100 Million Dollar Goal
“One Hundred Million dollars is a reasonable, practical, and achievable measure for the Episcopal Church to achieve in this Venture to fund Mission.” 69
Bishop Allin’s initial three-year goal for VIM was to raise one hundred million dollars. It took three times as long, as it often does to collect all the pledged funds, but that initial amount was met and surpassed. A memo to Executive Council in April 1985 stated that $170 million had been raised at that time, including $141 million in pledges, $4 million in challenge gifts, and $24 million raised in adjunct campaigns. That amount of money would be considered a success even by today’s standards, but in addition to the financial aspect of the program, Venture in Mission belied the idea of a sundered or declining Church and raised the profile of a giving institution supported enthusiastically by its members.
“To me money is one sacramental element of our lives, an outwardly visible, measurable symbol of our energies, talents and material possessions. Money is needed for mission. It is a secondary need, but no less a need. ...Needs, tests, and reality of Christian relations are demonstrated in the process by which we Christians raise, manage, and invest money in mission.” 70
Allin played an active role in the fund-raising, and in addition to visiting dioceses to promote VIM, he also personally took the opportunity to harness the resources that the Church had in its most affluent members. He met with and called on high profile Episcopalians (such as the CEOs of Dupont, Campbell’s Soup and AT&T and actor Olivia de Havilland) in addition to other more private and less publicly known wealthy Church members to request their contribution to VIM. Some of these meetings resulted in great financial contribution to the program; Allin recalled that six individual donors gave gifts of one million dollars.