Catholic Forums Financial crisis


First of all, it’s always sad to hear that a *‘Catholic’ * entity may fail due to shortage of funds. But I’m curious. In this day of poor economic times, how does a family decide who to support and whom not to. Karl Keating is asking for $15 a month. It’s true, it’s not very much. But, probably like many of you, we are receiving requests for monthly donations for very many GOOD organizations. I would hate to see EWTN go under for lack of funds, or Catholic Radio. Our children’s hospital, and our local Catholic college, among many, and begging for money. Quite honestly, if I gave to EVERY good (Catholic) cause, I wouldn’t be able to support my family.

So I’m wondering, -how do you sort out the organizations you support from those that must get left behind?


I pick the ones with a very low overhead so my dollars will make the most difference/impact in terms of "bang for buck." I also avoid giving to charities if they constantly bombard me with mail requesting additional donations afterward because I know my donation is going to pay for that. It must be an effective marketing tool or organizations would not do it but it turns me off.

Choose wisely. We can`t help everyone but we can contribute time and prayers instead of financial funds as well.




I just give a little bit-5 dollars here or there. Instead of me blowing it on something silly.

Easy for me to say though-I don't have kids and own my car outright.


[quote="Maria1212, post:2, topic:188104"]
I pick the ones with a very low overhead so my dollars will make the most difference/impact in terms of "bang for buck."

Choose wisely. We can`t help everyone but we can contribute time and prayers instead of financial funds as well.


"Bang for the buck". That's a good way of putting it. And I completely agree about contributing time and prayer. I think that sometimes we forget that money isn't the only way of contributing.


I’m afraid that that is most often the way that we give too. There are just so many needy charities, that we unfortunately spread ourselves thin with them all. EWTN radio is on in the background all the time, and if I were to list all the groups requesting donations, by the end of the week I would have a list of dozens; and, they are all good, doing great and necessary work. I think we definitely have to depend more on prayer.


You can view the IRS paperwork filed by charities at guide star . org (you will need to register for a free account). This paperwork shows you exactly how each charity spends its money, including the compensation of its employees, and the amount of money devoted to programs, management, and fundraising.

For example, from the filed paperwork, you can see that in 2008, Catholic Answers spent $3,712,642 on programs (mostly employee salaries, publication, mailing costs), $737,155 on general expenses (includes management salaries, office expenses and rent, etc), and $1,297,737 on fundraising. I am not sure how this compares with similar religious organizations. You can look up other religious organizations on the site, as well as secular charities.

I have given money to CAF because the forums are a worthwhile endeavour. This is the only religious organization that gets my money (other than the parish and diocese).


It's hard to say "no" to some of those appeals. But it's my understanding that choosing a few charities to support is the best way; $10 here and there incurs overhead at multiple places (so, better to give one group $100 than $10 to ten different groups). I also research the groups I support - how are the funds used in terms of services, salaries, & fundraising and to avoid supporting agenda/causes that I disagree with. I also consider causes that are particularly relevant to me (ex, I benefitted from scholarships, so I give to a scholarship fund). I have to remind myself it's impossible to support all of them; hopefully, the best ones will thrive and if some have to go, may it be the less effective ones.


When it comes to “bang for your buck,” I don’t see how any charity can deliver more that Catholic Answers. I believe that the integrated us of media by Catholic Answers, print, internet, radio, audio CD’s etc. are the best way to present the Faith to world today. If St. Paul were alive today, he probably would have founded Catholic Answers himself. We live here in Russia, and I enjoy listening to the Catholic Answers Live radio show on podcast. I often hear callers talk about how they learned about the Catholic Church by listening to the Catholic radio in their cars. Some good can come out of all that time people spend sitting in traffic! Then they can go to internet sites such as where they can access to real teachings of the Church in the privacy of their own homes. Think of how many people have discovered the true Faith or have returned to the Church because of Catholic Answers! How many souls have been saved! You can’t put a dollar value to the salvation of souls. I would also suppose that these new fervent Catholic now contribute to various other Catholic charities, and perform many good works to help others themselves. No, I don’t work for Catholic Answers!


Your absoutley right about this. Well said!


I will be donating! Actually I am a little embarrassed that it took an urgent plea for me to consider contributing to a resource I use just about every day.
God bless Catholic answers for helping to deliver so many to Christ!


One thing you can do is research these various apostolates online. EWTN, CA, etc. and you can see how much money they earn and how it's spent. That might help you make your decision.

Here's two places to start: Charity Navigator and Foundation Center.


Well, I support CAF, Relevant Radio, and other various Catholic evangelization efforts. I mean really. Isn’t that what we are suppose to do?

Pick something you believe in and support it. Even if it hurts a little. Another thing to consider is time. Are you donating your time to the organization too? What do you receive from it? (not materially, but faithfully.)

I stopped supporting public tv due to not only their losing perspective of what is right and good, but because we just don’t get anything from it anymore.

We’re suppose to provide 10% to the poor. Then there’s the tithing. Is the Church poor? Yes, I know they help the poor. Monetarily and spiritually. My daughter was once appalled we gave a larger check to the church and a smaller one to SVDP. Ever since, when I’m in charge of the checks, I switch them. :wink:

There are so many worthy organizations. So many in need. Pray and let the spirit guide you!


I may have not have clarified my original post. Sorry, if so. We don't have any difficulty discerning whom to give to. We have "X" amount of dollars to give before the gas, electric, telephone, insurance, realty tax, mortgage & other companies are knocking at our door. We must be good stewards. And in doing so, when there's no money left, well, there's no money left. And because of that, I *'DON'T *feel guilty about a good charitable organization not getting any donations, because I know that God is happy if we *ARE *good stewards.

What I was particularly interested in when starting this thread, is how others *discern *how and whom to give to. Example: we are dedicated donators to EWTN. Have been since the mid-90s. We truly believe that EWTN is a huge "bang for the buck". We have a couple of other organizations that we feel we MUST give to, (one having to do with our children's education). So then we reach a point when yet another organization asks for money, well, sorry, it's a great organization, but the money just ain't there. And again, I don't feel guilty about it.

We always try to keep a little available for the "emergency". Another family may SUDDENLY be in need medically, -then that's when our "emergency' fund, like $100-200 will go to that family, and usually 'anonymously' as well. I remember a few years ago, we barely knew a non-religious 'poor' family. We talked about it, prayed about it, and then sent them $300 anonomously (that was digging deep on our part). About 2 weeks later we were talking to them. Well you would think that Heaven had landed on their doorstep. They were extremely shocked (that someone would give them money), and you could see that there was a new sparkle in their eyes. To this day they don't know who sent it. To me, that was a huge 'bang for the buck'.

Anyway, it's been good to hear from others just how they discern their almsgiving. Thank you.


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