Ignite! campaign raises $11 million during silent phase

December 15, 2021

Capital campaign logo

The “Ignite!” Campaign reached $11 million this month, a fundraising milestone that gives the $45 million effort great momentum ahead of its public rollout in January.

Bishop William Joensen extends a warm thank you to those who have given generously in the early stages. "This level of support is inspiring to our entire diocesan family and discloses the resiliency and vitality of the Church in Southwest Iowa,” he said. 

Campaign goals include $25 million to create an endowment that will support families who need financial aid to send their children to Catholic schools, $5 million for seminarian education, $2 million for priest retirement, $3.5 million for parish vibrancy and renewal, and $7.5 million for parish share. Parish share funds will be returned directly to parishes for local projects.

A unique approach

Prior to moving forward with the “Ignite!” Campaign, the Diocese conducted a comprehensive campaign planning study. Over 1,200 clergy and laity provided feedback regarding the campaign goals and structure. The planning study revealed that the proposed Catholic Education Endowment is a high priority for those who worship at parishes close to Catholic schools and a lower priority when distanced from a Catholic school.

Bishop Joensen and his campaign leadership team, which is comprised of lay and clergy leaders from every region in the Diocese, listened to this feedback and took these responses to discernment.

As a result, the campaign will feature “regionalized case statements” that allow for funds raised at each parish to be allocated to campaign initiatives based on parish proximity to a Catholic school. For example, 50% of funds raised at an urban parish with a school will go toward the Catholic Education Endowment versus 10% of the funds raised at a rural parish with no access to a school.

To make this possible, a large portion of the funds for the Catholic Schools Endowment needed to be raised during the silent phase. Thanks to the support galvanized around Catholic education over the last several months, over $10 million of the $11 million raised to date will go solely to the Catholic Schools Endowment.

“Jumpstarting the Catholic Schools Endowment in this way is a testament to the work of the Holy Spirit within our Diocese,” Bishop Joensen said. “We are blessed to have so many enterprising leaders who share in our mission to sow the seeds of faith, especially among our children.” 

Bishop Joensen and the campaign leadership have been working on the silent phase all of 2021. They will continue approaching more of the Diocese’s closest supporters through the rest of the year. Their focus remains on bolstering the funds going toward the Catholic Schools Endowment.

Parish phase to begin in January

The parish phase of the campaign will unfold throughout 2022 in three staggered “waves.” Thirteen parishes will begin preparations for the first wave in January. Parishes in waves one and two will begin preparations in April and July, respectively.

Pastors and leaders from nearly all 80 parishes attended in-person and virtual campaign orientation meetings in October and November. The meetings introduced how the campaign will be run at the parish level. The meetings also outlined the steps parishes will need to take ahead of their wave.

For additional information about the campaign, please visit the campaign website, dmdiocese.org/ignite.


Bishop Joensen is grateful to his entire campaign leadership team for their dedication, generosity, and partnership.

Executive Committee

Rev. Michael Amadeo

Donna Bishop

Paul Carlson

Dr. Jerry Deegan

John Gaffney

Maureen Kenney

Jason Kurth

Sue McEntee

Jeanne Wells

Honorary Committee

Msgr. Lawrence Beeson

Rev. John Bertogli

Msgr. Frank Bognanno

Steve and Melissa Chapman

Sr. Jude Fitzpatrick

Msgr. Michael Hess

Msgr. Ed Hurley

Rev. Chuck Kottas

Don and Charlene Lamberti

Terry and Joyce Lillis

Bob and Janice Myers

Msgr. Stephen Orr

Jim and Mary Ann Wallace

Larry and Kathi Zimpleman

General Chairs

Bryan and Betsy Boesen

Dan and Natalie Burkey

Kyle and Sharon Krause

Steve and Cathy Lacy

Pete and Dana Wenstrand

Campaign Cabinet

Don and Mary Coffin

Pat and Michelle Goodman

Tom and Jen Joensen

Brian and Tricia Johnson

Bob and Mary Lawler

Tom Mahoney

Anne Rohling, J.D.

Mark Rupprecht

Dr. Dan Ryan

Dan Wilhelmi

Clergy Committee

Rev. Dan Kirby, co-Chair

Rev. Joe Pins, co-Chair

Rev. James Ahenkora

Rev. Raphael Assamah

Msgr. Ed Hurley

Rev. Lazarus Kirigia

Rev. Chuck Kottas

Rev. Mark McGeary

Rev. Luis Mejia

Rev. Ross Parker

Rev. Chris Reising

Rev. Adam Westphal