By Peter Misiaszek
In a challenging economic environment, the 2015 FaithWorks campaign result is one for the record books. As in past years, Anglicans across the Diocese of Toronto demonstrated their generosity, raising more than $1,675,000. Despite news of job losses, the declining dollar, downsizing and belt-tightening, FaithWorks raised more money in 2015 than in any year prior.
“Thanks be to God for the generosity of Anglicans across the Diocese,” says Archbishop Colin Johnson. “FaithWorks is a tangible example of Christ’s mission being served in the world, and many people need to be thanked for their commitment – donors, volunteers and clergy.”
FaithWorks is the annual appeal of the Diocese of Toronto. The money raised supports families in crisis, children, youth and women in need, immigrants, the homeless, the imprisoned, those suffering from HIV/AIDS, and people living in the developing world.
“This demonstrates the breadth of our donor base,” notes Ms. Shelagh McPherson, chair of the FaithWorks Allocations Committee. “A great deal of effort has been made to promote FaithWorks in our parishes, in the corporate sector, among service groups and with individual donors. Our Christmas direct mail appeal alone raised over $50,000.”
Parishes gave a total of $825,000 in 2015, and about 85 per cent of the churches in the Diocese took part in the campaign. A significant bequest was secured through the parish appeal. Over 85 parishes experienced a result greater in 2015 compared to the previous year.
“Throughout the Diocese, the number of parishes making FaithWorks an important focus of their stewardship and outreach is encouraging,” says Susan McCulloch, FaithWorks’ campaign manager. “We’ve seen some significant growth, especially in the York-Simcoe and York-Scarborough episcopal areas. The parishes in York Central Deanery and St. James Deanery (located in Toronto) have developed into important pacesetters in the overall campaign.”
Corporations – especially the major banks – continue to be a vital source of funds for the campaign. In 2015, FaithWorks Corporate raised $309,000. Since its inception in 2004, the corporate appeal has contributed more than $4 million to FaithWorks. “It is wonderful to witness the generosity of Anglicans and the corporate sector during challenging times” says Bishop Philip Poole, the area bishop of York-Credit Valley and chair of the FaithWorks Corporate appeal.
Looking ahead to the 2016 campaign, the FaithWorks Allocations Committee is holding firm with a goal of $1,550,000. The goal is attainable, says Ms. McCulloch. “2016 will be a special year for us – our 20th anniversary. We hope we can mark it with another impressive result.” FaithWorks is planning launch events in episcopal areas across the Diocese in the months ahead and hopes to recognize many of the parishes that have contributed to its success.
Peter Misiaszek, CFRE, is the Diocese’s director of Stewardship Development. Learn more about FaithWorks.