For more than 70 years, Aid to the Church in Need has supported churches in need, as well as Christians suffering from discrimination and persecution around the globe. From the very beginning, we have been guided by values such as professionalism, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency. These are values that we have stood by uncompromisingly in the past and continue to do so today, ensuring that our benefactors’ donations have the best possible effect precisely where they are most urgently needed: among local churches in need.
» Aid to the Church in Need helps Christians around the world who are persecuted by violence and oppressed by terror. «
There are numerous charities that look after those in need. What distinguishes Aid to the Church in Need from these organisations? We are the only international Catholic organisation focusing on the pastoral and spiritual support of persecuted and suffering Christians.
Following our inclusion under the Vatican’s umbrella, our General Secretariat in Germany and our 23 National Sections have been successful in building a unique bridge between benefactors and those in need.
Due to its global structure, Aid to the Church in Need can quickly identify needs and respond promptly with aid projects. This is enabled by an efficient framework that keeps bureaucracy to a minimum while thoroughly verifying and approving projects for our project partners.
Our General Secretariat supports the fundraising efforts of the National Sections and annually screens about 7,100 aid applications from around the world, which are examined and either approved or rejected by the decision-making bodies. Our head office maintains contact with project partners in 139 countries, ensuring the appropriate use of donations.
Through our National Sections, we maintain close contact with our donors. The public relations work of our offices aims to deliver a high degree of transparency regarding the purpose of donations and how they are used locally, building a bridge between project partners and benefactors. In addition, our income and expenditures are audited annually by certified accountants, as the trust of our donors is the basis of our success.
Clear organisational structures between our headquarters, our global national offices and our project partners ensure that the entire process, extending from project application and needs assessment to project approval and funds provision, can be designed conscientiously and efficiently. As a rule, only three months elapse between the time that an aid application has been received and our decision to approve or reject it.
It is our moral duty to channel the donations we receive with the utmost care. For it is our mission to promote ecclesial and spiritual communion between those who suffer for their faith in Jesus Christ and those who possess a compassionate and generous heart. And we will remain faithful to this credo in the future. The following diagram provides an overview of how the donation cycle at ACN works.
1. The ask for support
The need for project aid arises in a place where the Church suffers from poverty or persecution. The diocese or parish forwards the project to ACN (Aid to the Church in Need) headquarters in Königstein, Germany, with a recommendation from the local bishop or supervisor
The head of section for the region analyses the project. If necessary, he or she then asks for further information. Within a maximum of three months, ACN headquarters confirms whether the project has been approved or not. Between one and six months after the approval of the project has been granted, ACN assumes the costs for the approved project. In emergencies, ACN headquarters provides immediate funds.
3.The National Offices
ACN headquarters informs the national offices about local fundraising projects and financing through benefactors.
» It is our moral duty to use donations in a responsible manner«
4.The support for the project
The offices organise information and awareness-raising measures so that donors support the projects.
Benefactors feel called on to join in and donate
ACN’s national offices transfer the charitable contributions to ACN headquarters.
ACN decides on projects and their funding, tracks and monitors their implementation.
This is how donations become concrete aid for Christians in need