Support with money
There are, of course, many very wonderful things that can be done with lots of money
(and we deal with some of them elsewhere on this page or this website); but none can equal
the moral support of your becoming a member or other supporter of the cause for which
the chapter was formed. So please see (and give priority to) the first item in the
Support in other ways section, in the column to the right.
But getting back to money, here is a list of some of the methods that the chapter uses to raise
money (and it will be pleased to receive financial support from you as well,
irrespective of whether you are a member but always in accordance with your means):
Sunday collection basket
Yes, we do pass the collection basket at Masses to help to cover the day-to-day expenses (and
we also put out a free-will-offering basket at events that do cost the chapter money, for
those inclined to help shoulder the expenses).
Yes, we schedule some events for the express purpose of raising funds, for the chapter's General
Fund and, at least in some instances, for some specific worthy cause. From time to time, during
the back-to-school period or around a major religious holiday, we raise funds for poor
students of a neighborhood school, to help pay for school clothes or a holiday meal that
their families could not otherwise afford.
In the Fall each year, we ask members to consider making a pledge of their financial
support for the upcoming year, to help the chapter Board in adopting a budget.
Just how and when the pledged amount is paid may vary, from a single payment to two semi-annual
payments to monthly payments to a little extra on Sundays. The commitment to help support the
chapter for the upcoming year is what is important, not the payment method.
The chapter does accept, with no questions asked, your spontaneous generosity in whatever
amount you wish and with no commitment about how long it could be before you do something
like it again, if ever. Makes budgets a tad more difficult, but we will deal with it.
Donations for some designated purpose are accepted when the chapter has a fund for that
particular purpose (and otherwise, if approved by the chapter, and approval is usually
routine). Donations in this category range, for example, from a donation to the chapter's AIDS Fund
to donations to purchase flowers for use on the altar during Mass to remember an anniversary of some
kind. They are a wonderful way to personalize a donation, just so long as the designated purpose is
not too kinky.
We encourage members to include the chapter when they do their estate planning, no matter the amount.
We even conduct an estate planning seminar, from time to time, in order to assist members in facing up
to a duty few really enjoy. Such efforts have borne fruit in the past, especially in enabling the
chapter to buy, and in short order pay for, the building that houses the Dignity Center and to carry on
generous AIDS Fund efforts.
with money continues at the
top of the next column
Endowment Fund Trust
The chapter has a trust called the Endowment Fund Trust of Dignity/Los Angeles. This Trust
serves as a vehicle for receiving and investing the donations to it, for the purpose of providing
a regular stream of investment income for the chapter's General Fund. Making a donation to this Trust
is particularly suitable when a large or one-time donation is involved, for example
as part of your estate plan.
In the interest of full disclosure: Dignity/USA remits to the chapter a small portion of
the membership dues paid by a chapter member. Needless to add, Dignity/USA raises funds from
sources other than membership dues as well; for more info on its fundraising activities, click
Support in other ways
There are many ways that you can support the chapter besides donating money. Below
are listed just a few (and the first one listed is the most important).
Becoming a member
The most effective way to demonstrate your support is to become a Dignity member. It lends
moral support; and it shows your support in a very concrete way. When Dignity raises its voice
in support of the GLBT cause, all will listen more fully if it has really a lot of
members. Help us amplify and empower its voice by becoming a member yourself, even
if you cannot afford to pay dues. Click
for more information on supporting Dignity, by becoming a Dignity member (or otherwise); and
please do not forget to also sign up there for Dignity's free on-line News Service.
Spreading the word
This may be redundant; but...: If it helps to amplify and to empower Dignity's voice for you
yourself to become a member, think how much more it would do so if you (and all the other members
and supporters of Dignity) were to persuade even a few friends to explore becoming Dignity supporters.
Just consider how much power you have to contribute to real reform of Church and Society!
The chapter (and all of Dignity) is a volunteer effort. That means that it operates only by
virtue of the members who volunteer their services; and more volunteers are always welcome. It may
be simply a matter of volunteering to help with some existing chapter activity (and that is how
most volunteering gets started). Also significant, however, is a member who volunteers both a
good idea and also some time to work on implementing the idea (usually with help from others also).
That is precisely how many of the best chapter projects got their start.
Since volunteering has already been mentioned, just what does networking add? If everything needed
were planned perfectly in advance, the volunteer work might cover it; but, of course, not all needs
are covered by planning. We are a faith community; and salvation takes place in community. That
means that we all need to be attentive to the needs of each member of the community. In a theological
manner of speaking, we really do need to be Christ to one another, on a continual basis; or, as
President Kennedy famously phrased it in his inaugural address, "On this Earth, God's work must
truly be our own."
Support with money
While the chapter's financial resources are limited (and we do not serve as a conduit for
funds from governmental agencies or any other organizations), we do have some resources and
are sometimes able to assist those found to be most in need, including:
We are blessed with an AIDS Fund. At this time, the Fund primarily contributes to organizations that
have staff and facilities to use funds most effectively to assist individuals who are most in need.
However, it can sometimes assist an individual directly, primarily long-time chapter members and for
emergency necessities that agencies are unable to provide in a timely manner.
AIDS Service Center
The chapter has a long-standing relationship with the local AIDS Service Center, to assist it.
Sometimes the aid is cash but often it is in-kind assistance. Monthly, donations are
gathered and delivered to the Service Center to help it in aiding those with HIV/AIDS, primarily the
poor in need of basic supplies.
There is a neighborhood school close to Dignity Center. Sadly, there are many students there whose
families have only limited financial resources. At the start of each school year and around major
religious holidays, we contribute funds to assist those who are most in need, whether it be for
their school clothes or foodstuffs for a holiday meal or whatever.
Even though there cannot be a regular schedule, special needs do come up, from time to time. The
members (and other supporters) who can afford to do so (and the chapter itself, if it itself can
afford to do so) may be asked to make a special donation, so a contribution can be made in the
name of Dignity. For example, this was done to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Support in other ways
For most of us, Dignity serves as a church. Although it is a church-reform movement more than
a church as such (and it is
not subject to
the jurisdiction of any church as such), it serves in the meantime the functions usually
performed by a church. When we go to Mass, it is usually to go to Mass at Dignity Center; when
we become ill and are in need of the Sacraments, we call Dignity; and the list goes on and on.
Though we listed networking as something that you can do to contribute to Dignity, it needs to
be mentioned again at this point, because the networking that we do is in a very real sense a gift
given to ourselves. The social networking we provide is the social network from which we benefit; in
other words, what goes around comes around.
Intangible spiritual benefits
Those who itemize their deductions on their income tax returns will know that to deduct a donation to
an eligible organization, it has to be a real donation for the benefit of the charitable (or other
tax-exempted) purpose(s) of the organization; i.e. it cannot be simply a disguised way of buying
something. Using bureaucratic jargon, this legal requirement is reflected in an IRS requirement that
the receipts for donations to tax-exempt organizations are to recite that the donor did not receive
anything in return for having made a donation; but in recognition that the Spirit will (or, more
importantly in legal jargon, may be believed by the taxpayer to) provide a reward, the IRS recognizes
(and thus it permits the required receipt for a donation to recognize) an exception for the donor's
having been the ricipient of an "intangible spiritual benefit" for having made the donation. We do
hope that, in this limited instance at least, you will concur with the IRS: there is an intangible
spiritual benefit to you when you contribute to the chapter, irrespectiveof whether the nature of
your donation (and your tax situation) makes it of interest to the IRS. For the Spirit doth