Critical Work of the Laity Continues at Catholic Exchange

Dear Friend of Catholic Exchange:

Here at year-end 2008, Catholic Exchange is facing an urgent need. We are not asking for a government bailout or telling you we are going out of business. We are resourceful and entrepreneurial and have yielded much fruit over the past several years from very limited resources. But the economic downturn is hurting us, and we are appealing for some relief for our dedicated staff.

I’m coming to you for help because you were there for us in the past when the need was necessary and urgent. Could you consider sacrificing a similar amount, or possibly even more, to help us at this critical point?  If you can, we’ll send you an exciting gift that will, in this current economic climate, help to change the way you think about money and how it works, so that it can start working better for you.

We’re hanging tough in tough times.

Our apostolate is as resilient as they come. We lost 30% of our users due to our catastrophic tech transfer in 2007, and building it back has been an uphill battle.  We have seen the abyss, and without the support of faithful friends like you, we would never have made it through these past 18 months.

Over that time, we learned to make our tight ship even tighter and use the creativity of our small staff to stretch your donated dollars to the limit. In fact, this is only the second time this year that we have asked for your financial help.

The bottom line is that I need to raise $45,000 in the next 30 days, preferably by December 31st, in order to continue our ongoing outreach as planned.

All of our expenses are fixed. We pay no monthly office rent. All our equipment is paid for. Our officers work for free. We have only to pay a web hosting bill and a tech support bill to keep our site from going dark, plus very modest part-time salaries to a few staffers who give of themselves and dedicate their work to you, our viewers. That’s it. 

Could you help give our staff some security and peace of mind knowing that their salaries will be there for the foreseeable future? The work they do on a largely volunteer basis is positively heroic.

The world needs quality Catholic media more than ever.

I believe it’s a blessing to live during such challenging times. We are daily made more aware of how much we need each other. While in the process of writing this, I heard from a friend who miraculously survived the Taj Hotel attack in Mumbai, hiding in various spots in the compound for over eight hours. The experience affirmed and indeed strengthened him in his Catholic faith, and Catholic Exchange was honored to bring you his exclusive story.

We’re being attacked here in California for our strong defense of Proposition 8, which was a fantastic, though perhaps transient, victory for marriage and family nationwide. Members of our board are personally under fire, their livelihoods and public reputations threatened, because of the stand we took. But our faith is affirmed and indeed strengthened, and we continue spreading Christ’s light each day.

As America enters a period of deeper darkness and confusion, it is urgent that Catholic Exchange continues spreading the Faith. Now is the time to stand up for truth and sanity. Now is the time to stand up for our Catholic principles. Now is the time to increase evangelization in media, not scale it back. I have faith that the Good Lord will inspire friends like you to help us keep CE going.

Our online and DVD outreach is more important than ever before, wouldn’t you agree? The more people who read our inspiring articles each day, the more they’ll understand God’s vital role in their lives and his free gift of grace. The more who see our Champions of Faith films or read our Passion, Narnia or DaVinci guidebooks, the less likely they’ll be to renounce their religious heritage and be swept up in the media-driven rhetoric of the Culture of Death.

God is calling us to work harder to turn our society around, and I need your ongoing prayerful and financial support to accomplish that through our humble apostolate, now eight years old.

We’re frugal and efficient in handling your donated dollars.

Consider what your gifts and prayers helped make possible in 2008:

  • Champions of Faith Sequel. Thanks to your gifts and prayers, this year we produced a companion film to our smash hit, Champions of Faith: Baseball. The Bases of Life is being called the most inspiring Catholic catechetical film ever produced. This film is changing lives, bringing men back to the sacraments, strengthening young people in the faith, revitalizing families’ prayer lives, and giving hope to those searching for meaning in our modern culture.
  • Our Nationwide Speaking Outreach. I made personal appearances on the Trinity Broadcast Network, EWTN (TV and radio), Relevant Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, Salem Radio Newtork, local TV and radio stations, and in parishes around the country this year spreading an urgent message of faith in Christ, stewardship, and reliance on God’s grace to transform ourselves and our culture.
  • Development of Upcoming DVDs. With your continued help we will soon be ready to launch two inspiring new film projects — Champions of Faith: Football and Theology of the Body with Christopher West. Both are expected to profoundly impact the Church and the culture at large, as our prior films have done.
  • New Website. We have completely revamped our website, adding three sub-sites and offering an increased menu of services and resources, not to mention New Interactivity Features that make for some of the most interesting reading available in the online Catholic world.
  • New Channels Ready for 2009 Release. Following fast on the heels of our new Woman’s channel, to be unveiled within weeks, will come new channels focusing on spirituality for Catholic men, the cultural scene, and Catholic social teaching, including information on volunteer and service opportunities in the U.S. Expanded offerings about education will cover the current academic scene, including Catholic education and homeschooling.
  • New Media. Our content areas are being enhanced also by new media — podcasts  and videos — that are now available on our site and which offerings we will be expanding in the coming months. Right now the podcast and video content on the channels mirrors what is on the homepage, but that will be changing as we begin adding more customized material for our individual content channels.
  • Improved News Section. As many of you are aware, our news section was broken for a long time and the source of frustration for some. But those days are behind us thanks to your support. A new cooperative arrangement with Headline Bistro (a service of the Knights of Columbus) has allowed us to offer regularly updated headlines in an attractive format.
  • User Services. Our email system is now robust and complaints about email are a thing of the past. The switch to our new tech platform was successful, thank God (and thanks to dedicated staff who, with no expectation of extra pay, worked many late nights for months to carry us through this crucial transition). 

As you can see, despite financial constraints, our staff has been busy this year — incredibly busy! — putting your donated dollars to work in promoting the Catholic values so close to your heart and mine. These Catholic values could transform our whole society and reclaim it for Jesus Christ — perhaps in one generation — if we live the truths of our Faith and share them with others. CE inspires people to do just that.

Please rush your tax-deductible, end-of-year gift to us right away!

Regarding the current financial emergency, we need to raise $45,000 so we can enter the New Year with a clean slate and seamlessly launch the new initiatives and site features described above. I’m praying that we’ll be able to start the New Year in a position of financial strength.

I’m praying two heroes will step forward with gifts of $10,000 or more. Could you consider being one of the two? If not, please join me in praying for someone else to give at that level. I’m also requesting heroic sacrifices in the range of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000. Could you consider donating at that level? Catholic Exchange needs many gifts in the range of $500, $250, $100, $75, $50, or whatever you can sacrifice. Would one of those amounts be possible for you?

Given the unique economic environment that we find ourselves in today, for your special gift of $100 or more we would like to send you a hardback edition of: What Your Money Means: And How to Use It Well (a $21.95 retail price). This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the proper use and management of their wealth. Written by Frank Hanna, one of the leading Catholic financial minds of our generation, it provides answers to the troubling questions we all have in a changing economy. The book examines the role of money in our lives, no matter our station in life. Once we have money, what do we do with it, and why? Through a series of highly entertaining stories, Mr. Hanna takes us through a set of critical steps that allow us to distinguish between what we really need and what we don’t. Please help us out with a gift of $100 and let us bless your family with this phenomenal resource.

Setting up a monthly donation of any amount is an easy way to provide us with regular support that helps us to budget over the coming months. Would you please consider making a regular contribution to Catholic Exchange?  In appreciation for your monthly commitment of $25 or more, we will rush you a copy of What Your Money Means: And How to Use It Well. Why not help us with a one-time gift of $100 and set up a monthly contribution to get two copies of Frank Hanna’s helpful guide to money management — one to keep and one to give away?!

At whatever amount and whether a one-time gift or monthly contribution, we need your immediate help! No gift is too large, and no gift is too small. Please send whatever sacrificial amount you can this gift-giving season. Your gift will give us the ability to reach more souls and change more lives.

Please continue to pray for Catholic Exchange. And may God bless you and yours.

Tom Allen
President, Catholic Exchange

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