Loving God, we come to You,
standing together in faith,
ready to realize the freshness of a bold endeavor,

as we look to the future of our Church.

Building up the Kingdom of God on earth
is Your will and our privilege.
Bless our efforts with the energy and enthusiasm we need. 

Jesus, our Redeemer, encourage and guide us.
Open our hearts to be good stewards
because of our love for You.

Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, empower us
to carry out Your will for the Upon This Rock campaign.

May Your Goodness be upon us,
And give us success to the work of our hands and hearts.

We ask Your blessing now and always
through Christ Our Lord.
Amen!

A

Upon This Rock is a capital and endowment campaign to reshape and strengthen the funding of key ministries and programs of the Church in Western New York, ensuring our ability to continue to effectively carry out the Lord's mission of service.

A

We need to think about how the Church can build upon its strong foundation and prepare for the future, providing a vibrant and healthy Catholic community for current and future generations.

The Church of the future will look different than it does now; therefore, it is critical that we evolve the way we fund our ministries and programs. While evangelization is a continued priority, we understand that the Catholic population may decrease before it increases again. It is essential for the Church in Western New York to build a secure financial base for the future. By creating significant endowments, the Church will sustain its year-to-year ministry operations, while also positively impacting the way Catholics are able to live out their faith. As we imagine the world we leave to our children and grandchildren, our vision for the future is vitally important.

A

The goal for Upon This Rock is $100 million. This project will support three essential pillars of the Church in Western New York:

1) Those We Serve

Strengthening our parishes as the center of our faith community, while providing pastoral care and outreach across our diocese through evangelization and stewardship.

2) Those Who Serve

Investing in the formation and education of the next generation of clergy and lay leaders and providing essential care for our retired priests.

3) How We Serve

Supporting the works of Catholic Charities and increasing availability of high quality, modern Catholic education.

A

A comprehensive feasibility and planning study was conducted during the summer of 2014 and included in-depth discussions with hundreds of members of the clergy, laity, and diocesan leadership.

More than 550 people in the Catholic community of Western New York contributed through one-on-one interviews, phone interviews, and online surveys. Diocesan leaders, clergy, laity, and other stakeholders provided valuable insight that formed the basis for this proposed campaign.

After a period of extensive prayer and inquiry, and based on the views expressed in the feasibility and planning study, as well as upon the recommendations of the Priests' Advisory Committee, the goal was set at $100 million with funds to be distributed to each of these priority areas outlined in the case statement. The funding priorities were based upon urgency of need as well as potential for impact.

A

While various individual parishes have conducted capital campaigns and increased offertory initiatives over the years, Upon This Rock is the first of its size and scope for The Diocese of Buffalo.

A

The economy is always an important consideration when embarking on a campaign of this size, but when the economy is weak that is often the time when the need is greatest. Even during tough times, the generosity of Western New York's Catholic community always has been resolute. A successful campaign will allow expansion of essential services to ease the struggles of many more people in need, and we hope that we can count on your continued generosity.

A

Historically, capital campaigns have been about physical improvement projects. However, in order to reshape the future of the Church in Western New York, Upon This Rock will establish various forward thinking endowments, as well as secure direct funds to go back to the parishes to address their immediate needs.

A

Capital: The entirety of the capital raised during the campaign will be spent on the areas outlined in the case statement.

Endowment: An endowment is a fund or funds established with the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. The principal amount raised for the fund is not touched, and only the interest gained from the fund is spent each year. Investment earnings are used for a clearly stated purpose, with a portion of the interest income reinvested, allowing the endowment to grow. In Upon This Rock, endowment funds will support a number of programs and activities.

A

The campaign will seek leadership and support from priests, individuals, private businesses, corporations, and charitable foundations. All members of the surrounding Catholic community will be invited to participate.

A

The Priests' Advisory Committee will guide and approve individual parish goals using a universal formula based in part on annual offertory collections.

A

Thirty-five percent of the money raised during the campaign will go directly back to parishes to address individual infrastructure needs. Additionally, investments in various diocesan ministries will return to individual parishes by way of services, programs, and grants.

A

These difficult decisions were necessary due to demographic shifts in our region. These ministries could not be sustained and were closed so that we could be responsible stewards of our resources. While no one can make predictions, a successful campaign will help to prepare our community for the realities of the future.

A

Upon This Rock seeks to address long-range, extraordinary needs. The Catholic Charities Annual Appeal funds annual operating expenses for ongoing ministries and services. Parishioners have been very generous in supporting Catholic Charities; however, the people of the Church have additional needs such as making Catholic education accessible, assisting parishes that are struggling, providing faith formation to our youth and adults, and preparing men for the priesthood. This fundraising effort will enable us to meet the challenges we face and will provide a stronger financial foundation to better serve our brothers and sisters throughout Western New York.

A

Yes, the Catholic Charities Annual Appeal will continue during Upon This Rock.

A

In the short term, offertory giving is expected to remain at its current level. Upon This Rock will encourage parishioners to make pledges above and beyond regular giving. Parishioners are not asked to diminish giving to their parish offertory or to Catholic Charities; rather, they are asked to consider a greater commitment to the campaign if they are able to do so.

Similar campaigns actually have caused increases in parish offertory. Donors strengthen their vision of "church" and embrace stewardship as a way of life.

A

Your gift to Upon This Rock is a contribution above and beyond what you currently give to the Retirement Fund for the Religious. However, while that fund covers healthcare for retired priests, brothers, and sisters of religious orders, it does not cover retired diocesan priests. While the diocesan priests' retirement fund is fully funded, there is a significant shortfall in the funding for their healthcare benefits.

A

As long as a parish has made a good faith effort and has attempted to follow the campaign plan, it will receive 35 cents on every dollar collected, less expenses, even if it does not reach target.

A

Should a parish exceed its campaign target, it will receive 55 cents on every dollar raised over its target.

Example: If the parish target is $500,000, and the parish receives $700,000 toward the campaign, the parish would receive $175,000 (35%) up to its target and $110,000 (55%) above its target for a total of $285,000. The Diocese would receive $300,000 (60%) up to its target and $80,000 (40%) above target funds for a total of $415,000. A centralized parish support endowment for parishes in distress would receive $25,000 (5%) of the funds raised up to goal and $10,000 (5%) of funds above the goal for a total of $35,000.

A

Upon This Rock will run from June 2015 to July 2017. All parishes will participate in the diocesan effort in an appropriate block of campaign activity. This two-year structure will provide some flexibility in accommodating most parish situations and will ensure sufficient assistance from the campaign office.

A

Disbursement of parish funds will occur semi-annually on January 31 and July 31. Distribution will commence once a parish has completed its campaign, but no sooner than 90 days prior to a semi-annual disbursement date. Each disbursement amount will be based on the cash received at the time of disbursement in the preceding six-month time period.

A

The Church always has counted on the broad-based support of its parishioners to accomplish its fundraising objectives.

All households will be asked to consider a gift to the campaign (over and above their continued annual support of the parish and Catholic Charities Appeal) as a major commitment of their charitable resources over a five-year period.

We need an extraordinary number of commitments to meet our goals. Please know each commitment to Upon This Rock will have a major and symbolic impact regardless of the amount.

 

A

A pledge should be determined after prayer for God's guidance, should be sacrificial in nature as appropriate for your family, and should be one that you know will help the vision for Upon This Rock.

All gifts to Upon This Rock should be equal in sacrifice, not necessarily equal in dollar amount, and it is our hope that your giving reflects this measure. The campaign is an important part of our Catholic family's history, and we hope every commitment will mirror that significance.

Remember that gifts can be pledged over a five-year period, and other giving, such as estate gifts, are accepted. Speak with your pastor or campaign director about the available options.

A

Pledged gifts are encouraged because they allow individuals and families the opportunity to spread payments over a multi-year period.

From similar campaigns, we have learned that donors who pledge are able to consider sacrificial gifts as much as four or five times larger than those who make one-time gifts. This is important for a fundraising effort of the size and scope of Upon This Rock.

A

No, a pledge is not legally binding. A pledge is a good-faith commitment made under a particular set of circumstances. If those circumstances change, donors can adjust their pledge payment schedule or balance accordingly.

A

Each donor is asked to complete a pledge card or a commitment card so that the commitment is recorded and acknowledged appropriately and so that donors are reminded of subsequent payments on the schedule they request. Donors are asked to sign pledge cards to specify that they agree to the terms of the gift, as indicated on the card. The Foundation, not the parishes, will bear the responsibility for sending out pledge reminders.

A

Checks can be made payable to Upon This Rock.

A

A donor may choose to pay monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually. Payment reminders will be sent by the Foundation according to the donor's chosen schedule. Upon This Rock offers donors a variety of options by which to make a pledge payment. Payments should not be made directly to the parish.

A

The Mother Teresa Home will build upon what the Catholic Church currently offers in support of the respect for all life. Unlike other housing options in the area, the Mother Teresa Home will not receive federal and state funding, thus it will not be subject to the various laws that prohibit or restrict services at these other homes. Homes that accept federal and state funding have various restrictions on whom they can serve, thus they may have to turn women away. The Mother Teresa Home will be free from these restrictions, providing a more inclusive environment for women in need.

A

The BISON Fund is a wonderful resource in the community, but there is a large waiting list each year for scholarship funds. In addition, there is a cap on how much families can receive per child, and there is no support at the high school level. Establishing a tuition assistance endowment through Upon This Rock will allow the Diocese to expand the number of families served and the amount of assistance students receive.

A

Bishop Malone and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo have gone to great lengths to ensure that the funds raised will be used exclusively for the components outlined in the campaign case statement. The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, a separate 501(c)(3) organization with a separate board that is legally obligated to use the funds for the purposes outlined, will oversee the funds and their distribution. The collection and distribution of funds also will be monitored by an oversight committee of lay and pastoral leaders. Finally, an annual audit will be completed by an independent accounting firm.

A

Yes, the Foundation will issue an audited financial report at the close of Upon This Rock and distribute reports throughout the collection process.

A

Fundraising is a process that has many components, and investments must be made in order to complete the process. As part of the careful study and strategic planning that went into Upon This Rock, the Diocese developed a budget that includes legal counsel, accountants, fundraising counsel, professional services, design, production, and administrative expenses, such as:

  • Distribution of campaign materials
  • Educational brochures
  • Travel
  • Mailings and postage

This careful planning is a wise investment, costing approximately 7 cents for every dollar raised and collected.

A

CCS is a consulting firm that helps non-profits to plan and conduct fundraising at different levels. They've conducted dozens of campaigns for many archdioceses and dioceses throughout the nation, raising about $2 billion over the last 10 years. Recently, CCS helped archdioceses and dioceses such as those in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Charlotte to conduct successful capital campaigns similar to Upon This Rock. For more information, visit www.ccsfundraising.com.

A

Please find us through our Contact Us page at UponThisRockWNY.org.  We can also be found here:

The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo

795 Main Street • Buffalo, NY 14203

(716) 847-8740