DAA kick-off weekend approaches
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
“The biggest change this year is how we are setting the goals,” said Kristie Arlt, diocesan director of stewardship and development. “We are using a three-year rolling average of parish ordinary income, which is a smarter way to set the goals and more accurate.”
The priest committee who helped with changes to DAA not only looked at how the goals were set but also took a look at the marketing materials – the letter the parishioners get and the case statement with an explanation of where the money goes.
“The priests gave us great feedback and advice on how to enhance those materials,” said Arlt. “We are taking their recommendations and enhancing the ways we do things, as far as the marketing end goes.”
During the kick-off weekend, the pastors will talk to parishioners about DAA and in the week following, parishioners will receive their letter and case statement in the mail.
“I thought this was a good suggestion from some of our pastors,” said Arlt. “We are trying to make it more concise. Every donor wants to know where their money is going. Whether they are giving $5, $50 or $500, it is important to share that information. I think my office, with the help of these priests, have done a good job this year of outlining where the money is used for DAA.”
Diocesan entities benefitting from DAA include Catholic Charities, vocations, clergy education, pastoral services, family ministries, education ministries and the Bishop’s Education Fund.
“The programs the diocese puts on for the parish is their money at work for them,” said Arlt. “It is a fundraiser for the parish, too. I know a lot of parishes use it as their big annual fundraiser.”
After a parish meets its goal, 100 percent of the amount over the goal goes back to the parish.
“The past five years there have been ups and downs in the economy, but one thing that has remained true is that parishioners support DAA and that is wonderful,” said the director of stewardship and development. “They are being a leader in the parish by contributing.”
She wanted to thank those who have contributed and to those who have not, she would like to encourage those parishioners to look at the materials when they arrive in the mail.
“Ask your pastor, ‘Where does this money go? How is this money being used to benefit our parish?’” Arlt suggested. “I understand if the perception is the money just comes to the Chancery in Sioux City and the parish doesn’t reap the benefits. That’s just not true. There are a lot of benefits to contributing to DAA.”
The generosity of the parishioners, she said, is “such a blessing. I am always so amazed and grateful, as are the bishop, pastors, Chancery staff and those on the parish level, for the support year after year.”
Diane Donnelly, director of finance, explained the parish ordinary income amounts are determined by the Diocesan Parish Accounting Office based on the annual reports the parishes submit each year. Julie Mahaney, director of parish accounting, with the assistance of Linda Topf, perform extensive analytical procedures to assure accurate classifications of revenue and expenses items.
“The most significant deduction in the net ordinary income formula is the school expenses including the parish investments in schools,” said Donnelly. “The previous-assigned school support levels have been eliminated.”
“Parish goals are determined by allocating $1,650,000 based on the net parish ordinary income using a three-year rolling average,” Donnelly said. “A second allocation is performed to determine the amount of parish receipts that will be retained for support of diocesan ministries.”
According to the director of finance, this calculation apportions the total diocesan support of $938,000 over the 111 diocesan parishes, again using the net parish ordinary income three-year rolling average.
“The Presbyteral Council adopted the use of phase in parameters, as recommended by the committee to enable a smooth transition and limit the severity of fluctuations from year to year,” said Donnelly. “Depending on the parish’s level of school support, parishes are limited to decreases of 7.5 percent. Furthermore, increases are limited to 7.5 percent if the new formula results in an increase in goal or diocesan support.”
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