Sarah Hanley

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” — Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

The Catholic Charities Appeal (CCA), the largest annual fundraiser of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, officially launched in January. Over 60 years ago the archdiocese started the CCA to support social service agencies in need. Since that time, the CCA has grown to benefit over 180 programs and organizations in the areas of education, social services, evangelization, parish and spiritual life, clergy and local mission activities.

In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 we learn that together we are stronger than we are apart. We see that when we come together in service to our Lord the possibilities for good works are endless. We understand that we are charged by Jesus to do good work in the world, and we realize, as Archbishop Pérez said, that we can be an instrument of hope for our brothers and sisters in need.


In 2013, when the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia (CFGP) was established, we began our vital partnership with the Catholic Charities Appeal Board of Directors and our collaboration with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As in Ecclesiastes, our partnership has blossomed over the last eight years because of the work we do together.

Together we have raised more than $91.8 million for the deserving beneficiaries of the appeal and together we are hoping to raise $12.5 million in the coming year.

At its core, the Catholic Charities Appeal is about love and compassion. It brings hope where hope is needed most.  From center city to rural areas, from suburban communities to our most distressed communities, almost a million people each year receive hope through the Catholic Charities Appeal.

As an instrument of hope, we at CFGP provide fundraising and development strategy, marketing strategy, board management, special events and gift processing for the CCA. Through our Nonprofit Consulting Services, we help create a results-driven strategy to grow support for this important partner. (Learn more about the services here.)

The Catholic Charities Appeal is very special to me. I spearheaded the appeal for many years, and I’ve seen firsthand how the funds generated by the appeal help organizations and ministries all over the archdiocese. In fact, gifts made to the CCA provide necessary support to hundreds of thousands of people regardless of their faith. It is a positive source of so much good work in the greater Philadelphia area, and I am proud that CFGP is a vital component of such a special initiative.

The appeal brings us together as a community, and I am honored to be a part of a partnership that generates hope for so many.


Sarah Hanley is the president and CEO of the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia.