Message from the VOTF President
I write to you today regarding the financial component, of Voices in Action: Transforming Our Church Together, our action-based path towards meaningful change in our Church. With your help, we will tackle an important task: setting a firm financial foundation for our future.
VOTF’s Financial Condition
Thanks to your outpouring of support to our emergency appeal on July 13, we are able to meet our operating expenses not only for July and August but through the end of September and into October. Now is the time to stabilize the financial foundation of VOTF for the rest of 2009 and in the years ahead. To that end, we are implementing a new business model.
All of our support comes from your generous donations. In the past, we have solicited funds exclusively through periodic appeals each year. As the national economic crisis has overtaken major corporations and tiny non-profits alike, donations have understandably decreased, and we have cut the national operations budget accordingly, by nearly 45% over the last two years. But we cannot cost-cut our way to effective action.
The new business model will rely on a combination of annual financial pledges supplemented by targeted solicitations. In addition, we are seeking foundations and grants that might supplement our revenue. To ensure a predictable source of revenue to sustain our national presence AND to launch into the biggest challenge of our existence: generating actual change in the Church via lay actions, we need annual commitments from members as baseline revenue for national operations. Our current operating budget is approximately $450,000. Our fundraising goal, to provide maximum support for full implementation of the strategic plan, is $600,000.
We can support it with membership commitments as shown in the following table.
|# of gifts||At this amount:||To raise:|
In order to plan responsibly for each year’s operating budget, and to preclude the need for any further emergency appeals for operating revenues, we will establish our operating budget based on the amount of annual commitments each year and a reasonable projection of contributions from targeted solicitations. If pledges and targeted solicitations exceed our current operating expenses, we will be able to increase our national presence even more.
In order to enable us to sustain national operations in the remaining months of 2009, and for 2010, we are asking you to make your pledge by October 15, payable by December 31, 2009. For this year, however, we need a minimum number of commitments paid by October 15 in order to provide operating revenue for the period October-December 2009. In future years, we will ask you to renew your commitment, which will be payable by December 31 each year.
We are most grateful that many of you have given generously for years, particularly during our recent emergency appeal for operating funds in July and August. To be fiscally responsible and proactive, however, our business plan must move VOTF onto a solid financial future. We cannot hope to change our Church for the better if we do not have
the staying power to sustain our efforts over the long haul
At the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves:
How much do we want change in the Catholic Church, and what are we willing to pay for it?
What You Can Do Today
To transform our Church, we first must change ourselves. We must come to realize that transformation requires significant investment of personal time AND financial resources.
We are now asking each of you to consider how
will support VOTF in the months and years ahead. We need a critical mass of members to offer their talents, time and financial commitment to keep the vision and mission of VOTF engaged in the life and healing of our fractured Church.
You can help by doing two things right away:
- Study the Voices in Action initiatives and the additional information on the VOTF web site, participate in our upcoming webinar, and consider how you individually or with an affiliate can best become involved. We must work together to transform our Church.
- Commit yourself to sustained support of the work of the national VOTF organization through a pledge by October 15, and for those who can afford to do so, by paying that pledge by the same date. You can also donate online at votf.org/donate or print out the form and donate by mail at P.O. Box 423, Newton, MA 02464.
Yes, our plans are aggressive—but you have demonstrated that you can make the impossible happen. When we asked you to pay for an ad in the New York Times during the Pope’s U.S. visit, you donated more than $60,000—in just 8 days—to make that happen. And when we asked for help this summer, you contributed more than $120,000 in a few weeks!
We believe any change within the Church must begin with change in us. So please open your hearts to a new Church being born in us all.
If you have questions about Voices in Action or the financial commitment, please contact the VOTF office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-559-3360.
With gratitude and commitment,
Dan Bartley for the Voice of the Faithful Officers and Board of Trustees
P.S. We have a terrific National Conference coming up in October—click here for details