Catholic World News

Amid fall in support, government grants exceed private donations to Catholic Relief Services

July 26, 2013

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international relief and development agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, received $350 million more in revenue from the US government and other public funding sources than from private sources during its 2011-12 fiscal year, according to its new annual report.

Public funding fell 15%, private support declined nearly 13%, and operating expenses fell nearly 11% compared to the previous fiscal year.

CRS received a total of $501.3 million in public funding – down from $592.8 million the previous fiscal year – including $270.6 million in US government grants and $175.9 million in donated commodities and freight, during the latest fiscal year. Public sources of funding include several departments and programs of the United Nations and 20 governments besides the United States.

CRS received a total of $196.1 million in private support – down from $224.8 million the previous year – including $13.3 million from the Catholic Relief Services collection, $6.5 million from Operation Rice Bowl, $42.6 million in foundation and other private grants, $109.6 million in private contributions, and $22.1 million in bequests.

$683.3 million of the agency’s $732.4 million budget – down from $820.1 million the previous year – was devoted to program expenses, while $20.4 million was spent on management and general expenses, $6.9 million on public awareness, and $21.7 million on fundraising.

Catholic Relief Services served “more than 100 million people in 91 countries,” Carolyn Woo, the agency’s president and CEO, said in the report. The organization supported 130 education projects, 172 health projects, 44 small-enterprise projects, 363 emergency projects, 305 agricultural projects, 180 peace and justice projects, 184 HIV/AIDS projects, and 74 welfare projects.


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  • Posted by: Petronius - Jul. 28, 2013 2:25 PM ET USA

    The question is why the fall in private donations. The bishops are in bed with the government. And when you go to bed with the devil, sooner or later you are going to have to...

  • Posted by: chasann113163 - Jul. 27, 2013 8:02 AM ET USA

    I too agree with GymK , I personally have stopped giving as much as I once did because I don't know who to trust and I definatly don't trust the USCCB any more than I trust our government. I have family members that need help and I prefer to give my money directly to them, then I know where my money is going.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jul. 26, 2013 8:22 PM ET USA

    GymK makes a lot of sense here below. I agree. Turn CRS loose (and they can drop the word Catholic) and set up a truly Catholic Fund based on Christian love and caring to help the poor physically and spiritually. It's what our Lord has called us to do - and what our new Holy Father is urging.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jul. 26, 2013 7:17 PM ET USA

    With the latest news that they are giving "non-fungible" money (what a joke!) to abortion supporters, they will get nothing more from us.

  • Posted by: Jim.K - Jul. 26, 2013 7:16 PM ET USA

    Why would any practicing Catholic send money to CRS while they fund multiple anti-Catholic and anti-Life groups? I would love to support a true Catholic Charity but apparently the USCCB can't be trusted. Why not shut down CRS, let the Gov't do what they want and, run a truly Catholic Charity with whatever money Catholics would donate?! It may be smaller, but it would be "Catholic" and would spread the Gospel! We can certainly feed the hungry and clothe the naked without providing them condoms.

  • Posted by: rpp - Jul. 26, 2013 11:15 AM ET USA

    I will also add that this fall in support is directly related to the decrease in the deduction for charitable donations. Yet another vehicle for the federal government to take over charities.

  • Posted by: rpp - Jul. 26, 2013 11:13 AM ET USA

    I would rather not pay the tax and donate myself than have the government give to charities. In addition, money from the feds is never without significant strings. And those strings tend to involve actions and issues that are opposed to authentic Christian morality.