Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

VOTF Financial Transparency Study Provokes Widespread Response

The report Voice of the Faithful issued in November 2017 that resulted from its study of diocesan online financial transparency has provoked widespread response. The report is called “Measuring & Ranking Diocesan Online Financial Transparency.” (Click on the link to read the full report.)

VOTF distributed the report to all U.S. bishops, to newspapers and periodicals across the country, on our Facebook, Twitter, and VOTF Blog feeds, in an email to members, and through advertisements in the National Catholic Reporter and America: The Jesuit Review. Here are some of the results of this effort:

  • Responses from seven bishops and an extensive reply from one bishop listing how his diocese further promotes financial transparency
  • 5,647 impressions from our Facebook post, 730 engagements (Likes, Shares, Clicks); one Facebook post share from the Archdiocese of Baltimore Facebook page that promoted the archdiocese high score in the report; one Facebook post share from National Catholic Reporter page that promoted the NCR story on the our report
  • 160 requests to-date for report from a SurveyMonkey survey promoted through votf.org, Facebook, Twitter, VOTF Blog, email to members, NCR ad, and America ad)
  • 1,445 total views to our news release, 116 media pickups, and 17 Social Media engagements from media distribution on PRNewswire
  • 2,294 total views to our news release, 255 postings directly to media websites, 71 clicks on Businesswire website, and 11 Social Media engagements from media distribution on Businesswire
  • A news release that highlighted each arch/diocese’s individual score was distributed to newspapers covering cities where diocesan headquarters are located and resulted in stories in the following newspapers:
    • The Brownsville Herald, Brownsville, Texas (story and editorial mention)
    • Bucks County Courier Times, Levittown, Pennsylvania
    • Hartford Courant, Hartford, Connecticut
    • New Ulm Journal, New Ulm, Minnesota
    • The Intelligencer, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
    • The Monitor, McAllen, Texas
    • Norwich Bulletin, Norwich, Connecticut
    • Waynesboro Record Herald, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
    • Wellsville Daily Reporter, Wellsville, New York
    • Additional newspaper and online coverage through syndicated columnist for Quincy, Massachusetts, Patriot Ledger
  • Mention of the report in National Catholic Reporter’s “Field Hospital” parish-roundup column that reports on parish life in the United States and, after a lengthy interview with a reporter, a standalone story in National Catholic Reporter
  • Media interviews have been conducted with the Hartford Courant (Connecticut), Norwich Bulletin (Connecticut), Jeff City News Tribune (Missouri), Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (Indiana), and Wichita Eagle (Kansas)

These initial results from VOTF’s study are edifying, and follow-up will continue. VOTF also will repeat this diocesan online financial transparency study in summer 2018, with the hope that many dioceses will have taken steps resulting in better scores than they received in the 2017 study.