The most important source of parish income is the Sunday offertory collection. Through envelopes provided to registered households, cash in the collection basket, or electronic deposits arranged by parishioners, the weekly offertory is the most consistent and largest source of income for parishes. The offertory is intended to address the operational costs of the parish. The weekly offertory should pay the parish expenses including staff salaries and benefits, programs and ministries such as religious education and Christian service, as well as building and grounds operations, maintenance, and repairs.
Parishes operating Catholic schools receive revenue from tuition and fees. While this revenue is designated to the school, it is offset by school operating expenses which often exceed revenues and require parish support (subsidies).
Parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit that exceed their Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) fundraising target retain the funds they receive above their goal, and use the funds for parish needs. The CSA is an annual archdiocesan-wide collection supporting the operational expenses for dozens of Church ministries in southeast Michigan, including those provided through Archdiocesan Operations. Because all parishes benefit from the programs and services funded by the CSA, parish participation and fulfilling the parish target are mandatory.
Parishes are encouraged to participate in legacy giving, which involves parishioner bequests, wills, charitable trusts, estate planning, and other means of planned giving through which the lay faithful provide an additional depth of financial support. Other parishes engage in retailer rewards programs in which parishioners register with a retailer to rebate a percentage of purchases back to the parish.