Celebrating the Accomplishments of 2009
January 7, 2010
As 2010 begins, Episcopal Relief & Development would like to express thanks for the generosity of Episcopalians in 2009. Looking back on a challenging year, it is important to recognize and celebrate the many triumphs made possible by the continued support of the Episcopal Church. Two of this year’s major achievements are the implementation of a new Strategic Plan and the adoption of Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday. In addition, fundraising efforts have been a great success, as donors continued to contribute despite the tough economic climate.
Launch of the Strategic Plan
In spring 2009, after a year and a half of careful consideration, Episcopal Relief & Development launched a new Strategic Plan that identified five goals for the organization: International Programs, US Disaster Preparedness and Response, Visibility and Awareness, Funding and Church Engagement.
These goals are crucial to Episcopal Relief & Development’s continued success as they set organizational priorities through the triennium. In particular, the increased focus on church engagement will bolster the agency’s relationships with congregations by increasing networking, providing churches with tools and resources and utilizing social media to keep supporters informed and involved.
Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday
At the 76th General Convention, Lent was officially designated as a time to encourage dioceses, congregations and individuals to remember and support the life-saving work of Episcopal Relief & Development.
“We are deeply grateful that Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday has been made an official part of the Church’s Lenten commemoration,” said Brian Sellers-Petersen, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Director of Church Engagement. “Many congregations have been marking the occasion for some time now as a reminder that Lent is an important time to remember those impacted by poverty and disease worldwide.”
In November 2009, Episcopal Relief & Development presented Episcopalians with a unique opportunity to have all donations matched. Made possible by a commitment from two generous donors to match each contribution, dollar-for-dollar up to $250,000, individuals could donate to the fund of their choice with the matching portion of the gift allocated to the Area of Greatest Need Fund. By the end of the month, Episcopal Relief & Development received over $1.3 million in donations, nearly triple the goal.
This year also marked the third and final year of the Millennium Development Goal Inspiration Fund. The fund was established in 2007, with a grant of $862,400 from the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, 0.7% of the church’s annual budget. In the three subsequent years, Episcopal Relief & Development worked with congregations around the country to raise enough money to meet the target goal of $3 million. At the conclusion of 2009, the total amount raised exceeded $3.26 million.
Two-thirds of the money from the MDG Inspiration Fund will go to Episcopal Relief & Development’s program partner NetsforLife®, which works to prevent malaria through the provision of insecticide-treated mosquito nets in 17 African countries. The other third will be used to promote health programs in Latin American and the Caribbean. Episcopal Relief & Development is working in partnership with Jubilee Ministries to fund programs in these regions that prevent malaria, HIV/AIDS, water-borne illnesses and acute respiratory infections; provide maternal health care; and train community health workers.
“As the Millennium Development Goal Inspiration Fund comes to an end, we are excited to continue working together in the coming months as we launch a new campaign, the NetsforLife®Inspiration Fund,” said Rob Radtke, Episcopal Relief & Development President. “This fund, which gained approval and support at General Convention 2009, will further the work of Episcopal Relief & Development’s program partnership NetsforLife®. It is only through the continued support of the Episcopal Church that this life-saving work is made possible.”
To make a contribution to help people worldwide, please visit www.episcopalrelief.org, or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.
Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States and an independent 501(c)(3) organization. The agency takes its mandate from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Together with the worldwide Church and ecumenical partners, Episcopal Relief & Development strengthens communities today to meet tomorrow’s challenges. We rebuild after disasters and empower people by offering lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.