Local Catholics give back for #iGiveCatholic campaign

By Joanna Puddister King

JACKSON – Nine years ago (2015), the #iGiveCatholic campaign for #GivingTuesday took off as an initiative of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, raising over a million dollars in a 24-hour period for Catholic parishes, schools and ministries. Subsequently, this campaign spread to other dioceses throughout the nation, with participating dioceses increasing with each year. The 2023 #iGiveCatholic campaign had a great impact, with growth in dollars given and donors, raising over $20.1 million for Catholic entities this year.

The Diocese of Jackson joined the #iGiveCatholic campaign in 2016, making this year the eighth year of participation in the nationwide campaign, and generating nearly $193,000 in gifts to a total of 27 parishes, schools and ministries within the diocese.

The success of each organization is based on the amount of effort put forth in publicizing their causes, or reason to raise funds, by reaching out to donors via social media (Facebook, Instagram, emails, websites, etc.) and print publications such as bulletins, posters and flyers.

The #iGiveCatholic campaign focuses on electronic giving and includes a specific website provided to the organizations at no cost, in hopes to encourage greater participation and help generate funds. Each year, the diocese receives a generous grant from Catholic Extension to cover half of the online giving platform fees.

Also included in the grant from Catholic Extension was additional money earmarked for training or prizes to aid in a successful campaign and help generate excitement. Five prizes were awarded in random drawings for entities who had online donors during specific time frames; and three prizes were awarded to the top three fundraisers. The grand prize winners this year were Carmelite Monastery in Jackson; Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Canton; and St. Richard Catholic School in Jackson.

The National Sponsor of #iGiveCatholic this year was Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic publisher that serves millions of Catholics globally through its publishing and communication services. For the past several years, Our Sunday Visitor has donated offertory envelopes at no cost to participating organizations, to encourage donors, who otherwise would not want to give electronically, helping to increase participation and overall total giving.

“I am always amazed at the generosity of the Catholic community in our diocese,” said Rebecca Harris, director of Stewardship and Development for the Diocese of Jackson. “It is such a blessing to see that same generosity across the country as Catholics generously give to so many ministries.”

In a year when overall donations were down for #GivingTuesday, #iGiveCatholic did not experience that trend, with the giving day raising 8.7% more than in 2022 and a total of 11% more donors.

Harris said, “A big thank you goes out to all those who participated in our diocese and a big thank you to all of the donors who supported so many great projects.”

“What a joy it is to be a part of so many Catholics joyfully sharing their blessings.”