By Andrew Nelson, Staff Writer | Published November 24, 2018
Atlanta donors and others opened their wallets in the inaugural year of the #iGiveCatholic campaign in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, contributing $292,115 in a 24-hour span.
Organizers this year hope to boost the giving to charities as believers contribute to parishes, schools, and ministries.
The Atlanta Catholic community is being encouraged to participate in the fourth annual nationwide #iGiveCatholic Giving Day on Tuesday, Nov. 27. It is also known as #GivingTuesday, a global day devoted to giving. Donors can visit igivecatholic.org to contribute to favorite causes before the day with advanced giving.
Organizers want the crowdfunding campaign to raise awareness and money for the 80 participating charitable, educational and spiritual ministries in the Atlanta area.
“Now we have a day to give back to the organizations that feed our souls—the parishes, Catholic schools and Catholic ministries that mean the most to us,” said Juliet Greco, the director of major and planning giving at the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia.
Everyone knows the days after Thanksgiving are focused on holiday shopping. There’s Black Friday followed by Cyber Monday for online shopping. #GivingTuesday began in 2012 as an effort to promote giving at the start of the Christmas season. Catholic leaders, starting in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, saw an opportunity to promote Catholic ministries during that crowdfunding campaign.
The campaign hit its goals its first year. The plan was to recruit some 50 organizations and to achieve $200,000. Nearly four out of 10 gifts were from first-time donors.
St. Lawrence Church, Lawrenceville, received the highest number of donations with 292 gifts. The community also raised the highest amount, 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 to put to use in the church. The bulk of the gifts were for liturgical needs at the Gwinnett County parish. The projects included multimedia digital presentation equipment, permanent hymnals, a new organ and art for the adoration chapel.
Among schools, St. Pius X High School received the most number of gifts, with 140. Benefactors gave $27,178 online. The school was the third highest-ranking school across the 17 participating dioceses.
And St. Vincent de Paul Georgia was the top nonprofit, raising $15,775. The average gift to the organization was $367.
Last year, the organization aided some 129,000 people around the Atlanta area. Its goal was specifically for the food recovery program, which distributed more than two tons of food to families and individuals facing food insecurity.