As we begin a new calendar year, DignityUSA continues to celebrate the commitment of our members and allies to ensure the financial resources needed to continue our ministry, outreach, and leadership as the go-to LGBTQ Catholic voice for justice and inclusion.
During the final weeks of 2015, through our Advent Appeal and other contributions, DignityUSA received over $12,000 in contributions. Included in this Appeal result is $250 we received as part of the “Give the Gift of Dignity” program we introduced in December. We also received a special gift of $1000 that came from a Donor Advised Fund at the Columbus Foundation through the efforts of DignityUSA board member Marie Sweeney. Thanks to all who contributed directly or facilitated gifts given by family members or friends.
Also during this final month of the calendar year, DignityUSA was the beneficiary of a $59,000 gift from the estate of Tom Cunningham, a long-standing leader and member of our organization. This wonderful gift is a reminder to all of us of the opportunity we have to remember DignityUSA in our estate planning. The Legacy Circle brochure you received in the Advent Appeal mailing provides information on how to make a gift using this format.
So what’s ahead for us as we continue to provide our voice, leadership and support? What resources are needed to continue our work, such as the support DignityUSA and the local Washington D.C. chapter provided to Jeffrey Higgins, who was recently fired from his cantor role by directive of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., to the pastor at Mother Seton Parish in Germantown, MD; and Marianne Duddy-Burke’s participation in the recent January 14 U.N. Foreign Press Corps briefing on the intersection of faith and LGBTQ human rights which brought our insights and experience to a global audience?
The Development Committee of the DignityUSA board has recently welcomed new committee members, Ashley Schrode and Richard Starley, who bring unique talents and backgrounds.
The committee continues to focus on activities and resources to advance the growth of our organization. We plan to conduct a webinar in the next few months that will provide resources and a tutorial on fundraising approaches, including how to do the “ask,” or how to approach individuals or organizations to request their financial support. The committee also plans to post fundraising resources, such as a guide to conducting a house party or how to organize a personal campaign fundraising Facebook page for DignityUSA which may be timed to a special birthday or running in a marathon, etc. Your ideas are welcome too!
Thank you again to all who contributed during the Advent Appeal and during this past year! Because of you, and the added support of many who contribute their time and talent, we are able to take on the challenges of our mission and continue our partnerships within Equally Blessed and with our other partners in church justice work. We are happy to report our total as of publication is $13,555, which is 135% of our budgeted goal of $10,000.