Support with money
There are, of course, many very wonderful things that can be done with lots of money
(and we deal with some of them elsewhere on this page or this website); but none can equal
the moral support of your becoming a member or other supporter of the cause for which
the chapter was formed. So please see (and give priority to) the first item in the
Support in other ways section, in the column to the right.
But getting back to money, here is a list of some of the methods that the chapter uses to raise
money (and it will be pleased to receive financial support from you as well,
irrespective of whether you are a member but always in accordance with your means):
Sunday collection basket
Yes, we do pass the collection basket at Masses to help to cover the day-to-day expenses (and
we also put out a free-will-offering basket at events that do cost the chapter money, for
those inclined to help shoulder the expenses).
Yes, we schedule some events for the express purpose of raising funds, for the chapter's General
Fund and, at least in some instances, for some specific worthy cause.
In the Fall of each year, we ask all to consider making a pledge of their financial
support for the upcoming year, to help the chapter Council in adopting a budget.
Just how and when the pledged amount is paid may vary, from a single payment to two semi-annual
payments to monthly payments to a little extra on Sundays. The commitment to help support the
chapter for the upcoming year is what is important, not the payment method; but it is
important to identify
the payment as being a pledge payment and from whom, for chapter recordkeeping
purposes (and so that it can provide a receipt at the end of the year that
will satisfy the IRS for those who wish to take a charitable deduction on
their tax returns).
The chapter does accept, with no questions asked, your spontaneous generosity in whatever
amount you wish and without any commitment about how long it might be before you do
something like it again -- if ever. It makes budgets a tad more difficult, but we will deal with it.
Donations for some designated purpose are accepted when the chapter has a fund for that
particular purpose (and otherwise, if approved by the chapter, and approval is usually
routine). Donations in this category range, for example, from a donation to the chapter's AIDS Fund
to donations to purchase flowers for use on the altar during Mass to help commemurate an anniversary.
They are a wonderful way to personalize a donation.
We encourage members to include the chapter when they do their estate planning, no matter
the amount. We are even considering sponsoring an estate planning seminar, from time to
time, to assist members in facing up to a duty few really enjoy. Such efforts have borne
fruit in the past in the Dignity movement.
Endowment Fund Trust
Although the chapter does not yet have an Endowment
with money continues at the
top of the next column
Fund Trust, some Dignity chapters do. Such a Trust can serve as a vehicle for receiving and
investing donations to it, to provide a regular stream of investment income for the chapter's
general use. Donations to such a Trust are particularly suitable when a large
or one-time donation is involved, for example as part of your estate plan.
In the interest of full disclosure: Dignity/USA remits to the chapter a small portion of
the membership dues paid by a chapter member. Needless to say, Dignity/USA raises funds
from many sources other than membership dues as well; for more info on the fundraising
activities of Dignity/USA, click
Support in other ways
There are many ways that you can support the chapter besides donating money. Below
are listed just a few (and the first one listed is the most important).
Becoming a member
The most effective way to demonstrate your support is to become a Dignity member. It
lends moral support; and it shows your support in a very concrete way. When Dignity
raises its voice in support of the GLBT cause, all will listen more fully if it has
really a lot of members. Help us amplify and empower its voice by becoming a member
yourself, even if you cannot afford to pay dues. Click
for more information on supporting Dignity, by becoming a Dignity member (or
otherwise). Please do not forget to also sign up there for Dignity's free
on-line News Service.
Spreading the word
This may be redundant; but.....: If it helps to amplify and to empower Dignity's voice
for you yourself to become a member, think how much more it would do so if you (and all
the other members and supporters of Dignity) were to persuade even a few friends to
explore becoming Dignity supporters. Just consider how much power you have to contribute
to real reform of Church and Society!
The chapter (and virtually all of Dignity) is a volunteer effort. That means that it
operates by virtue of members who volunteer their services; and more volunteers
are always welcome. It may be simply a case of volunteering to help with some existing
chapter activity (and that is how most volunteering gets started). Also significant,
however, is a member who volunteers both a good idea and also some time to work on
implementing the idea (usually with help from others also). That is precisely how
many of the best chapter projects got their start.
Since volunteering has already been mentioned, just what does networking add? If
everything needed were planned perfectly in advance, the volunteer work might cover
it; but of course, not all needs are covered by planning. We are a faith community;
and salvation takes place in community. That means that we all need to be attentive
to the needs of each member of the community. In a theological manner of speaking, we
really do need to be Christ to one another, on a continual basis; or, as President
Kennedy famously phrased it in his inaugural address, "On this Earth, God's work must
truly be our own."
Support with money
While the chapter's financial resources are limited (and we do not serve as a conduit
for funds from governmental agencies or any other organizations), we do have some
resources and are sometimes able to assist those found to be most in need, including:
We are blessed to have an AIDS Fund. At this time, the Fund primarily contributes to
organizations that have staff and facilities to use funds most effectively to assist
those individuals who are most in need. However, sometimes it can assist an individual
directly, mainly long-time chapter members and for emergency necessities that agencies
are unable to provide in a timely manner.
Even though there cannot be a regular schedule, special needs do come up, from time to
time. The members (and other supporters) who can afford to do so (as well as the chapter
itself, if it itself can afford to do so) may be asked to make a special donation, so that a
contribution can be made in the name of Dignity.
Support in other ways
For most of us, Dignity serves as a church. Although it is a church-reform movement
more than a church as such (and it is
not subject to
the jurisdiction of any church as such), it serves in the meantime functions that are usually
performed by a church. When we go to Mass, it is usually
to go to Mass at Dignity Center;
when we become ill and are in need of the Sacraments, we call Dignity; and the list goes
on and on.
Though we listed networking as something that you can do to contribute to Dignity, it
needs to be mentioned again at this point, because the networking that we do is in a
very real sense a gift given to ourselves. The social networking we provide is the
social network from which we benefit; in other words, what goes around comes around.
Intangible spiritual benefits
Those who itemize their deductions on their income tax returns will know that to deduct
a donation to an eligible organization, it has to be a real donation for the benefit of
the charitable (or other tax-exempted) purpose(s) of the organization; i.e. it cannot
be simply a disguised way of a taxpayer buying something for the taxpayer himself. Using
bureaucratic jargon, this legal requirement is reflected in an IRS requirement that
the receipts for donations to tax-exempt organizations are to recite that the donor did
not receive anything in return for having made a donation; but in recognition that the
Spirit will (or, more importantly in legal jargon, may be believed by the taxpayer to)
provide a reward, the IRS recognizes (and thus it permits the required receipt for a
donation to recognize) an exception for the donor's having been the ricipient of an
"intangible spiritual benefit" for having made the donation. We do hope that, in this
limited instance at least, you will concur with the IRS: there is an intangible spiritual
benefit to you when you contribute to the chapter, irrespective of whether the nature of
your donation (and your tax situation) makes it of interest to the IRS. For the Spirit doth