Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the mission of the Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign?

The mission of the Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign is to strengthen our parishes as communities of faith, both spiritually and economically.

Through this campaign, the Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation seeks to ensure parish communities are dynamic, welcoming and well-positioned to spread the Joy of the Gospel, now and in the future.

  1. How will campaign funds be used to support my parish and my Diocese?

Re-Igniting Our Faith is a Diocesan-wide parish campaign to:

  • Build the local Church;
  • Provide critical funding to assist our retired priests;
  • Provide support for seminary vocations;
  • Invest in evangelization; and,
  • Support Catholic schooling resources.

Campaign funds raised will be split 70/30 between the parishes and the Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation.

The funds contributing to the 70% should address the parish’s most pressing programmatic, evangelization and capital needs that will best position the parish to bolster their community of faith and continue to spread the Joy of the Gospel for generations to come.

The funds contributing to the 30% will be allocated to ensuring the viability of ministries that are vital to the future of our parishes. This includes: providing critical funding to assist our retired priests; providing support for seminary vocations; investing in evangelization; and, providing support for Catholic schooling resources.

  1. What if a parish raises more than its goal?

Once the parish surpasses the campaign goal, the split will adjust to 80/20, (80% to the parish and 20% to the Foundation) on funds raised through 120% of the standard goal. After 120% of the parish’s standard campaign goal is realized, the parish will receive 100% of the funds raised over that benchmark.

  1. What if a parish does not reach its goal?

Providing a parish has made a good-faith effort on implementing the campaign, it will receive 70 cents on every dollar collected.

  1. Why do we need to implement a major fundraising campaign?

We are called by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to evangelize, to spread the Good News. But where do we start? The focus of Re-Igniting Our Faith is designed to do just that with the funds raised to support the local needs of our parishes, strengthen the overarching parish community of faith, and spread the Joy of the Gospel.

Parishes are the lifeblood of the Diocese and they remain the center of our priority. Today’s Catholics are responsible for ensuring that our parishes and ministries have the resources to provide the proper environment to teach, prepare and nurture the current and future generations of Catholics.

  1. Who is participating in Re-Igniting Our Faith?

All parishes will be conducting the Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign and are expected to put forth a good-faith effort in reaching their campaign goal for the good of the local parish, and the support of the Church. All parishioners/households in the Diocese of Albany will be asked to participate in this historic endeavor by making sacrificial gifts of time, talent and treasure. Every parish will be assigned a Campaign Director to help them tailor a campaign plan that is appropriate for their parish and to guide them through campaign implementation.

  1. How much should parish families consider pledging?

All parishioners and households will be asked to consider a specific campaign gift amount. However, we ask that each family make a thoughtful and prayerful decision when considering their pledged gift to the Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign.

  1. How can I make a gift to the campaign?

Campaign gifts may be made outright or as a pledge. Donors are being asked to make pledged commitments, payable over three to five years. This allows individuals and families to stretch their gift by spreading their contributions over multiple-year periods.

Gifts to the campaign can be made in a variety of ways. In addition to gifts of cash, donors can make their contribution through publicly-traded stock, mutual fund shares, retirement fund assets, life insurance policies, donor-advised funds, real estate, planned gifts, and other forms of payment. Donors may also pursue matching gifts from their employers. A “Ways to Give” handout is available for additional information.

  1. Are gifts to the campaign tax deductible?

Yes. Gifts and pledge payments made to Re-Igniting Our Faith are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. An acknowledgment of your gift will be sent to you from the Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation for income tax purposes.

  1. Why are donors asked to complete a pledge form?

Pledge forms aid in appropriately recording and acknowledging commitments, tracking campaign progress and providing donors with a reminder of subsequent payments according to the schedule they request. Donors are asked to sign the pledge form, indicating that they have authorized the terms of the gift indicated on the form. A pledge form is not a legally binding document.

  1. Who should donors make checks payable to?

All contributions should be made payable to your parish’s Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign. (E.g., ‘Parish Name – Re-Igniting Our Faith.’)

  1. How will the campaign affect parish offertory collection?

Parishes rely on their offertory and this is expected to remain consistent. Throughout the campaign, pastors will ask parishioners to make commitments above and beyond their regular giving. Parishioners are asked not to diminish giving to the offertory or to the Bishop’s Appeal. Instead, they are asked to prayerfully consider a sacrificial gift above and beyond their current giving.

  1. Will the Bishop’s Appeal continue?

Yes. The Bishop’s Appeal is vital to continue the day-to-day work of the ministries of the Diocese.

  1. How is Re-Igniting Our Faith different from the Bishop’s Appeal?

The Bishop’s Appeal raises approximately $7.5 million annually and provides the critical annual operational funding for Diocesan ministries and programs. Re-Igniting Our Faith is a Diocesan-wide campaign to fund our Gospel mission. The campaign is above and beyond the regular operating expenses that the appeal supports. The campaign is an opportunity to prepare our parishes for the future, to bolster our parish communities and spread the Joy of the Gospel. It will allow parishes to address local long-term and extraordinary needs, as well as provide support to the ministries and programs that serve the parish communities.

  1. How are the Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign funds being managed? By whom?

In order to ensure consistency across the parishes, and to provide transparency to donors (in terms of funds raised, disbursed, and how they are used), the Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation is responsible for campaign gift/pledge collection, processing and redemption.

The Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation Board, comprised of individuals who are leaders in their respective parishes and civic communities, is responsible for the management of all campaign funds including oversight in distributing campaign funding to the parishes.

Once campaign funds are transferred to the parish, the pastor or parish life coordinator will be responsible for overseeing the funds and utilizing them in accordance with the needs outlined within the parish’s campaign case for support.

  1. What is the governance structure of the Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation? Who are the Board Members?

The Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation is a 501c(3) public charity, independent from the Diocese of Albany.

Corporate Board Members and Trustees:

  • Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, Corporate Board Member
  • Reverend John J. Bradley, Trustee
  • Michael Castellana, Trustee
  • Michael L. Costello, Esq., Corporate Board Member
  • Thomas G. Cronin, Corporate Board Member
  • John Forte, Trustee
  • Very Reverend David R. LeFort, S.T.L., Corporate Board Member
  • Paul M. Macari, Esq., Trustee
  • Jonathan Memole, Trustee
  • Jennifer Maroney, Trustee
  • Debbie Morris, Trustee
  • John F. Murray, Co-Chair
  • Kelly Murray, Co-Chair
  • Thomas R. Tyrrell, Trustee
  • Charles F. Seifert, Ph.D., Trustee
  • Michael Shrader, Trustee
  • Giovanni Virgiglio, Corporate Board Member
  1. Can a parish just pay the 30% portion of their campaign goal rather than running the Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign for the full 100%?

No. To maintain the vision and mission of Bishop Scharfenberger, being implemented through the Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign, under the leadership of the Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation, all parish leaders are requested by the Bishop to put forth a good-faith effort in:

  1. Conducting thoughtful, collaborative, strategic planning for the future growth of the parish;
  2. Defining the campaign needs to be outlined in the parish case; and,
  3. Raising funds for the full needs of each parish campaign (including both the 30% that supports initiatives, ministries and programs that benefit all parish communities and the 70% that addresses the local needs identified by our individual parish communities).

 

  1. How are the funds raised to be transferred back to the parishes?

Campaign funds raised by the parishes will be transferred into individual parish accounts in the Diocesan Investment and Loan Trust (DILT), based on the campaign sharing formula, and the actual cash received at the time of transfer.

To withdraw the campaign funds that are transferred into the DILT, the parish should complete a Campaign Withdrawal Form and submit it with a copy of its parish campaign case for support, and any other supporting documents, via mail to: 40 North Main Avenue, Albany, NY, 12203, Attention: ROF Disbursements or via email to: stewardship@re-ignitingourfaith.org. Parishes can download the Campaign Withdrawal Form by visiting: https://re-ignitingourfaith.org/parish-resources/.

  1. How do I know that my pledge to the Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign will go to the components outlined in the parish’s campaign case?

To withdraw campaign funds, the parish is required to provide a copy of its parish campaign case for support, along with a completed Campaign Withdrawal Form. The Foundation Board will oversee the withdrawal process to ensure the funds are used for the components outlined in the parish campaign case. Once campaign funds are transferred to the parish, the pastor or parish life coordinator will be responsible for overseeing the funds and utilizing them in accordance with the needs outlined within the parish’s campaign case for support. The Foundation will report annually on campaign funds.

  1. Are any of the funds from the campaign being used for lawsuits or any purpose other than those stated in the campaign case for support?

No. Not one cent of monies donated to the Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign will be used for any purpose other than that which is stated in the campaign case. All funds are being used for the purposes outlined in the campaign case and in accordance with donor intent.

  1. Won’t funds donated to the campaign be exposed to lawsuits resulting from claims against the Church for sex abuse?

No, because a separate 501c(3) foundation, independent of the Diocese, called the Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation, has been established and incorporated as a legal entity to collect, hold, and distribute all funds donated to the campaign.

  1. Is there an independent auditing firm responsible for the oversight of campaign funds?

A yearly audit will be conducted by the independent accounting firm, The Bonadio Group.

  1. Will the Foundation publish an independent annual fund report?

Yes.

  1. What are the expenses associated with a campaign like Re-Igniting Our Faith?

Total expenses attributed to implementing the Re-Igniting Our Faith Diocesan-wide campaign include material design and printing; postage; gift processing; parish support via campaign council (Changing Our World) and Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation staff; and, public relations and marketing, including video, social media and digital communications. Estimated costs for campaigns of this nature range between 7-10% for all the expenses to manage and complete the campaign. Campaign council costs are negotiated on a firm fixed price contract, based on amount of staff and months of service provided, not on a percentage base. Percentage based fundraising is frowned upon in the philanthropic industry and the work provided is clearly defined in the firm fixed price contract for services rendered.

  1. Who is paying for the expenses associated with Re-Igniting Our Faith?

Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign-related costs will be borne by the Foundation. This means that each individual parish will receive a full 70% of the funds collected towards its goal. None of the parish’s share of funds will be used to pay for campaign-related costs. Such campaign-related costs are being borne in total by the 30% which is designated for diocesan-wide initiatives.

Please note: Parishes may be expected to provide parish letterhead and to fund postage for certain mailings, above and beyond the standard campaign program. The costs of additional mailings or campaign enhancements initiated by the parishes outside of the fundraising plan are costs for which the parishes will be responsible. Parishes will be asked to cover any costs associated with local parish campaign meetings or receptions (e.g., refreshments).

For more information on Re-Igniting Our Faith please visit: www.re-ignitingourfaith.org.

Please direct any questions to:

Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation

40 North Main Avenue, Albany, NY 12203

p: 518.453.6680 | f: 518.453.8440 | e: stewardship@re-ignitingourfaith.org