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Our Case For Your Support


Many Catholic women and people of faith seek renewal, rejuvenation, and spiritual transformation, but don’t know where to turn.

Walking with Purpose is such a place. We Want All US Catholic Women To Experience Walking with Purpose, Especially Our Signature Study, Opening Your Heart: The Starting Point walkingwi thpurpose.com


We exist to transform the hearts of women. That transformation happens by nurturing community, providing scripture study, and offering leadership training to local facilitators. Yet many Catholic women are walking away from the Church. Because the critical issues they are wrestling with are not being adequately addressed, they question the relevance of faith to their day-to-day lives. This reality has resulted in young Catholic women, for the first time in US history, being more disengaged than their male counterparts! At Walking with Purpose, we are seeing that tide turn. Faith is being ignited and women are experiencing God as never before. Our programs are typically hosted in local parishes, but we also support women who choose to form small groups in their homes. At the center of all we do is meeting women where they are in their spiritual journey with a warm welcome and love. Our practical teaching is consistent with the Catholic faith. WITH YOUR SUPPORT... This “case� describes the powerful program opportunities we offer and for which we ask your financial support. With your support, we plan to deepen our current work in 33 states and further expand to all 50. Your gift now would help accomplish that expansion. Would you renew or join us as a new donor and give what for you is a major or leadership gift? We seek to raise $750,000 annually. The case explains how we would use your gift well.


Opening Your Heart is our signature program and the starting point for

most women’s contact with Walking with Purpose.

This course is a two-part study

designed for women who are new

to us. We welcome both beginners as well as those with more experience in Bible Study.

OPENING YO U R HEART: Th e Start ing Po i n t

Opening Your Heart takes a deeper

dive into the core questions that we

each need to wrestle with if we want to experience all that God has for us.

1 ,000s of w omen comp r is e Wa l k i ng w i th Pu rpos e . R ea d thei r test i monials a t w a l k i ngw i thpu rpose .co m.


WHEN YOU LOOK CLOSELY...

Your close look at Walking with Purpose will reveal a safe place for women to talk about their faith, a vibrant place for renewal. Because of the critical need for Walking with Purpose, we hope that you will care to support us. We provide spiritual nourishment to wives, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, and sisters to persevere and grow in their Christian lives. Jacquline, a 36-year-old mom from Connecticut, said it best: “I found that I was not alone in what I was experiencing. Others were having the same struggles. However, using the Walking with Purpose materials allowed me to reflect on the positive things in my life: family, friends. A lot of those can be attributed to my affiliation to the Church and as a Catholic. Walking with Purpose was a reminder that my Church community is a wonderful place.” Do you relate to her feeling? Many women provide their children with their first religious instruction. Women often serve as children’s primary Christian role model. Husbands also draw strength from their wives’ relationships with the Lord, especially when they see the way their wives are transformed through Walking with Purpose. Walking with Purpose strengthens families. Families come closer together and draw near to Christ. Our programs help women better understand their Catholic faith, enabling them to share the spiritual growth they have experienced with their family, providing practical application of Scripture to daily family life. We produce innovative courses and provide leadership training. Our study materials are fresh and relevant. Most courses contain 22 Bible study lessons. A complete list of our materials is on our website. They are easy to order from our online store.


“We me e t women a t the p ressure po ints of their lives an d po in t th em to rea l life solu t ion s for today’ s c ha llenges . Th is is wh at we a re a ll hungry fo r. We wan t to grow s pir i t ua lly i n a way th at is releva nt to our daily liv es. We wan t to rea c h every parish in ev ery pa r t of the U n i te d S tates to s er ve the m illio n s of women who a re h un gry fo r more of Chr is t i n th e ir liv es. Th e n e e d b efore us is enor mous , b u t to g e th e r we c a n c ha nge t hin gs.” L isa B re n n in kmeyer , Founder


O U R H I ST O R Y : M ay We I n c l u d e Yo u To o ?

We’ve been changing hearts and transforming lives for many years. The seed for Walking with Purpose was planted by Lisa Brenninkmeyer. A convert to Catholicism, she was seeking a group at her parish focused on women with young families. With the support of her Maryland parish, Lisa started a Bible Study that provided weekly daytime meetings focused on Scripture. Within two years, the program had grown to 55 women. The number of women participating continued to grow, so in 2007 we legally incorporated. Walking with Purpose offers programs at 160 different parishes in 33 states plus the District of Columbia, Canada, and Switzerland. This year there are currently 11,000 women participating, and we’re projecting to grow to serve 18,000. Women from across the country have contacted us for guidance to launch the program in their parishes. The response to Walking with Purpose has been incredible. The news of Walking with Purpose has spread throughout the US, one woman at a time: one opened heart, one changed marriage, and one improved relationship with another.


“Wome n a re on e of th e mos t i mpor ta nt c ompon e n ts of th e C a th ol i c C h u rc h b e c a u s e i f w e l os e th e m, w e ’ l l l os e th e n e x t ge n e ra t i on . We ’ l l l os e ou r c h i l dre n. ” Pop e Fra nc i s


T HE URGENT CONT EXT

90% of church-going Catholic women agree that the Catholic faith is an important part of their daily life. Yet only half of them are involved in the life of the Church community—a lost opportunity. Further, 80% of Catholic women cite the homily as the primary source of learning about their faith, but the homily is not meant to be a total source of faith learning. As noted earlier, many women feel the critical issues they are wrestling with are not being adequately addressed, so they question the relevance of faith to their day-to-day lives. This reality has resulted in young Catholic women, for the first time in US history, being more disengaged than their male counterparts! Walking with Purpose aims to reverse these trends.

walkingwi thpurpose.com


“Walking with Purpose is your community, a weekly gathering among friends to explore faith in a deeper way, to refresh your soul, to let your masks drop, and to share your joys and challenges as you seek wisdom, gleaned from Scripture, to ignite love in your heart for God that is personal and transforming.� Lisa Brenninkmeyer, Founder


OUR PART ICIPANTS REPORT IMPACT In stark contrast, Walking with Purpose is highly regarded by its participants, with 96% of women saying they would recommend the program to a friend. We recently sent an intensive questionnaire to our participants, and 3,500 women responded. We learned that Walking with Purpose connects women to real life solutions, and the result is that women flourish. • 96% reported that their prayer life improved • 97% reported their relationship with Christ is stronger • 95% report they grow in faith • 92% say their appreciation of the sacraments has grown • Before joining Walking with Purpose, 29% of participants say they were highly satisfied with the Catholic faith; that number jumps to 60% after they join.


“Walking wi th Purpose has had a t remendous impact on the women of our parish. It has helped them grow in holiness. We’re pleased to have Walking wi th Purpose and look forward to many more years of i t bearing frui t.” Fr. Dennis Kleinmann, Diocese of Alexandria, VA


BY JOINING US, YOU ST RENGT HEN CAT HOLIC PARISHES

The positive impact of Walking with Purpose extends beyond our individual participants; it affects parishes too! Do you agree that our Catholic parishes need to build stronger communities and nurture lay leaders? We fill this need. We are enthusiastically endorsed by pastors and local church leaders because they have found that our approach works. Run by women, for women, with the approval of the parish, we avoid depleting scarce parish resources because, thanks to people like you, we raise our own support.

walkingwi thpurpose.com


YOU ARE T HE CHURCH So many of us are disengaged and detached from our faith and from the Church as a whole. Through Walking with Purpose, the Holy Spirit is strengthening the Catholic Church, one woman at a time. For many participants, the program provides their first in-depth exposure to the Catechism, and the readings and talks are grounded in Church teaching. Christ is touching women’s hearts through Walking with Purpose and in doing so families are renewed, parishes are energized, and our Church is strengthened.


T HE OPPORT UNIT Y Every week, Walking with Purpose receives calls from women who want to bring the program to their local community. As women’s lives are changed, they tell other women who, in turn, seek us out. The opportunity for service is great, and Walking with Purpose is being called upon to grow. Yet, we also must grow wisely. One of the greatest strengths of our program is that it relies on engaging content, high-quality materials, and a robust and ongoing training and support program for local program leaders. Without this underpinning, we would not be able to provide the rich experience and community that has led to our swift growth and wide-ranging impact. Your support is central to this progress. Volunteer Power: We are fortunate to have the volunteer service of, on average, ten volunteers per parish. With 160 parishes as of this writing, for 22 weeks a year, the volunteers give 309,760 hours annually—an astounding number. This shows the enormous commitment women have made to Walking with Purpose, which inspires us every day.


(1) Widen Reach Of Opening Your Heart We seek to welcome every Catholic woman in the United States to experience our signature program, Opening Your Heart: the Starting Point.

OUR KEY GROWT H G O A LS

Opening Your Heart is a two-part course that explores the fundamental questions of the Catholic faith and our relationship with Jesus Christ. We dig into topics such as prayer, reading the Bible, the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and what we’re supposed to do with suffering that feels senseless. As each woman wrestles with these questions, she is challenged to open her heart to the One who can bring the healing and transformation that she so desires.


OUR KEY GROWT H G O A LS

(2) Expand To More Parishes We seek to expand the number of parishes at which we offer programs. We can serve more woman as we open 50 new parish-based programs each year. Achieving this will increase the number of women we serve, growing annually from the current 11,000 participants to 18,000. In order to open these new parish programs, Walking with Purpose needs to keep putting the people and technical infrastructure in place. With your support, we can provide the infrastructure and assure the high quality of our online training materials and support for local leaders. Our local leaders are the cornerstone of Walking with Purpose and have fueled our growth.

“See to i t that no one misses the grace of God.� Hebrews 12:15

walkingwi thpurpose.com


(3) Advance Leadership Development

OUR KEY GROWT H G O A LS

We seek to provide and deepen our Innovative Leadership Development Each parish-based Walking with Purpose program is led by local women. We provide the local leader with technical training and personal mentoring. Excellent training and consistent support not only helps to establish leadership teams for new locations, it also illustrates to them how to draw others to Christ. Our Leadership Program teaches women how to reach out to one another without judgment, encouraging growth and sharing no matter where a person begins. Many feel that there’s no place for women to lead within the Church. We disagree. We have incredible opportunities to influence, shape and change the way in which women engage and lead within the Church. Many of us feel ill-equipped to lead in this way. Our Leadership Training Program provides an opportunity for women to grow in confidence and competence so they can take their place as agents of change in a world that desperately needs the touch of Christ. Walking with Purpose is an effective tool because our facilitators meet women where they are and accompany them on the spiritual journey. The leader is not there to judge or teach. She leads with love, so that group participants see the Scripture in its simplicity, relevance, and radiance. This method of leadership does not come naturally to many. Our leadership training is unique in its ability to help leaders better engage with the group participants and our changing culture.


YO U R S U P PO R T PLEASE

With your support, we will deepen our work in 33 states and 67 dioceses and further expand in your area. Would you renew your support or join us as a new donor? OUR ANNUAL GOAL IS TO RAISE $750,000. We’re in conversation with private foundations, as well as about 650 individuals like you, to raise those funds. But your leadership gift now will make all the difference. Where Do Your Funds Go? We use your support to: • Expand to new parishes, about 50 per year • Design and deliver a new Bible study course • Provide scholarships to cover course material fees for participants in need • Train regional program coordinators • Advance leadership development training All that you give is welcomed, appreciated, acknowledged, and celebrated. Pledges are welcomed monthly, quarterly, or annually. We can’t do this without you, our participants and friends.


Walking with Purpose is a registered 501(c) 3 organization, and your gift is tax deductible as provided by law. There are many ways to support Walking with Purpose, either through a leadership gift ($10K or above), or through annual giving, or, possibly, a planned gift from your estate. All of our donors are recognized and acknowledged in our annual report unless you indicate otherwise. May we hear back from you to set a time to meet and talk? Please call Michael Taylor at 917.854.2371 to schedule a time. Walking with Purpose P.O. Box 1552 Millersville, MD 21108 You can locate a Walking with Purpose program near you by using the interactive map on our website. Our CEO is Julie Ricciardi. Please call or email her if you have questions, comments, or suggestions. She would love to hear from you and can be reached at julie.ricciardi@walkingwithpurpose.com or 203.536.1624.


Walking with Purpose: Our Case For Support