A first-time fundraising effort by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has raised more than $1 million for over 100 beneficiaries – all in a single day.

As part of the #GivingTuesday effort Dec. 1, area faithful were urged to direct their contributions to the #iGiveCatholic campaign. The initiative – in which more than 40 dioceses and archdioceses in the United States participate – enables donors to put their money where their faith is by directly supporting Catholic parishes, schools and nonprofit ministries.

Several weeks ago, the archdiocese partnered with the independent Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia (CFGP) to launch #iGiveCatholic in the five-county Philadelphia region, and the response was one of “overwhelming generosity,” said Archbishop Nelson Pérez in a video message released Thursday evening, Dec. 3.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for making #iGiveCatholic a success, and for supporting the many critical missions carried out by our local church each day,” said the archbishop.

(Watch the video below.)

CFGP president and CEO Sarah Hanley was equally moved by the results.

“We are so grateful to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for their generosity and support of this important initiative,” said Hanley in a statement.

In total, the overall #iGiveCatholic drive raised $12.6 million nationally through more than 48,000 donors.

The money is needed more than ever as COVID has increased demand for nonprofit services while stretching entities’ budgets to the breaking point.

The funds are welcome ones for a number of organizations and outreach ministries in the archdiocese. The Catholic Charities Appeal raised $437,830, while the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Appeal realized $285,459.

Assumption B.V.M. School in West Grove claimed third place on the archdiocesan #iGiveCatholic leaderboard, as 178 donors contributed a total of $56,992.

Other participating parishes and schools also boosted their budgets by anywhere from $3,500 to more than $18,000.

After the Tuesday’s debut, the challenge for area faithful will be to outdo themselves next year in saying “#iGiveCatholic.”