GIFT Campaign Report
(1 January 2020 – 31 March 2020)
The GIFT (Giving in Faith and Thankfulness) campaign was launched in Advent 2016 to support the archdiocese’s vision of a more vibrant, evangelising and missionary Church. This quarterly report updates on the campaign’s progress.
From January to March 2020, GIFT collection was $3.1 million. Although the total amount was comparable to Quarter 1 of 2019, there were significant ups and downs in collections during the quarter.
The suspension of Masses from 15 February 2020, as a result of COVID-19, saw a decline in cash contributions by more than 90 per cent in February.
The introduction of the PayNow platform has been partially helpful in making up for our inability to have a second collection on the third Sunday of February and March. Collections through PayNow were less than 20 per cent of the Sunday collections for February and March 2019.
Contributions in January and March 2020 were marked by a few significant contributions via cheques and credit cards from generous parishioners. These ad hoc contributions, not experienced in Q1 2019, helped sustain the quarter for this year.
The Digital Church, an initiative of ArchComms and supported by the Foundation, was started in late 2019 to advance the Church digitally. The COVID-19 crisis lent urgency to the initiative and shifted several of its project priorities.
In the early days of suspension of Masses, the digital team applied itself to developing processes and apps. These included the use of QR codes to facilitate contact tracing when Masses resume.
At the same time, ArchComms arranged for daily and weekend Masses to be streamed online. These have been well-received and could be part of the new normal even after Masses resume.
REGULAR SUPPORT IS VITAL
With the suspension of Mass, contributions to parishes, the St Vincent de Paul Society (SSVP) and the GIFT programme have dwindled as parishioners, used to giving at the weekend masses, are no longer able to do so. PayNow has not been an adequate replacement for the Sunday collections.
For the archdiocese, a monthly giving pledge to GIFT would be the most reliable source of funding. It allows for greater predictability of funds that are much needed for the operations of archdiocesan organisations, building projects and the support of our clergy.
As such, we are urging all Catholics to sign up for a monthly pledge to GIFT. Your regular contribution, however big or small, will count towards building the Church today for tomorrow.
BUILD THE CHURCH TODAY FOR TOMORROW
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