Our Commitment to Our Donors
In over 20 years of non profit leadership, management, and consulting I have seen many mistakes, particularly in the realm of donor relationships and financial management. Because most non-profits are managed and staffed by well intended and apostolically minded people, there is always plenty of zeal to go around. Unfortunately this zeal is not often balanced by sound business practices. These factors coupled with naivete regarding how to integrate faith and finances sometimes results in an unintentional misuse of funds and unhealthy relationships with donors.
Donors donate to non-profit organizations because they believe in the cause or have been touched by the outreach of the organization in some important way. Consequently, they care – many of them share the same level of zeal as those who founded and work in the organization on a day to day basis. The challenge for any non-profit is avoid dishonoring this donor commitment by failing to understand that honoring donor desires is often just as important as the apostolic work itself. Said another way, every apostolic work, by definition, has at least two constituencies, 1) those whom they serve directly, and 2) those who provide the funds that allow them to serve the first group. Both deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and transparency.
Coming out of this understanding there are a handful commitments that any non-profit can make to avoid the many pitfalls of organizations that are dependent upon donations to survive. Accordingly, we make specific commitments to our donors:
1) 100% of the donations to Catholic Spiritual Direction will be used solely for the purposes of furthering the stated mission and vision of the apostolate.
2) Recurring gifts (monthly or other scheduled donations) will be used to fund the day to day operations of the apostolate. Said another way, any proposed or new aspect of the apostolate must have sufficient recurring gifts, endowments, or commitments to support the efforts. This approach ensures that the apostolate is fundamentally sustainable outside of some significant unanticipated economic event. This also protects the donors from frequent “urgent” appeals for funding.
3) Special projects (expansion of existing capabilities or apostolic work) will be funded in a way that ensures sustainability. Said another way, we won’t add costs to the apostolic work without a reasonable expectation of a way to pay for those costs in the future. This protects donors from being harassed in order to fund mismanaged or poorly conceived expansion. This does not mean that the apostolate will not take risks in order to increase potential impact. It simply means that we will take risks that have some reasonable expectation of short and long-term sustainability.
4) Apostolic growth or diversification will come through investments from the founding apostolate but will always require a plan for self-sufficiency and will discontinue if they are unable to be self sustainable within a specified period. Board approval will be required if there are any exceptions to this rule.
5) Debt will never be a normal means of funding apostolic works. This protects donors from paying interest payments instead of directly funding apostolic work that they so deeply care about.
6) The finances of Catholic Spiritual Direction will be open to any reasonable request for review. Because we also don’t want to waste donations satisfying curiosity or malicious invasion of privacy, the greater the level of partnership through your donations, the greater the level of access and transparency. Said another way, we will honor all reasonable requests for detail regarding how we use your donations.
7) We will never publicly disclose our relationship with our donors without their permission.
The bottom line is that we are passionate about Christ and his Church. The spiritual depths of the Church are unfathomable. The spiritual poverty of its members is equally and incredulously real. However, this poverty has a clear and present remedy. Rather than scratching around for crumbs in the dark, its members can come to the table of the great feast that Christ has prepared for them. Our mission, is to help everyone who desires a deeper relationship with Christ to find their place at the feast. Your donations help us to fulfill that mission. That said, we are just as committed to serving you as you give as we are to those who desire to have a deeper relationship with Christ. These are in fact, one in the same mission. All come to the feast, by giving, by praying, by writing, by teaching, and by guiding the people of God to the great feast of God.
To make a donation now, just click here or send a check to:
Catholic Spiritual Direction
1062 Grand Oaks Drive
Bessemer, AL 35022
Thank you in advance for your support and may the peace of Christ be with you always,
Founder – Catholic Spiritual Direction