represent the same revenue sources used to calculate goals for the annual Bishop’s Appeal. Back to Top

  3. How much will my parish receive as part of this campaign?
  4. The Diocese acknowledges that along with larger diocesan-wide needs, each parish has its own projects, ministry outreach and service programs that need funding. In this campaign, 25 percent of every dollar raised up to goal will be split with each parish. Once the goal is reached, the parish will receive 50 percent of each dollar raised above and beyond their goal. Back to Top

  5. Is our parish goal an assessment?
  6. No, the established parish goals are not an assessment, but instead a good faith effort target. All parishes are asked to conduct a good faith effort and work with their assigned campaign director to achieve goal. However, if goal is not achieved, the parish will not be assessed for the balance. Back to Top

  7. When will parishes begin to receive their 25 percent share?
  8. The parish will receive their first distribution of 25 percent of cash collected up to their overall campaign goal and 50 percent of each dollar raised above goal each quarter throughout the redemption period. If a parish completes a good faith effort, they will receive their 25 percent of each dollar raised whether they reach goal or not. Back to Top

  9. How will the campaign affect our parish offertory?
  10. In the short term, offertory giving should remain level, with a possible small fluctuation up or down. We make sure we communicate that parishioners are asked to consider a greater sacrifice and commitment to their diocesan Church above and beyond their regular offertory giving, and should not lower their gifts to their parish in order to make a gift to this effort. Back to Top

  11. Are pledges legally binding?
  12. It is important to note pledges are not legally binding, but rather a statement of what you intend to do. Back to Top

  13. How much will it cost to conduct the campaign?
  14. The expenses for the campaign are based on bids and a flat fee. These fees do not go up or down based on the total amount raised. Costs include professional fundraising counsel, travel to every parish throughout the course of the campaign, and the production and distribution of materials to all registered households. The Diocese projects the campaign to cost approximately $4 million, which is estimated at 6 percent or less of the potential campaign goal. This figure is well below the cost of many fundraising efforts, which often exceed 10 percent of the overall goal. Back to Top

  15. When will funds be available for scholarships?
  16. Distributions of available endowment earnings for tuition assistance scholarships will begin once the individual endowment is substantially funded and some level of earnings has been generated. Grants from non-endowed funds generated by the campaign will begin once a substantial portion of the goal amount is realized through pledge redemptions. Back to Top

  17. Will any of these funds be used for items other than the established case elements?
  18. No. The Diocese has both a legal and moral obligation to restrict these funds for the stated elements. The funds raised for the campaign will be used exclusively for the named case elements. Back to Top

  19. How are these funds being invested?
  20. Investments of the Diocese of Oakland are domiciled at Wells Fargo Bank. Investments are pooled to take advantage of economies of scale to reduce fees, and allow for a broad allocation of assets, thereby reducing risk. Back to Top

  21. Is there a certain order for case element funding?
  22. The Priest Advisory Committee recommended, and Bishop Barber approved, the following order for funding the case items utilizing unrestricted donations to the campaign :

    • Parish share
    • Debt restructure
    • Bishop’s Appeal
    • all other case elements funded on a prorated basis related to the overall campaign goal.
    Back to Top

  23. Besides the parish share component, how will my parish benefit from this campaign?
  24. We are all a part of a larger diocesan faith family, and should be committed to sustaining and growing the ministries and spirituality of every member both now and in the future. With this in mind, the intention is for every case element in this campaign to benefit all in our diocese.
    • Our priests care and provide for our faith life. Caring for them in retirement is our obligation. By increasing funding to the Priests’ Retirement Trust, we can better provide for our retired priests, which benefits us all.
    • All parishes don’t have schools, but all parishes do have religious education programs. Creating a new fund to support training and education for our lay people responsible for religious education and formation in our parishes will benefit all in our diocese.
    • By reducing and restructuring the diocesan debt, we open the door to expand and increase our ministries and services, truly fulfilling our mission as disciples of Jesus Christ.
    Back to Top

  25. Is $30 million enough to take care of the diocesan debt?
  26. No. The current debt is $114.7 million. The $30 million raised through the campaign, in conjunction with using other diocesan resources and restructuring of the loan, will address debt service and allow for restructuring of the remaining debt over a longer period. This balanced approach will keep the Diocese in strong financial position for the future. Back to Top

  27. Who handles the redemption of the pledges?
  28. The Diocese of Oakland will be responsible for the redemption of the pledges. The Accounting Office will deposit all funds. The Office for Mission Advancement will track pledges and gifts, and handle the mailing of payment reminders over the pledge period. Back to Top

  29. Why aren’t we including the Bishop’s Appeal for all four years?
  30. Stewardship is an ongoing discernment and education process. The Annual Bishop’s Appeal is one of the major methods used to communicate diocesan level information on ministries and services to all parishioners. Just as your parish conducts a stewardship renewal to keep parishioners aware of their commitment to support parish level outreach while simultaneously conducting special need fundraising efforts, the Diocese must also regularly engage them in participating in diocesan programs while addressing larger special needs.

    During the course of our campaign, it is vital that we maintain the financial resources required to sustain these ministries, programs, services and the central administrative and pastoral offices. Because we are embarking on a diocesan capital campaign in 2014 and 2015, the decision has been made to incorporate $4 million for the appeal into this campaign. The appeal will then return during its normal time frame in 2016 to continue to provide for the support and maintenance of the many ministries and programs funded by the Annual Bishop’s Appeal.

    Back to Top

  31. Are campaign funds being added to already established funds?
  32. Funds for the Reclaiming Christ’s Mission Together Campaign will be deposited with and administered by the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Oakland, a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation charged with receiving contributions intended to benefit supported Church programs, ministries, and outreach, and managing and distributing such contributions for the benefit of supported activities. Accounts will be established within the foundation for each of the case items. Back to Top

  33. Can I designate my gift to a specific case item?
  34. Yes. Donors can specify special interest on their pledge card with the exception of the parish share portion because parish share is defined as a percentage of an unrestricted gift. Please keep in mind if a donor restricts his/her gift to a particular case item, it does not qualify for the parish share component, which by definition is a percentage of an unrestricted gift. Legally, designated gifts must go in their entirety to the designated case item. Back to Top

  35. How much should I give to the campaign?
  36. Parishioners are asked to prayerfully consider a specific gift plan in accordance with their own means, circumstances and sacrificial levels. Pledges are payable in monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual installments over a 4-year period. Back to Top

  37. Why are pledges encouraged, instead of one-time donations?
  38. Pledges provide parishioners with the opportunity to make a more significant gift to the mission of the Church. A contribution is easier to pay off over a period of time rather than a one-time gift out of pocket. Back to Top