Following criticism from some victims of clerical abuse, the Archdiocese of Dublin has said it is reviewing a major fundraising drive.
Last year the Archdiocese of Dublin announced its plans for a more concerted fundraising strategy in order to address a reduction in contributions to church collections. The strategy included the appointment for the first time of a priest to manage financial development and fundraising.
Previously the archdiocese said it had appointed professional fundraising consultancy CCS to assist with the planning for its campaign. CCS has been involved in many fundraising campaigns in Ireland, particularly church campaigns. In the Church in England and Wales CCS led a £40 million fundraising drive in the archdiocese of Westminster and the £10 million campaign in the diocese of Northampton.
The archdiocese told the Irish Times it is undertaking a review of its Living the Joy of the Gospel: Building our Community of Faith fundraising campaign. According to the archdiocese, parishes that had taken part in the pilot phase of the campaign “have, for the most part, been pleased with the response”, he said.
However, the review of the campaign followed callers to RTE radio complaining that the church had enough funds and referencing clerical abuse.
The Irish Times said that the campaign had already begun in some parishes with one reporting that it had raised €100,000 of its €365,000 campaign target. The parish said that “as a guideline for us to reach our goal we need 75 more families and individuals to consider pledging €2 a day over the next five years”. Another parish has advertised for a fundraising officer.
The campaign in Dublin is linked to concerns over a reported drop of 5% in contributions to church collections each year up to 2012. However, the figures reported by Catholic Ireland.net showed that the diocese saw its overall financial outlook improve substantially with a big increase in bequests and donations, up from €2.3 million in 2011 to €10.2 million in 2012.
Overall the archdiocese had a surplus of €1.737 million in 2012. This compares to a deficit of €9.331 million in 2011.