A&O is a small, non-profit organization. Though we have been around 24 years now, we remain a small, two-man operation. Though you hardly ever hear us talking about it, we are, in fact, dependent upon the gifts of those who find our work useful, encouraging, and beneficial. And yes, we could always use a lot more support than we have. I tend to offend the large portion of the religious world, so, those who agree with what we are doing and why we do it need to know we depend on your support to keep the ministry going.
Now why do I mention this today? Sure, its late Summer, and you may have noticed every ministry on the radio or television is yelping about funds. But that’s not why I mentioned our status as a small, donor-supported work. I mention it because I rarely say anything about the fund-raising letters I myself receive. I just don’t get into criticizing others despite the fact that you have never gotten a phone call from a fund raiser during dinner trying to get you to give money to A&O (nor will you!). I could offer such criticism, but I haven’t.
But this morning I got the sixth copy of the same fund-raising e-mail from Catholic Answers, and well, enough is enough already! I mean, CA has a multi-million dollar a year budget, a staff ten times the size of ours, they have often with great humility (cough) noted that ministries like mine are small in comparison with theirs, so when I get the sixth e-mail pleading for me to help them through their dry spell—enough is enough! The letter has the title “This is the letter I didn’t want to write, but I have to…” Here’s how it starts:
Dear Friend of Catholic Answers,
It hurts me to write this letter to you.
But I’m afraid I have no choice.
You see, in the last three months, Catholic Answers has been hit by one of the worst financial slumps in its history.
Quite simply, we are almost completely out of money and I dont have anyone to turn to but you.
I cant go to banks for a loan. They dont make loans to non-profit organizations like ours.
I cant go to foundations for a grant. They require six months to a year before they make their grant decisions.
And I dont have any rich uncles I can turn to, either.
I have only you.
And I need you to come through for us like never before, because this is one of our worst summers ever.
So we are told that they need a quarter of a million dollars, “fast.” All their projects are on hold. And what are these vital projects?
All of our projects are starving for money right now.
For instance, were gearing up to go to World Youth Day in July to protect our Catholic youth from the perverse influences of anti-Catholic Protestant Fundamentalists as well as Catholic dissenters such as Catholics for a Free Choice.
Aaah! Not perverse anti-Catholic Protestant Fundamentalists! And how much do they need to fight off the legions of Jack Chick fans? $75,000.00! I remember when Rich and I went to Denver for World Youth day back in 1993. Might have cost $750.00, and we barely had that! I guess when you live in San Diego, everything costs ten times as much. Then there is $5,000 a week for CA Live! Evidently, the Staples/Gregg “debate” bundled with the Bible Answer Man NON-Debate just isn’t cutting the financial butter.
So to the folks in the CA fund raising department: enough already. Don’t you think the first three or four copies were sufficient to make your point? Is six really going to make a difference? Cut it out already. Have you considered maybe doing some real debates and making them available? You know, debates on the real issues where you actually prove your case? There’s an idea!