Diocese of Jefferson City – Policy Governing Fundraising for Projects Outside the Parish
Assisting the poor in the developing world is part of the rich tradition of mission in the Diocese of Jefferson City. In recent years, there have been more opportunities for this with the presence of international priests and with the growing interest in sister parishes or parish mission projects. The Diocese wishes to encourage the initiative and generosity of people, but it also has the responsibility to provide accountability to donors, as well as protect the integrity of the Diocese and its ministers. To that end, Bishop Gaydos, in consultation with priests and staff, has established the following policy.
1) Priests, deacons, and parish administrators serving in the Diocese of Jefferson City may engage in fundraising for projects outside the parish only with the written consent of the Bishop or the Vicar General. This is for any project over $1000 and includes not only appeals initiated by the priest, deacon, or parish administrator, but cooperation or acquiescence in any efforts initiated by friends and/or parishioners.
2) This does not include any personal, unsolicited gifts that one may receive at Christmas or returning home for a visit. However, if these gifts are in excess of $2500 for a calendar year, or if they are given for a particular project or expenditure, they must be reported to the diocesan Finance Office.
3) The Diocese of Jefferson City may allow fundraising for special projects that have a total budget goal of $15,000 or less. The individual(s) initiating the request should contact the Mission Office for application information. The Bishop will decide if the project is to be approved.
4) Applicants must carefully consider their priorities. If a project is approved, it is safe to assume that it will be some time before another project involving that individual or that parish is considered.
5) In rare cases, a project in excess of $15,000 may be considered. It will be treated as a prospective diocesan mission project. The Mission Office will actively assist in the development of the proposal. If it is approved by the Bishop, the Mission Office will lead it.
6) Solicitation in any parish for an approved project must have the consent of the pastor.
7) Ordinarily, fundraising for an approved project is not permitted during the annual Catholic Stewardship Appeal. For an exemption from this requirement, a special request must be made to the Bishop and the parish CSA goal guaranteed.
8) There will be consequences for any parish leader who solicits or receives project contributions without prior approval or who fails to deposit those funds with the diocese. The donations in question may be considered taxable income for the individual and reported to IRS. If the situation is repeated or considered egregious, it will be deemed an act of disobedience in violation of Canon 273. This could result in dismissal from the diocese under Canon 271 §3 and the subsequent loss of R1 status.
9) These rules governing fundraising are in keeping with existing diocesan policy requiring all money raised for foreign missions and development projects to be submitted to the Mission Office for accounting and delivery to the designated agency. This includes sister parish and twinning relationships.