By Ann Hart, Business Manager

Tithing, Capital Improvement Collection, Diocesan Annual Appeal and The Capital Campaign:
How they work together for our Kitchen Remodeling Project.
In 1992, we were introduced to a concept of financial stewardship: Tithing. Although it has been around for thousands of years, many Catholics have never embraced tithing and the call to return to God 10% of the many gifts He has given us. Understanding that giving 5% to the church and 5% to other charitable organizations is a prayerful journey of faith and discernment, this parish was nonetheless blessed to financially support all of its operating expenses and ministries throughout the following years. As an example, we were able to eliminate Religious Education fees for both children and adults and still maintain a healthy balance of funds in our bank accounts.
As the age of our building and equipment progressed, it was imperative to maintain a fund that would repair or replace any of our “Capital” resources. By being good stewards of our monies and implementing a bi-monthly Capital Improvement collection envelope, we have been able to fully fund all of the repairs and maintenances to our facilities and equipment; no special collections or loans have ever been necessary.
Several years ago, our Diocese put into action its Annual Appeal to all parishes. Each parish is given a predetermined goal and 20% of the monies received is returned to the parish to fund a program or ministry of it’s choosing. 50% of monies received over the goal is also returned. This Appeal is ongoing and required by all Diocesan parishes to participate. The leadership teams in our parish chose to use these monies toward any capital replacements or repairs or to further fund this saving account. $52,755.01 has been returned to the Parish from previous year’s Appeals. 
Last year, the Diocese also began a Capital Campaign. Unlike the Annual Appeal, the goal and percentage-of-return is higher, spread out over a period of five years and will not be a recurring campaign. 1/3 of the goal will be returned to the parish and anything over that goal would be 2/3. We would only receive these funds when the Diocese has collected them. As with the Annual Appeal, all parishes are required to participate in the campaign and the monies returned would be used towards a planned capital improvement project. Because of our numerous ministries using the kitchen and the hope to expand on our activities, one of our planned projects was to remodel our kitchen and improve its functionality and to better use the available space. We also planned on replacing a roof, carpeting the front entryway, replacing the flooring in the office wing and to reserve the remaining funds for future capital repairs and improvements. Our parish goal of $661,000.00 was exceeded by $50,557.00 for a total pledge of $710,557.00. Our projected share during the five year campaign should be $252,705.00. To date, we have received $62,383.68.

The kitchen project was estimated to cost $175,000.00 and other capital expenditures was projected to cost $44,000.00. However, after additional discussions involving the needs of the parish in the kitchen design and equipment, we realized that our estimates were below the anticipated actual costs. However, we were not concerned with how these projects would be funded. Because of the generosity of this tithing community, the Capital Improvement collections and the return of the Annual Appeal and Capital Campaign funds, our parish is currently in a strong financial position to pay for the renovation costs before the five year campaign period is completed.