Conduct the In-Pew Appeal

at all Masses on February 9/10 or 16/17, 2019

The in-pew aspect of the ACTS is targeted primarily to those who typically do not give to the ACTS.  Our records indicate that once we receive a pledge from an individual or family, they usually continue to give to the ACTS annually.  Securing a first-time pledge is the secret to continued giving.  In-Pew Appeal Weekend is designed to help achieve increased participation from first-time contributors.

Pastors’ leadership is clearly evident in the results of the In-Pew appeal.  People by their very nature are more likely to offer financial support knowing that their gift will make a difference and help others in need.  We cannot assume that people across the Archdiocese are aware of the variety of services that are provided through ACTS-supported agencies.  Many ministries sponsored by the ACTS assist parish life, and other agencies and services extend the mission of every parish by serving special needs in our communities.  Therefore, the task of communicating the vital work of ACTS-funded agencies and ministries is critical.  In addition, the opportunity for stewardship to both parish and Archdiocese can be an equally motivating message for potential donors to the ACTS.

Multiple articles are planned for The Leaven, the ACTS video/audio recording, and mailings sent to all registered Catholic households throughout the Archdiocese. This communication enhances your effort to engage your parishioners in the life of their Church.

Pastors are responsible for the “rate of participation.” In-Pew Appeal Weekend is deliberately scheduled near the end of the ACTS campaign, after weeks of building momentum.  We have found that the use of a strong appeal in which the pastor describes, in a personal way, his thoughts on the value of the ACTS followed by the in-pew appeal has proven to be persuasive with parishioners.  To this point in the campaign parishioners have elected to participate in the ACTS in a voluntary way: by submitting a pledge card they received at home through the collection at Mass. The In-Pew Appeal conducted during appeal weekend is vital in order to increase participation. With proper planning this method may make the difference in reaching your appeal target.  This is the most important “ask” of the appeal.

Appeal Weekend (week 5 or week 6) is the most important weekend of the Archbishop’s Call to Share.  By employing an effective In-Pew Appeal Weekend plan, your parish can reach the majority of Mass-going parishioners who have yet to make their own gifts to the campaign.  Appeal Weekend may be your parish’s best chance to make its goal, and for all parishes combined, it offers a real opportunity for the Archdiocese to reach its overall goal.

Since Appeal Weekend is so critical to the overall success of this effort, you are encouraged to use your best judgment in determining which weekend will be most successful for your parish.  The appeal weekend options are February 9/10 or February 16/17.

In-Pew Appeal Weekend Procedures

After Christmas, a supply of in-pew pledge envelopes will be shipped to your parish along with other appeal materials.  You will receive a supply equal to the number of households registered in the parish.  Please call the Office of Stewardship & Development to request a different number of envelopes.

In preparation for Appeal Weekend, please consider the following:

  • Review the suggested remarks for pastors and make them as personal as possible.
  • Train the ushers in advance to pass out Appeal Weekend pledge envelopes at each Mass at the start your presentation in order to conduct the in-pew appeal.  Your Parish Appeal Coordinator could assist you with that communication. Please note that merely putting the envelopes in the pew does not have the same impact.
  • Begin your presentation and in-pew appeal at one of the following times during the Mass.

Before Mass begins
• After the distribution of Holy Communion

  • Encourage participation of parishioners at any level, but emphasize pledges with monthly payments over a ten-month period, ranging from $10 to $75 per month.  Crosier Society members are those who pledge 1% of their income or $1,000 or more.

Suggested Remarks for the Pastor’s In-Pew Solicitation

[Instruct the ushers to distribute the pledge envelopes.]

I would like to ask a representative of each household to take an envelope and a pencil that are now being distributed by the ushers.

We at (parish) have been involved actively in an important appeal of the Archdiocese, namely the Archbishop’s Call to Share.  This effort is the lifeblood of our greater Church of Northeast Kansas that assists our parish with a variety of ministries, as well as those among us with significant needs.  By participating in the ACTS, we demonstrate our support for programs that affect us, but also those ministries that “act” out what we believe in.  As Catholics we are proudly more than just our parish here at (parish), and the ACTS is one of the best ways we have to express the unity that exists among all Catholic parishes.

I am pleased to report that toward our target of $(target), (number of donors) gifts have already been received totaling $(pledge total).  This is (percent of target)% of our target from only (percent participation)% of our parish family!  With so many of you making commitments today, I am confident that your gifts will bring us over our goal.

Every household is asked to fill out an envelope today, even if you have already given.  First, print your name, address, phone number and email address on the envelope. (Pause and wait until all are finished.)

If you have already made a gift to the campaign, please write “AMEN” across the envelope.  Thank you so much for your commitment!

If you have not yet made a gift, this is now your opportunity to join our parish effort.  Please review the giving opportunities suggested in the envelope.  When you are ready, please select the amount of a pledge on the envelope.  Pledges are over a ten-month period.  Archbishop Naumann has challenged all of us to participate and I encourage you to do the same.  Finally check how you would like to make your payments on the pledge – monthly, quarterly, or other.  The Office of Stewardship & Development at the Archdiocese will send reminders based on the plan you choose.

We want to hear from everyone!  Those we have not heard from after today, we will attempt to contact soon.  Please turn in an envelope today!  When you’re finished, seal your envelope, and ushers will collect them.  If you need additional time, please keep the envelope and drop it in the offertory basket next weekend.  Thank you very much for your participation in the Archbishop’s Call to Share.  I would like to especially thank (Lay Presenter(s) and Parish Appeal Coordinator) for the leadership they have provided in helping me with this important effort.  Our success means a great deal to me and this parish.  God bless each of you for your generosity.

 

Printable Version of Pastor's Remarks