Canadian Anglican giving to the national church?s main appeal and development arm was steady last year but donations to the national newspaper fell dramatically.
The Primate?s World Relief and Development Fund and the Anglican Appeal both report similar donation tallies for 1999 as in 1998. Each was down slightly, but final figures from the largest diocese, Toronto, could bring the numbers nearly even with the year before.
The Diocese of Toronto conducts one umbrella financial appeal, called Faithworks, dividing the proceeds among all the charities and appeals at the diocesan and national church levels.
The national church?s newspaper, the Anglican Journal, netted 20 per cent less with its appeal in 1999 than in 1998: $132,600, down from $190,600. After expenses and an even split with dioceses with which it shares donations, the Journal was left with $68,000, down from $85,000.
The Journal appeal goes to 25 of the 30 dioceses. It splits donations with 23 of the dioceses; two ? Yukon and British Columbia ? let the Journal keep all donations. Journal business manager Larry Gee attributed the lower numbers to a decision to reduce administration expenses by scaling back the appeal package. Previously, the appeal went out as an insert to the paper, including a donation envelope and letter from either the editor or a high-profile Anglican; last year the paper just sent out envelopes.
?We were really trying to reduce the costs, but, unfortunately, it really decreased the donor numbers instead,? Mr. Gee said, adding that the donation envelopes were more easily lost than information packages.
Also contributing to the drop was that Bishop Michael Ingham of the Diocese of New Westminster refused to let the Journal appeal there last year.
(In 1998, the appeal netted New Westminster and the newspaper more than $7,500 each.)
Meanwhile, PWRDF is reporting virtually identical numbers in 1999 and 1998, netting $2.9 million in 1999.
As in previous years, the Primate?s Fund wrestled with the dilemma of designated donations, which tend to occur when media play up stories such as the plight of Kosovar refugees, Hurricane Mitch or floods in Venezuela. Jill Martin, the fund?s financial manager, said each time a disaster hits the news Anglicans are quick to respond, often with designated donations for those regions. But that can take away from the ongoing needs and projects of PWRDF?s partners.
?For instance, we never get any designated donations for the African continent, and the need is always urgent there,? she said.
While the development group appreciates all donations tremendously, she added, ?sometimes it?s best to designate for where the needs are greatest.?
The Anglican Appeal, which raises funds for work in Canada?s North and overseas missions, saw a small drop in donations last year.
Grossing $920,000 in 1999, it will provide $540,000 to General Synod, after expenses and the splitting of proceeds with six dioceses.
In 1998, the appeal gave General Synod $590,000 ? $56,000 more than the national church asked for.
Gail Holland, appeal co-ordinator, said there is no evidence donations to the appeal are down because of the misconception funds may be going toward the costs of residential school lawsuits. Leanne Larmondin is Web site manager for the General Synod. This story was prepared for the national church?s Web site where it first appeared.