Donations Ripple Across Communities and Countries
Whether it’s a handful of change from a piggy bank or a significant return on investments, donations to the Sisters of the Holy Cross better the lives of people in need across the globe. Every donation creates a ripple effect that adds a bit of goodness to a world that often feels unstable.
What Christ wants from us
One couple in particular has been impressed with the manner in which the sisters handle donations and interact with donors. In 2020, they gave to an appeal for a much-needed bus to safely transport students at one of the Congregation’s sponsored schools in Uganda.
“The appeal provided us the opportunity to assist parents who want their children to have a better situation in life,” said the couple, who wish to remain anonymous. “That is a goal that is so much in line with what we think Christ wants from us that we could not refuse.” At every point along the process, up to when the bus — three, actually! — were purchased and put into service, donors were kept apprised of the progress. The couple liked that level of commitment and communication.
Trust and support
So when they looked at the impact a gift of appreciated stock could bring, they knew what they wanted to do with it: “God has granted us many blessings. We want to use these blessings to help others. The bottom line is we trust the sisters and we buy into their mission and want to support it.”
The couple also like the efficiency with which the Congregation directs donations straight to the sisters in ministry. “That is important to us because so many other charitable organizations seem to use too much of their donations for marketing and overhead,” they said.
The specific beneficiary of the couple’s generosity was the sisters’ Ministry With the Poor Fund, which in fact deducts zero from donations for overhead or other expenses. One hundred percent of every dollar makes its way to a vetted, identified need that has the on-site involvement of at least one Sister of the Holy Cross.
Stunned and thrilled
When she opened the initial email from the couple regarding their proposed donation, Sister M. Rose Edward (Goodrow), CSC, director of the Development Office for the Congregation, was stunned. It isn’t every day that nearly $235,000 in a stock donation appears out of the blue.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “In my 11 years here, this has never happened. But I was thrilled, too. I knew that so many people’s lives were going to be bettered because of this phenomenal gift.”
“God has granted us many blessings. We want to use these blessings to help others. The bottom line is we trust the sisters and we buy into their mission and want to support it.”
Sister Rose set up a Zoom meeting with the couple and brought into the conversation Daniel Flowers, assistant director of development, who works directly with Ministry With the Poor. Together, the four collaborated on how and where the money could best be used.
The donors shared that they were inclined toward educational ministries, and they preferred the donation be used in Africa and Asia. Sisters of the Holy Cross operate or serve in several ministries in Ghana, Uganda, Bangladesh and India, so Daniel queried sisters in those countries about the needs and priorities of their communities. Sisters then wrote proposals for the most pressing needs, and these were reviewed by the Development Office and Congregation leadership. The final list was discussed among Sister Rose, Daniel and the donors.
A deeper engagement
Daniel recalled, “I was moved by the donors’ generosity and care, especially for their focus on the needs of ministries in Asia and Africa. I appreciated their willingness to engage in dialogue about how to make the gift most impactful. It was a wonderful way to stimulate discussion of needs and how those needs could be met.”
The collaboration brought a deeper engagement to the selection process. “It has worked out wonderfully,” the donors said. “This interactive process helped us become familiar with many people and their problems and how the sisters are helping.”
On the receiving end
Throughout the next year, the donors received regular updates on the 13 projects funded through their gift. Photos showed them the joy of the people doing the work and those who would be benefiting. “The only way we can describe our reaction is, ‘Wow!’” they said. “What a wonderful reward for us to see the smiles and receive letters telling us how important it is that someone halfway around the world cares about them.”
“The scale of the donation’s impact in so many locations and ministries is just beautiful,” added Sister Rose. “The gift has funded an incredible array of programs and services. We are so blessed to have received this gift from this loving couple.”
For their part, the couple concluded, “We were humbled by the gratitude of the sisters and the beneficiaries. We thought we were giving, but soon realized that we were on the receiving end.”
A True Win-Win
Donating appreciated stocks that have been held for more than one year can be a wise philanthropic decision. This gift enables donors to make a meaningful donation to the Sisters of the Holy Cross while receiving a tax deduction for the charitable donation AND avoiding capital gains taxes.
Many people don’t realize you can donate stock directly to the Congregation and bypass all the taxation issues that might be a concern. The donors in this story noted, “The fact that we could also take a tax deduction for the gift at the current value of the mutual fund shares we donated was an extra bonus. And we have since learned that another approach to tax savings is to donate some or all of our Required Minimum IRA distributions, which might be even more tax effective since it actually reduces your income for the year, a 100 percent deduction.”
Donors are welcome to discuss how and where they would like their donation used. “We are open to conversations and dialogue with donors of any amount about the needs of the communities where we minister,” said Sister Rose. “You won’t wonder if your money has been used wisely, if it made a difference, and whether lives were improved by it.”
If you would like to learn more about these options, please contact the Development Office at (574) 284-5641 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to provide instructions and answer any question you or your broker may have.
Across 13 ministries in four countries, the anonymous $235,000 donation has touched many lives.
Education is always a driving cause for our Congregation. Funds covered basics like textbooks, computers, and school and office supplies. But the funding went further with access to clean water, solar power, safe transportation and more. It even covered operational costs for an entire year to help a school recover from the disruptions of COVID.
Our 160-year health care ministry carries on across many oceans. Funds assisted with food for anemic and weak children, outreach to pregnant women and new mothers, and an ambulance for transporting critically ill patients. The impact was immediate, with funds also providing access to doctors and addressing issues of diabetes, pregnancy, education on disease threats, and much more.
One of the sisters’ early ministries in the United States was assisting orphans in Bertrand, Michigan, more than 175 years ago. Many of those same basic needs have now been met in Uganda with the purchase of chickens and cows, plus inverter batteries for sustained solar power.
The gift is helping women discern and find their spiritual calling, ensuring that our formation work around the world continues.
Empowering people, particularly women, is vital to our mission. To help women learn an income-earning trade, the funds provided trainers, materials, supplies, computers and stipends.
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The story shared here was also printed in one of our publications. If you are interested in a copy of the latest issue inSpirit magazine or the Annual Giving Report, use the button below and fill out our online request form. You can also sign-up to receive the online newsletter from the Development Office of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.