Despite challenges created by the pandemic, FaithWorks raised $1,434,100 last year or 95.6 per cent of its campaign goal. The money will support 17 Anglican affiliated ministries and agencies that serve the needs of people who are Indigenous, homeless, hungry, at-risk women, children or youth, immigrants or refugees and those living with HIV/AIDS.
“Anglicans rose to the occasion as they have done time and time again,” says Peter Misiaszek, the diocese’s director of Stewardship Development. “They are exceedingly generous.”
More than 90 per cent of parishes in the diocese took part in the annual outreach campaign, with 84 parishes raising more than they did in 2021. “That is really encouraging and it’s a sign of hope,” says Mr. Misiaszek.
One of the surprises of the campaign was the amount given online. Donors gave $165,000 through the FaithWorks website. “That’s unprecedented,” says Mr. Misiaszek. “We’ve never received that sort of response before.”
Direct mail solicitation and online giving amounted to more than $400,000. Four new family foundations supported the campaign.
In addition to giving $65,000 to the Toronto Urban Native Ministry, donors gave $41,000 to the Spirit Garden, a memorial to former students of Canada’s Residential Schools that is planned for Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.
“That shows where Anglicans’ hearts are,” says Mr. Misiaszek. “They really are striving for reconciliation.”
The campaign benefitted from two “challenges” to donors. The first was a $100,000 matching challenge to parishes and individuals, whereby every dollar given would be matched by a dollar. The other was a two-for-one challenge for major gifts, whereby for every two dollars raised, one dollar would be given. Both challenges reached their targets.
Mr. Misiaszek says communication was key to the campaign’s success. “We’re telling the story, we’ve got a great website, and we’re giving people all sorts of opportunity to support us, and they are. We have more people giving over $1,000 directly to us than ever before.”
Faithlines, the campaign’s electronic newsletter, is sent to about 4,000 people every two weeks. Edited by Peter Mentis, the FaithWorks campaign manager, the bulletin provides stories, testimonials, updates and ways to give.
“My hat’s off to Peter Mentis,” says Mr. Misiaszek. “He’s worked closely with a lot of parishes and helped inspire generosity and I’m really grateful for his contribution.”
This year’s FaithWorks campaign goal is the same as last year’s – $1.5 million. Now in its 27th year, the campaign has raised more than $35 million for those in need in the diocese, across Canada and around the world.
“Outreach is a defining characteristic of what it means to be an Anglican,” explains Mr. Misiaszek. “It is critical to our identity.”
Despite last year’s success, he encourages donors not to become complacent, as the needs are greater than ever. “The ministries and agencies that we support depend on our funding. We’re a vital lifeline for several of them. In some cases, it amounts to 50 per cent of their budget.”
The ministries and agencies are located throughout the diocese. Two major recipients are All Saints Church-Community Centre, serving some of Toronto’s most marginalized people, and Flemingdon Park Ministry, providing food and other essentials to residents of Flemingdon Park in Don Mills. The newest ministry is the Durham Migrant Workers Ministry, based in Orono, which serves migrant workers on farms in Durham Region.
To give to FaithWorks, visit www.faithworks.ca.