The Church is one body made of many parts. Thus, the funding of different aspects of the Church is separated into different pools of funds, handled by different fundraising bodies.
These different pools of funds and their respective fundraisers may be summarised as:
- Social Mission – Funds raised by Caritas Singapore, CHARIS and affiliates
There are over 40 Catholic charities in Singapore, such as Catholic Welfare Services, Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP), and A Call To Share (ACTS). Each of them focuses on particular social causes, and undertake charitable work in Singapore and overseas. They operate under the umbrella of Caritas Singapore (for Singapore charities) and CHARIS (for overseas humanitarian aid).
Most of these Catholic charitable organisations are separately registered as charities and many of them are Institutions of a Public Character (IPC). Where the organisations are IPCs, donors enjoy tax deductions on their donations.
In addition to the fundraising done by the individual Catholic charities in the parishes and in the community, there are generally three archdiocesan-wide fundraising by the Catholic charities:
- Caritas Singapore carries out an annual “Charities Week” collection through the parishes, starting typically in Lent.
- CHARIS conducts an annual fundraising appeal through the parishes.
- SSVP conducts a second collection on the first Sunday of each month at all the parishes.
Funds raised by Caritas Singapore, CHARIS and their affiliates go to their respective causes and beneficiaries, and are not used for the needs of other organisations or parishes in the archdiocese.
- Religious Congregations – Funds raised by respective congregation
There are 22 religious congregations in Singapore, such as the Sisters of the Infant Jesus, the Order of Friars Minor, and the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Each focuses on a specific ministry and purpose according to its special charisms.
Each religious congregation answers directly to its own superior general. The funds collected are used by the religious congregations for their missions, and are not available to the archdiocese.
- Parishes – Funds raised by respective parish
There are 32 parishes in Singapore. Each parish’s source of funds include the weekly offertories and other collections made during Masses. Some parishes may also conduct additional fundraising activities such as fun fairs, and other events, for specific parish building projects. In addition, some parishes have income from their columbarium and parlours.
Traditionally, 15% of parish first collections at Masses every weekend was given to the archdiocese for its needs, while 85% was retained for each parish’s own needs. In 2016, this was changed to a tiered system of 4% to 28% depending on each parish’s income to be contributed to the archdiocese.
- Archdiocese – Funds raised by Catholic Foundation
The archdiocese has to provide for the welfare and upkeep of the priests, the needs of many archdiocesan offices and organisations (such as Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools, Archdiocesan Commission for the Family, and Office for Young People), and the upkeep and development of archdiocesan properties. The traditional funding model of relying on parish collections has proven insufficient to provide for all these needs of the archdiocese.
The Catholic Foundation was set up as a second vehicle to raise funds for the archdiocese. All funds raised by the Catholic Foundation will go towards the Archdiocese of Singapore.
Find out about the financial needs of the archdiocese at Question 18.