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THREAD: A basic primer on how money flows from you to the @USCCB.

1) There are three main ways that money goes from your wallet to the USCCB:
• National Collections
• Special Collections
• Diocesan Assessments

(Financial reports can be found here: usccb.org/about/financia…)
1b) (There are other ways the USCCB receives money, such as government grants, private grants, investment income, etc.), but here I am just focused on how money goes from the average pew-sitting Catholic to the USCCB.)
2) National Collections are those regularly-scheduled “second collections” at your parish for things like Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and the Collection for the Church in Latin America.
3) These funds are “restricted” funds. This means that the USCCB, by law, must use them for the designated organization. The USCCB has varying levels of control over these organizations.
4) Special Collections are typically for disaster relief. If a hurricane or some other natural disaster hits, often the USCCB will ask parishes to include a second collection for relief.

Like National Collections, these funds are restricted to be used for the designated cause.
5) Diocesan Assessments are where things get interesting. These assessments are a “tax” that dioceses are required to pay to the USCCB for its general operating expenses. These funds are unrestricted, so the USCCB can use them however it wants.
6) The USCCB has a formula to calculate how much each diocese owes, but I haven’t been able to find in any public records how that formula is calculated. However, earlier this week +Chaput noted that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s assessment was $257,000/year.
7) Also, this week there was a motion to raise the assessment amount by 3%, which was voted down (led by Chaput), but there are still absentee bishops who have to vote, which may push it over to approval.
8) Diocesan assessments by the USCCB are essentially the same as parish assessments most dioceses have. Every parish must send a “tax” to the diocese for the diocese’s general operating expenses. This is (usually) separate from the “Bishop’s Appeal” that many dioceses have.
9) So here is how the money flows from your wallet to the USCCB:

• You give to your parish.
• Your parish must send a percent of that to the diocese (parish assessment).
• Your diocese must send a percent of that to the USCCB (diocesan assessment).
10) There are some ways you can try to restrict your donations to the parish from going to the USCCB, but in general, if you give to your parish, you give to the USCCB, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
11) Reviewing the USCCB diocesan assessments over the past few years, they have slowly increased over time:

2018: $11.6M
2017: $11.6M
2016: $11.3M
2015: $11.0M
2014: $10.6M
2013: $10.7M
2012: $10.4M
2011: $10.3M
2010: $10.1M
2009: $10.0M

(Source: usccb.org/about/financia…)
12) This could reflect steadily increased giving at the parish level, but it more likely reflects the fact that the USCCB has increased the percent of the diocesan assessment over the years, as they are trying to do again this year (it was increased most recently two years ago).
13) The USCCB also makes money from the sale of publications and royalty income. And of course a lot of the USCCB’s money comes from government grants, but that is used for specific purposes such as migration services.
14) The funding of the institution of the USCCB, however, is mostly from the diocesan assessments, which means it is mostly from you, the parish-supporting Catholic.
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