02 May Funding Landscape in the U.S.A.
Holy Week is just about my favorite time of the year and that says a lot, because I REALLY like Christmas!
I think the reason it is so important to me is that if we try to walk through this week in prayer and reflection, we are required to confront the limits and suffering of this life and reach a point where the greatest grace lies in our hope. Hope is a victory over those limits and suffering, even over death!
Every missionary has their Holy Week, in attempting to bring hope to the limits and sufferings of their mission setting. I feel it is the vocation and honor of MPS to try and bring hope to your efforts to provide for those in your care.
Our message of hope this week borrows from a workshop that MPS delivered in Rome last week, in partnership with the Claretian Missionaries and the Lateran University. Our principal talk was entitled the “Project Funding Landscape in the USA.” Put another way, what are the trends that we see in the USA regarding funding for missionaries?
Over this blog and the next, I will share the key points that we will be making in Rome, based on
research studies and personal interviews with foundation leaders in the USA.
3 Important Trends in the U.S.A. Funding Landscape:
1. Human-development projects are slightly more popular than pastoral ones. Catholics in the USA and Catholic family foundations show in surveys and personal interviews increasing activism that wants to see projects that improve lives socially, medically, intellectually, materially. NOTE: Foundations with formal priorities of evangelizations or pastoral projects have not changed, but where there is discretion, there appears to be a shift toward more human-development support.
2. Projects initiated or directed by Catholic sisters viewed more favorably. In the wake of the various Church scandals and litigation, sisters appear even more honest, trustworthy and selflessly dedicated to serving the poor and suffering. Their credibility is undamaged.
3. Parish-level support, partnering, and twinning will increase. Many USA parishes seek a deeper emotional, physical and financial connection with a chosen foreign mission, BUT missionaries must find a way to open the door to such a relationship AND they must ask for it. For many, the Mission Coop Plan supported by Propagation of the Faith in the USA is the best first step. Most Catholic dioceses in the USA offer this program to all missionaries: sisters and brothers as well as priests.