From May 30 to June 1, the Global Oblate Fundraisers (GOFs) gathered at the St. Bonifatiuskloster, in Hünfeld, Central European Province, to share ideas and experiences and to reflect on ways to enhance their work in support of Oblate Units.

The meeting started with updates from all participants and revising the donations provided in 2021, as well as the use of those funds by the different Units.  Then, discussions moved to the ever increasing number of emergencies affecting the Oblate world, particularly the situation in Ukraine, and the importance of having up-to-date news to keep the donor based informed of how donations are being used.

A central topic in the agenda was that of the use of social media for fundraising.  For that, we had the presence of Shanil Jayawardena, OMI, the Congregation’s Director of Communications, who led the discussion on the topic. As he put it, social media is the new way of sharing ideas. It cries out for the missionary presence of the Church. There is need to be where people are, and people are on social media. Although many fundraisers already have a presence in social media, Shanil’s valuable advice about different platforms and on how to best reach donors was very well received by the group. In the end, it was decided to have a closed GOF platform, where each member of the group will be able to post stories and pictures for the others to use and share with their donors. 

Another highlight of the meeting was the presentation by two teachers of the Oblate School Mariengarden in Burlo, Germany, that talked about their experiences taking their students in mission trips to India.  With a video presentation, they explained how those trips change the life and perceptions the German students, not just those of their Indian hosts. 

As usual, this meeting provided an excellent opportunity to tune up the work of the fundraisers as a group to best assist the Oblates and the people they serve.

Comme d’habitude, cette rencontre a fourni une excellente occasion de mettre au point le travail des bailleurs de fonds en tant que groupe afin d’aider au mieux les Oblats et les personnes qu’ils servent.