In spite of some studies that predicted Roman Catholics would dramatically reduce donations to the Catholic Church, surveys show that while several U.S. dioceses failed to meet their fund-raising goals, giving to parishes overall actually rose this year.
The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, released a donations report this month, which said collections were up. The report is based on surveys sent to the dioceses on behalf of the International Catholic Stewardship Council, an association of diocesan fund-raisers.
Joseph Claude Harris, an independent researcher in Seattle who analyzes Catholic giving, extrapolated CARA's data to estimate that parish collections rose by 4.9 percent last year to $5.8 billion, while giving to bishops' appeals dropped by 2.3 percent to $635 million.
Harris' findings are consistent with a survey made by the Gallup Organization and Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA.)
The poll, conducted last month, found most Catholics had not reduced donations to their parish or diocese. But 27 percent said they did not respond to national appeals from bishops, an increase from 19 percent last year.