Last November, when Kathleen Driscoll was announced as the new Secretary for Institutional Advancement and the new Boston Catholic Development Services was formed to centralize fundraising, we were all told this new effort would “ensure donors of independence and accountability.”
If the archdiocesan fundraising efforts are characterized by “accountability,” then why is it that no one is accounting for what they have raised for two major initiatives in a timely manner after the fundraising terms have finished?
As we mentioned in early January in our post “Jack Connors’ Catholic Schools 2010 Initiative: The Verdict is…”, the 2010 Initiative of the Campaign for Catholic Schools was supposed to raise $70 million and finish December 31, 2010. Here we sit well past that deadline, and has anyone seen or hear a word about how Jack Connors, Kathleen Driscoll, and their “dream team” of fundraisers did against their goal by December 31? We heard they got a big donation of about $5 million late in the year, which would have put them somewhere in the range of about $63 million. How can there be accountability, when there is no announcement of the financial result?
Then there is the silence about the result of the 2010 annual Catholic Appeal. The 2010 Catholic Appeal goal was never announced last year, but sources indicate the target was kept flat from the prior year at around $15.1 million. The appeal closed January 31. What was actually raised against the goal? Last year, they announced on February 8 they had surpassed their $15 million goal, raising $15.1 million. It is now February 14, and no announcement yet. How much you want to bet that they did not match hit $15 million, and are down from previous years? Sources indicate that they missed the goal they needed to raise this past year by at least $700K, which means even if they get out the gate with a really strong start to next years’ appeal ASAP, there could be more layoffs and budget cuts this spring. What are the consequences for the Archdiocese, assuming the Catholic Appeal goal was not achieved? What are the consequences for Kathleen Driscoll and the BCDS staff if the goal was not achieved? How much is the current fund-raising staff of 15 people for BCDS costing that was not on the payroll last year? Will any of them be laid off should cuts be necessary? Are any of those salaried expenses covered by donors (as was supposedly the case with the CCS), or are those now borne by the Archdiocese and BCDS, and thus by parishes and individual donors who give to the Catholic Appeal?
Three months after the announcement that followed the infamous “sham search” to fill the position, why is there no disclosure of the names of the people on the “newly established Board of Trustees” who “will provide oversight”?
Why exactly is there so much secrecy around fund-raising for the Catholic Appeal and for the goals of BCDS, especially in view of the announcement that said there would be greater accountability?
Beyond the Catholic Appeal, BCDS also has responsibility for raising money for the Clergy Retirement fund. In addition to raising $1M/year at an annual dinner, what exactly are the plans to fully fund the hundreds of millions of dollars now needed to assure the future retirement security of hundreds of priests?
What are the plans to fund the lay pension fund?
And is it true that the archdiocese is still carrying some liabilities for the Caritas Christi pension plan, even after the healthcare system was sold off to Cerberus?
Boston Catholic Insider is really glad that the archdiocese is making “accountability” an important part of this new fundraising effort, because if this is what donors get with “accountability,” imagine what they would get if the archdiocese set out to keep everything confidential.