This Giving Tuesday, Dec. 3, Catholics wishing to donate to parishes, independent schools and affiliated nonprofits and ministries in the Archdiocese of Washington can participate in this year’s #iGiveCatholic campaign, a nationwide online giving event for the expansion of Catholic philanthropy during the year-end giving season. 

All of the archdiocese’s 139 parishes, as well as various independent schools, nonprofits and ministries have their own webpage that can be found on https://washington.igivecatholic.org. Advanced day giving will take place beginning Nov. 18 until Dec. 2, with the campaign running on Dec. 3 to correspond with Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Students at the University of Maryland participate in Mass. The Catholic Student center at the University of Maryland is one of the ministries in the Archdiocese of Washington participating in this year’s #iGiveCatholic campaign on Dec. 3. (CS photo/Andrew Biraj)

Jose Santa-Maria, development associate at the Archdiocese of Washington, said #iGiveCatholic began in the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 2015 with the hope to build “a culture of Catholic philanthropy and to help build the capacity of their ministries to conduct online giving campaigns and attract new and younger donors.” This year, 39 archdioceses and dioceses throughout the country are hoping to raise money for a total of 3,601 organizations. The Archdiocese of Washington is participating for the first time this year. 

“I cannot think of any three combined words more powerful than ‘I give Catholic,’” Santa-Maria said, adding that the opportunity for giving in this capacity is yet another way to share blessings and make a conscious effort to help others. 

The program also “helps (instigate) a greater interaction with parishes and nonprofit ministries,” he said. On each organization’s individual donation webpage, donors can find information about the ministry and how their funds might be used to benefit.

The Catholic Student Center at the University of Maryland was one of the first ministries in the Archdiocese of Washington to sign up to participate in #iGiveCatholic. 

Ann Gradowski, development director and administrator at the Catholic Student Center, said she was thankful the archdiocese provided the online resource for ministries to use. 

“When I saw that the archdiocese was participating...I knew we could be creative and put some stuff out there,” she said, noting her organization’s online presence with students, parents and alumni. “Through external outreach to online giving, it is one more way to invite people into the ministry and our mission.”

Funds donated to the University of Maryland Catholic Student Center will be put toward the organization’s annual appeal fund which will allow the center to continue sustaining its work. In addition to sponsoring several campus ministry events for students, the center also hosts retreats for students at various times throughout the year. 

“Primarily everything that we receive, unless specifically earmarked, is for the operational and overall benefit for the students,” Gradowski said.

Also participating in this year's #iGiveCatholic campaign are campus ministry programs at American University, St. Mary's College of Maryland, The Catholic University of America, Gallaudet University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University and Trinity Washington University.

The Archdiocese of Washington's #iGiveCatholic campaign also gives local Catholics the opportunity to support youth and young adult ministries, programs for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, the retired priests collection, programs supporting financial assistance for families sending their children to Catholic schools, and outreach ministries including pastoral care to the sick and imprisoned.

For more information on the Archdiocese of Washington’s #iGiveCatholic participation, visit https://washington.igivecatholic.org.

A Catholic Charities volunteer serves meals to guests during the Nov. 26 annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless hosted by Catholic Charities in partnership with Pepco. The #iGiveCatholic campaign supports many outreach ministries in the Archdiocese of Washington. (CS photo/Andrew Biraj)