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Record living to PWRDF in 'year of disaster': new focus on planned giving.

Canadian Anglicans recorded an extraordinary level of giving in 2005 to the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, responding generously during "the year of the disaster" and continuing to support development projects abroad and native ministry at home.

The Toronto-based fund received $4.639 million in donations from individuals, parishes and dioceses in 2005, up 4.3 per cent from $4.449 million in 2004. The 2005 figure included $1.274 million given in response to specific disasters: the devastating South Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the Pakistan earthquake, civil war in the Sudanese province of Darfur, Hurricane Stan and famine in Niger. It also includes $357,000 donated towards the fund's campaign to benefit HIV/AIDS victims in Africa.

Canadians responded most generously to the South Asian tsunami, which struck on Dec. 26, 2004, giving a total of $1.339 million in 2004 and 2005.

"People have maintained a solid connection with the organization," said Beth Baskin, co-ordinator of public engagement.

She noted that the fund within the last six months redesigned its Web site and online donations were available for all of 2005.

Of the 30 dioceses, 17 increased their givings and 13 were lower. The diocese of Calgary's figures were affected by a $150,000 onetime donation in 2004 and the diocese of Nova Scotia recorded a donation in 2005 of $50,000 in securities, said Ms. Baskin.

This year, PWRDF staff are working on a plan "to focus financial development more finely and be more deliberate about connecting with planned giving officers," Ms. Baskin said.

The Anglican Church of Canada's planned giving office guides donors who wish to remember the church in their will, direct large gifts or donate through such instruments as charitable annuities.

Ms. Baskin said PWRDF was grateful that Canadians maintained their level of regular givings in addition to the special appeals. Excluding the $1.274 million in special donations, regular giving totaled $3.36S million, up 6.2 per cent from $3.166 million the previous year, a figure that excludes $1.282 million in special appeals.

"The year of the disaster" presented a special challenge, said Ms. Baskin. "The education piece for us is to try and help folks understand that the famine in Niger, the civil war in the Sudan are disasters as well. There is a severe famine developing now in northern Kenya," she said, adding that the fund expects to contribute to Action by Churches Together, a relief organization that unites efforts from several churches.

Solange De Santis

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Title Annotation:CANADA
Author:De Santis, Solange
Publication:Anglican Journal
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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