Archdiocesan fund campaign collection falls short by millions

Posted: April 13, 2014

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia provided a sobering update on the Heritage of Faith - Vision of Hope fund-raising campaign, which ended its pledging period in early 2011.

The amount of write-offs and pledges considered unlikely to be collected was $52.2 million as of June 30, the archdiocese said Friday.

The archdiocese also clarified that the $221.5 million in pledges previously reported by archdiocesan officials included $36.5 million for parish-level campaigns that ran simultaneously but that were not included in the original $200 million goal of the campaign.

"It is important to note that the goal of $200 million did not contemplate the existence of the combined campaigns," the archdiocese said in a statement accompanying the Heritage of Faith audited financial statement for the year ended June 30.

That means pledges to the archdiocesan campaign fell short of the official goal by $15 million, or 7.5 percent, reaching $185 million.

The archdiocese also provided an update on collections of the $185 million in pledges, part of which was intended for parishes, separately from the parish-level campaigns totaling $36.5 million in pledges.

As of June 30, the archdiocese said, it had collected $101.5 million and had allocated $30.5 million to parishes. Expenses totaled $15.4 million.

The archdiocese disclosed for the first time the value of pledges it had written off. The cumulative total was $18.4 million on June 30.

"These write-offs were largely a result of contact from the donor informing us that they would not be fulfilling their pledge," the archdiocese said.

In addition, the archdiocese updated its allowance for doubtful collections to $33.8 million, which was less than the $37.4 million reported for June 30, 2012.

The write-offs and doubtful pledges add up to $52.2 million, or about 28 percent of the $185 million. That's a very high percentage, according to experts in the fund-raising sector, who say a healthy campaign would have a comparable percentage of 5 percent to 10 percent.



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