Frequently Asked Questions about the Living the Mission Campaign

Have a question? Find it on this list or submit one on the form following the questions

Who will participate in the Living the Mission campaign?

All 81 parishes and missions in the Diocese of Rapid City are participating in the campaign. All 7,500+ Catholic households across 43,000 square miles are asked to consider a financial pledge to Living the Mission.

How are parishes asked to participate?

Every parish will participate in the campaign. Parishes will conduct their campaign with the assistance of a Campaign Director and the Campaign Office between October 2018 and June 2019. This timetable, scheduled within a four month window, provides flexibility and should accommodate all parish situations. Each parish’s participation will be based on five principles:

  • Prayer
  • Personal visitation
  • Proportionate giving
  • Phased approach
  • Pledged commitments

What is the campaign target and what does the money go towards?

The target for Living the Mission is $12,000,000. This is a comprehensive capital campaign in which funds raised will go toward five needs:

  • New Pastoral Center
  • Priest Pension Plan
  • Native American Ministry Endowment
  • Rapid City Catholic School System Endowment
  • St. Thomas More High School Cafeteria and Multi-purpose Room

Will my parish benefit from the campaign?

When the parish goal is reached, all parishes receive 20% of parishioners’ gifts. All parishes will then receive 60% of gifts received over the parish goal. Likewise, all parishes benefit from shared ministries funded through Living the Mission campaign.

Why do we need this campaign?

Bishop Gruss is leading the Diocese of Rapid City into the future through the Diocesan Priority Plan: Reconciliation, Forming Disciples, and Funding the Mission. In order to Fund the Mission, Bishop Gruss recognized the question, “What is our mission?,” needed to be addressed first. The five needs funded by Living the Mission were identified as essential to carrying out the mission of Christ in western South Dakota.

Our Bishop asks that we realize together how important the Church is as the Body of Christ and that we work to make sure every reflection of who the Church is – in all parishes in the diocese – focuses on realizing the elements of the Diocesan Priority Plan.

What is an endowment?

An endowment is a fund or funds established through donors’ gifts. Investment earnings are used for a clearly stated purpose, with a portion of the interest income reinvested, allowing the endowment to grow. Two endowments are supported by Living the Mission: the Native American Ministry Endowment and the Rapid City Catholic School System Endowment. This will support staffing needs for ministries on the Native American reservations and school tuition and teacher salary assistance.

How was each parish goal established?

Each parish goal is 180% of the three-year average local parish offertory, rounded to the nearest $5,000.

How long does a study takeIs the parish campaign goal an assessment?

The parish campaign goal is not an assessment. Every parish is asked to make a good faith effort to implement the campaign according to the campaign plan.

How is Living the Mission different from the Annual Diocesan Appeal?

The Annual Diocesan Appeal is a vital source of yearly funding for the operating budget of the diocese. It supports day-to-day operations, programs, and ministries of the diocese. The Living the Mission campaign raises funds for needs above and beyond general operations including: a new pastoral center, the priest pension plan, a Native American ministry endowment, the Rapid City Catholic School System endowment, and a new cafeteria and multi-purpose room at St. Thomas More High School.

Will my parish conduct the Annual Diocesan Appeal during the Living the Mission campaign?

The Annual Diocesan Appeal will be conducted during Living the Mission to ensure the continued operation of the diocese. Living the Missionrequests for support are to a much greater scale.

How will this campaign impact the offertory of my parish?

Parish offertory is not expected to fluctuate during the Living the Mission campaign. Parishioners are asked to give above and beyond their regular offertory giving. Campaigns like Living the Mission can lead to increased offertory long-term. Parishioners may engage more deeply with their parishes because of the campaign, and increase their offertory giving when their pledge payments conclude.

What happens if my parish does not reach its target goal?

Parishes will have 5 years to reach their campaign target goal if they do not reach it in coordination with the Campaign Director and the Campaign Office.

Provided a parish has made a good faith effort and attempted to follow the campaign plan, Bishop Gruss and the diocesan offices will review the parish’s effort and determine a reasonable course of action.

Should a parish refuse to cooperate with the fundraising plan, the diocesan offices has the right to recommend an assessment of the parish’s target goal.

Why does my request letter ask for a specific gift amount?

A gift amount is suggested for each household to reach the $12,000,000 goal based on prior giving to their local parish. Each household’s financial situation is different. Please pray about a gift proportionate to your capability.

Why ask parishioners for different amounts? Isn’t it easier and fair to divide the parish goal by the number of households?

It certainly would be easier. However, it would not be fair and would hinder a parish reaching its goal. A principle of this campaign is each that each parishioner consider their support in accordance with the blessings they have received. Gift requests are based on past giving to the parish. All parishioners will be asked to give to Living the Mission, but not everyone will be able to give at the same level.

Why encourage pledges over a 5-year period?

Living the Mission encourages pledges over a 5-year period to spread out the financial commitment over time. This allows parishioners to participate sacrificially while considering their financial planning. Donors who pledge usually make gifts 4-5x larger than those who make one-time gifts.

How can I be sure my campaign gift goes towards the needs outlined in the case for support?

While gifts to Living the Mission are unrestricted, the diocese has a moral and legal obligation to restrict the use of campaign funds for the needs stated in the case for support. Funds raised in the campaign will be used only as described.

Why are gifts to Living the Mission unrestricted?

Gifts to Living the Mission are unrestricted in order to ensure all needs in the case for support are funded. While some parishioners care more deeply about some needs than others, restricted gifts tend to leave needs unfunded. In that case, the need remains one into the future.

How were the 5 needs funded by Living the Mission determined?

Living the Mission comes from the Diocesan Priority Plan: Reconciliation, Forming Disciples, and Funding the Mission. In addition to 2.5 years of prayerful consideration, Bishop Gruss formed a planning committee with representatives from the diocese and the Catholic schools to identify needs necessary to continue living the mission of Christ. 14 listening sessions were hosted across the diocese and information was placed in the West River Catholic to garner input from all parish communities. Finally, a feasibility study was conducted across the diocese to test all current and future needs identified. These 5 were determined as most important.

Why is each donor asked to complete a pledge card?

Each donor is asked to complete a pledge card so their gift will be appropriately recorded and acknowledged. The pledge card is an indication of good faith, an intent to meet the terms of the gift, and is not legally binding.

What if I am unable to fulfill my original pledge amount?

Unanticipated events or situations can occur. If financial circumstances change, a donor may contact the Office of Development or the Finance Office to adjust, pause, or cancel their pledge.

How will I be asked to participate in Living the Mission?

Your pastor and local campaign volunteers will explain how and when you will be invited to participate in Living the Mission. All parishioners can participate now by praying for the success of Living the Mission and considering their blessings in their prayers. Parishioners will be approached with personal visits, by mail and phone, and in the parish regarding how they can make pledged commitments to the campaign. Please accept any invitation to discuss the campaign with open minds and hearts, and as though the individual contacting you were your Pastor.

When will I have the opportunity to pledge to Living the Mission?

Parishioners will have the opportunity to pledge to Living the Mission when their parishes participate in the campaign at a local level. Please review the Participating Parishes page to see at what time your parish is participating in Living the Mission.

How will pledges be collected?

Completed pledge cards will be collected at the parish and sent to the diocesan Office of Development. Pledge payments will be collected by the Office of Development. Pledge reminders are available monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

What ways can I make a pledge to Living the Mission?

Gifts to Living the Mission can be made most any way that is appropriate for the donor:

  • Cash
  • Check
  • ACH or Electronic Funds Transfer
  • Credit or Debit Card
  • Gift of Stock/Commodities

Are stock and planned gifts accepted?

Donors may give appreciated securities. Bequests and other deferred gifts may also be made. Donors considering such gifts should contact the Office of Development. Please also review the IRA Rollover and Gifts of Grain Flyers available in your parishes.

To whom should checks be made payable?

Checks for the campaign should be made payable to Living the Mission Capital Campaign.

Are gifts to Living the Mission tax-deductible?

All gifts made to the campaign are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Donors should consult a tax professional if they have any questions about the tax treatment of their contributions.

How will remaining pledged commitments to the We Walk by Faith campaign and the Terra Sancta Guild be fulfilled?

Thank you for your significant gifts to these efforts. The needs for We Walk by Faith have been fulfilled. The Terra Sancta Guild has been suspended. Bishop Gruss recommends that any remaining pledged commitments or incoming gifts to these efforts be dedicated to the Living the Mission campaign. Please contact the diocese Office of Development to discuss how to transfer any pledged commitments or gifts to Living the Mission.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like more information regarding Living the Mission, please fill out the contact form below:

You are likewise welcome to reach out to Fr. Michel Mulloy or the Campaign Office directly to discuss Living the Mission: