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Pope Francis Inspires Catholic Giving – New Survey Released Today by FADICA

Since his election a year ago today, Pope Francis’ message of hope and compassion has strongly resonated with Catholics and non-Catholics alike. In order to understand the impact of Pope Francis on current and future Catholic giving to the Church and related activities, Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA) commissioned a nationwide survey of 1,003 Catholic adults.

Additional financial support for the survey was provided by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of National Collections.

“It is clear that Pope Francis and his message of mercy and joy, and a special concern for the poor, are inspiring U.S. Catholics in their giving,” said Alexia Kelley, President of FADICA, a nonprofit member association that works to strengthen and promote Catholic philanthropy. “These results also show that Hispanic Catholics, in particular, are moved by Pope Francis with respect to their giving,” said Kelley.

Findings from the FADICA survey conducted by Zogby Analytics:

  • One in four (24%) U.S. Catholics have increased their giving from last year. 
  • Of those who have increased their giving in the past year, 77% say Pope Francis has inspired their giving; including 42% who say the Pope has had a significant impact on their giving. 
  • Half (50%) say they are motivated to help others because of the Pope’s message of compassion to the poor.

The FADICA survey indicates that Catholic giving practices will continue to grow in the near future.

  • More than two in five (44%) Catholics say that Pope Francis’ message of hope, love, and charity will inspire them to give more to Catholic efforts or organizations in the future.

In addition, the FADICA survey shows that Hispanic Catholics are particularly inspired by Pope Francis.

  •      Of those who have increased their giving, more than four in five Hispanics (85%) say the Pope had significant or some influence on their giving.
  •      30% of Hispanic Catholics say they have increased their giving from last year.
  •      Approximately half of Hispanics (48%) say Pope Francis has inspired them to give more to Catholic efforts or organizations.

“As FADICA looks to the future, this data suggests that the ‘Pope Francis Effect’ on Catholic giving will continue to grow, thus bringing the Church’s critical ministries and mercy to those who need it most,” said Kelley.  

“‘If we are to share our lives with others and generously give of ourselves, we also have to realize that every person is worthy of giving,’ stated Pope Francis in Joy of the Gospel (274),” said Sister Sally Duffy, SC, Board Chair of FADICA. “Hopefully, this research indicates that as the People of God, we are all recognizing a deeper need to share our time and talents and treasure, for ‘every person is immensely holy and deserves our love,’” said Sr. Duffy.

On Methodology: FADICA commissioned Zogby Analytics to conduct an online survey of 1,003 Catholic adults in the U.S. All interviews were completed March 7 through March 10, 2014. Using trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were invited to participate in this interactive survey.  Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time. Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1,003 is +/- 3.2 percentage points.  This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

For more information or a copy of the full survey report, please contact Sephora Rosario-Soto 202-223-3550 or srosario-soto@fadica.org.

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Founded in 1976, FADICA is a network of private foundations and donors supporting Catholic-sponsored programs and institutions. FADICA’s mission is to enable its members to be informed, involved and effective in addressing church needs by their philanthropy. FADICA offers ongoing education, fosters the exchange of information, commissions research, builds a spirit of fellowship and shared faith, facilitates occasional joint funding ventures, and promotes interaction with Catholic leadership. For more information, visit www.fadica.org.

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