Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo By Michael Alexander
Nancy Coveny, executive director of The Catholic Foundation of North Georgia, provided information and encouragement at the Sept. 27 kickoff for the #iGiveCatholic campaign.


#iGiveCatholic surpasses fundraising goals in Atlanta

By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published December 7, 2017

ATLANTA—In the inaugural #iGiveCatholic campaign in the Atlanta Archdiocese, donors contributed $292,115 to ministries, parishes and schools during a 24-hour span.

#GivingTuesday, a national fundraising campaign, initially began in 2012 as an opportunity for people during the holiday shopping season to serve others. Catholic leaders promoted Tuesday, Nov. 28, as #iGiveCatholic, a chance for the faithful to support ministries and services as part of a crowdfunding campaign.

Nationally, some $3.6 million was raised for the #iGiveCatholic campaign. There were 13,529 gifts.

For the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia, the proceeds of $15,775 will go to its food assistance program. The average gift to the organization was $367.

John Berry, chief executive officer of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia, said the community responded to the organization’s request in part because it is locally focused.

“It is our neighbors in need that we help,” wrote Berry in an email.

The nonprofit builds on its Catholic heritage to treat all with dignity, he said.

“We try hard to make sure that we live out the Catholic social justice principles under which we were founded in the way that we deal with everyone who comes to us.”

The money will support the Food Recovery and Distribution Program, a partnership with Kroger and the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Five days a week, the organization’s refrigerated trucks pick up tons of frozen meats and other food from Kroger stores as well as Sam’s Clubs, Target stores and other retailers to send to 28 food pantries across Georgia.

The organization could not serve the 129,000 people helped last year without the donations and the community support, Berry said.

“Words could never express the gratitude we have to our donors. What I would say to the Catholic community is that they are St. Vincent de Paul, they are the face of Christ to those in need,” he said.

Overall, #iGiveCatholic in the Atlanta Archdiocese yielded 2,245 gifts to the 66 local ministries participating in the event. The average gift was $130. Nearly 40 of the donations came from first-time donors.

The campaign surpassed the goals established for its first year. The plan was to recruit some 50 organizations and to raise $200,000.

“We are thrilled that #iGiveCatholic mobilized local Catholics to show their support for our parishes, Catholic schools and Catholic ministries. It means a great deal for our Catholic community to come together and show our support for the Catholic institutions that serve us and others in communities,” said Nancy Coveny, executive director of the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia.

The Catholic Foundation coordinated the local effort, which was part of the national campaign.

St. Lawrence Church, Lawrenceville, was the most successful parish and received the highest number of gifts out of the 17 dioceses in the country.

The parish raised $40,003. The bulk of the gifts will go to fund projects including multimedia digital presentation equipment, permanent hymnals, a new organ and art for the adoration chapel at the Gwinnett County parish.

Kelly Schreckenberger, a pastoral associate and parish coordinator for #iGiveCatholic, said the parish received donations from as far away as Canada and California.

“We were pretty astounded,” said Schreckenberger.

She said the parish focused on marketing the event, produced videos and shared news on social media and at Mass.

Half of the donors were first-time givers and Schreckenberger said it was great to see new people contribute to the parish’s mission.

“People are really excited. We have great givers at St. Lawrence. The spirit is alive and well,” she said.

Among schools, St. Pius X High School, Atlanta, at 140, received the most number of gifts; benefactors gave $27,178 online. The school was the third highest-ranking school across the 17 participating dioceses.