Many people do not realize how expensive it is to maintain a parish, especially in the developed west where many building codes MANDATE particular rennovations and remodeling in order for the church to operate. Much of what goes into the basket is concerned with keeping the parish itself running… then you take out peter’s pence and not much remains to give to charity.
That’s why it’s important for a parish to take a balanced approach to charity… my parish repeatedly talks about stewardship (that we are responsible for maintaining our Catholic community through our time, talent, and treasure) and reminds us that what we donate should be HALF to parish funds (aka, the collection basket, although we have online donations as well) and HALF to other charities.
Given that understanding, it’s not necessarily a bad idea for a church to promote certain GOOD charitable causes which are affiliated with a particular Sunday’s homily, allowing parishoners the choice to decide if a particular charitable cause is right for them, or if they want to donate that “other half” to that charity. Otherwise, parishoners are left to determine on their own what charities are out there, and have to go through the tedious financial work to determine if that charity really reflects catholic teaching AND is fiscally responsible with donations… a chore which is time consuming and often causes people to shy away. As a result, many GOOD charities go unfunded, while people either donate ALL of their money to one popular organization (such as the very impressive Catholic Charities USA) or accidently give to very uncatholic causes.
So it’s not a bad thing for a church to allow GOOD charities that are related to the church mission, and particularly to that day’s message, to present themselves and give the opportunity to parishoners to give (and that’s another point: they aren’t demanding money, they’re giving an opportunity for charity to people who might otherwise never know about their cause and NOT donate as a result).