Annual Diocesan Appeal 15-16: average donation up, donors down


The Annual Diocesan Appeal (ADA) started in the fall and 10,799 or 32 percent of total households in the Davenport Diocese have made a pledge to the ADA. The average gift is up from $293 last year to $301 this year. “This is partially due to better promotion and our economy,” said Sister Laura Goedken, OP, diocesan director of Development. The percentage of donating households has declined slightly, however.

Sr. Goedken
Sr. Goedken

Each year the diocese prepares its fiscal year budget of which the ADA covers approximately 75 percent. ADA funds are used to support ministries, programs and services of the diocese such as lay ministry; seminarian, deacon and priest education; youth ministry; religious education and Catholic schools; marriage tribunal; diocesan offices and assistance to parish bookkeepers.

With the ADA goal for the current fiscal year set at $3,127,706, the diocese gave each parish a goal based on the parish’s income. This goal is satisfied with pledges and payments from parishioners; however when a parish does not meet goal, the parish is required to pay the diocese the difference. When a parish exceeds goal, the difference is returned to the parish as pledges are paid. Last year $317,480 was returned to parishes.

The accompanying chart shows in boldface the parishes that have exceeded their pledge goal. This year 53 of the 78 parishes are over goal. Additionally, seven parishes have reached more than 90 percent of their goal. Sr. Goedken said in most parishes the success of the campaign is directly related to pastor promotion.


She noted that 11 parishes showed a decline of more than 10 percent on the number of donors. Where donations have declined, some parishes will reach out to parishioners who gave money in the past. In some cases, Sr. Goedken offers to do so. She’s found this personal contact to be effective, as she comes across donors who intended to donate but simply forgot. In other cases, she discovers that the person in question is going through a health crisis or other situation that prevents them from giving. “It gives me the opportunity to offer my prayers,” she said.

This year nine individuals gave to the ADA from an IRA. Eight gave grain and nine gave stock. In addition, 20 donors paid their pledge from their donor-advised fund. Sr. Goedken encourages persons interested in setting up a donor-advised fund to contact her office.

Sr. Goedken said the Davenport Diocese is in the upper quartile of dioceses nationwide for the number of donors to the annual appeal. “I’d like to thank the generosity of our people,” she said.

Still, Sr. Goedken expressed the need to increase the number of donors every year to the ADA. “We are an aging diocese and some of our long-established parishioners die and new and younger members need to come forward.”
It is not too late to make a pledge to the ADA. Most parishes have envelopes available or you can call the diocesan office at (563) 888-4252 and an envelope will be sent to you. You can also go to and enter a pledge electronically. For more information on the ADA or to make any kind of donation, contact Sr. Laura Goedken, OP, at (563) 888-4252 or


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