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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Labouré Society

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Religion, Religion-Related, Roman Catholic

Mission: Laboure's mission rescues Catholic vocations from the barrier of student loan debt thereby freeing hundreds of vocations to enter seminaries and religious communities.

Results: 1. 270 men and women delivered into seminaries and religious communities and orders. 2. Those men and women have raised $5.9M in student loan debt reducing funds. 3. Over 80% of those assisted have gone on to final ordination, profession of final vows or are currently in formation. 4. Laboure has helped aspirants and communities from all over the country. 5. Laboure graduates are located in religious communities and parishes nationwide, serving the needy, feeding the poor, caring for the sick, praying in cloistered orders for the salvation of souls, and conferring all the sacramental graces the Catholic church has to offer. 6. Created a network of thousands of people praying for vocations. 7. Laboure aspirants have met with thousands of Catholics around the country sharing the joy of their vocation, inviting Catholics into that joy, and evangelizing untold numbers of Catholics as a result of these encounters. 8. Supported by vocation directors, religious superiors, and bishops nation wide. Full support of the USCCB.

Target demographics: We rescue Catholic vocations from the barrier of student loan debt. The vast majority of seminaries and religious communities around the country will not accept men and women who have outstanding student loan debt. The presents a serious problem for the church at a time when the church desperately needs more Catholic priests and religious. Laboure solves this problem for the church and for these men and women who want nothing other than to turn their lives over to the Catholic church to serve Jesus Christ in numerous different ministries and charisms.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2017 Laboure is helping 37 future priests and religious. The first 6 month class of 2017-which ended on June 30, 2017-graduated 10 aspirants who are now entering their religious communities. The second 6 month class in 2017 is on track to graduate 9 aspirants. All others in the class will come back for second classes and possibly third classes dependent on their debt level.

Geographic areas served: Our home office located in Minneapolis, MN. But we help future Catholic priests, sisters and brothers who live in locations all over the country.

Programs: Laboure teaches these "aspirants" to religious life a Catholic-based, metric driven, collective fundraising model. Through this model, aspirants erase or substantially mitigate five and six figure student loan debt in 6-24 months rather than 15-18 years. This is not a hand out program. The aspirants take full accountability for their debt. Through the Laboure program the aspirants are not only able to accelerate the elimination of their debt, but they also undergo a human and pastoral formation process which makes them ideal candidates for religious life. Laboure's rescue mission is urgent because vocation studies tell us there are approximately 3000 discerning men and women in this country who are abandoning their vocation because they think their student loan debt is an insurmountable obstacle to their vocation. The Laboure model removes that obstacle and frees our future priests and religious to enter seminaries, convents and religious orders. There is no other Catholic lay organization in the country having the impact Laboure is having in delivering vocations to the Catholic church. Laboure's rescue mission strengthens the church and helps heal the culture. The world needs the light and leaven consecrated lives bring to all they encounter.

Community Stories

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Laboure has designed the perfect program to rescue vocations from student loan debt. Aspirants have to work hard, but if they are willing to follow the Laboure program, they can rescue their vocation and the vocations of their classmates, and they can do it in months, not years.

Aspirants have tremendous support from Laboure's staff, plus volunteer accountability partners. Those that are considering the religious life but are blocked by student loans need to contact Laboure. They will be glad they did.

Laboure also does a great job of showing gratitude to its donors.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've worked with The Laboure Society for six months as an Aspirant and I cannot say enough good things about the organization. The staff are deeply convicted in their Catholic faith and take the responsibility to help build the Church very seriously. Their method of fundraising is very effective, honest, and formative for both the donors and the aspirants. I would recommend anyone who wants to invest in the future of the Church to visit The Laboure Society first. Their website contains many inspiring stories of men and women who need financial help to give their lives to serving the Church!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We need priests and religious and The Laboure Society is helping to deliver them! My time with the Laboure Society was so very blessed and I would recommend working with them to any person discerning religious life.

Jeremy S.1

Donor

Rating: 5

We discovered Laboure before we got involved in Vocation Ministry locally. We made a connection with the young man we supported and while he has been in seminary has prayed for us for some special intentions.

Once we became involved with vocations, we have found others who pray for our parish program and communicate back with the students which helps foster more vocations.

Best of all, the program teaches project management, fundraising, and business skills seminarians don't get in school. So a graduate of Laboure is better ready for the temporal needs of the parish/community.

honeybiese

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an organization that has a few dedicated staff that assists persons seeking to enter a religious order as a priest, brother or sister to reduce their student loan debt with a proven method to tell their stories to thousands of people who pray and assist with contributions to the Laboure' Society. The Laboure' Society is effective in communicating the need with only seven staff members by using volunteers to expand their effectiveness and reach to the greater community.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Laboure' is a nonprofit that is unique and has a mission to bring more religious vocations to the Catholic Church. It teaches the candidates for religious life to share their vocation story to their local community. They ask them to pray and support their financial needs to pay off their student loans. Student loans are a barrier to their entering most religious communities.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had three friends go through the Labouré program before going through it myself. It was an amazing experience through which I met a lot of great people and gained valuable skills that will be helpful to have in the future! In particular, I had to get a lot more comfortable talking about God, faith, prayer, etc, topics from which I tend to shy away. As a man discerning the priesthood, these are topics I should be comfortable with, so props to Labouré for forcing me out of my comfort zone!

rethlaket

Donor

Rating: 5

I’m a repeat donor to the Laboure Society for two main reasons:

1. Their mission of rescuing religious vocations from debilitating college loans aligns perfectly with the mission of our family: “to make God known in this world.”

2. The Laboure Society is very transparent and extremely lean on their operating costs. In fact, paid staff fundraise separately to cover their administrative cost.
This assures me that 100% of my donation goes towards reducing educational loan debt of the people served by Laboure.
Great organization, with dedicated people, doing stellar work!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The reason I commit my time, talent and treasure with The Labouré Society is their embodiment of the old adage “Give someone a fish and feed them for a day. Teach them to fish and feed them for a lifetime.”
The skills, process and discipline which The Labouré Society teaches their Aspirants (clients) will serve these men and women well past their months of fundraising as they work to reduce their college debt in order to begin their vocation.
I’m also attracted to how “lean” The Labouré Society organization is structured, assuring that 90%+ of financial support actually benefits current and future Aspirants.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first learned about Laboure through word of mouth,and I thought that it was too good to be true. But it is both good and true. It serves a very important role for building up vocations in the face of a financial hurdle that would otherwise seem insurmountable. It builds up teamwork among aspirants who have the same calling to serve God but very different skills, gifts and challenges. It also develops a fund-raising model that will serve the Church by delivering aspirants to their vocation who already know about the role that fundraising plays in active discipleship.

From my introduction as a general benefactor, I have moved into a volunteer role and attend the "boot camp" training for aspirants, which has been an even bigger blessing. I get to ee first-hand the journey that these people go on to reach their individual and shared goals as a class.

Laboure is an innovative non-profit that delivers what it promises.

Tucker B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Laboure Society has helped me tremendously as a man discerning a vocation to the priesthood. With their help and the generosity of so many supporters I was able to enter seminary in the fall of 2018! Everyone working for and with Laboure I've found to be filled with passion for Laboure's goal: helping rescue vocations.

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family of 4 with 2 adult children have enjoyed supporting Laboure aspirants for more than 7 years. The aspirants work hard at fundraising selflessly as a class and help each other with Holy Spirit's help advance on their religious/priestly calling. Laboure staff and volunteer program strive for constant self-improvement. Thus helping aspirants more effectively fundraise and develop each year. Strongly recommend Laboure Society!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a nonprofit that does what it purports to do, and it does so on a shoestring budget. Labouré's staff is fully committed to the organization's mission, its mode of operation is proven and highly effective, and the positive results are measurable. Absolutely one of the best organizations I'm aware of.

Previous Stories
3

Advisor

Rating: 5

By far the best non-profit organization I've had the pleasure to work with. The hallmarks of Labouré are integrity, a passion for their mission, and a deep commitment to helping others achieve their vocation goals. Highly recommended.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Labouré Society is the most effective, concrete way to deliver vocations to the Catholic Church that are impeded by the number one obstacle to formation - student loan debt. If you're passionate about the Catholic Church and having a thriving culture of vocations - with priests to offer our sacraments, I can't say how important it is to support their work.

Gabri M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been accepted into a religious community, but my student loans are blocking me from fully entering and one day professing my vows as a religious sister. It is only because of Labouré that I will be able to pursue my vocation and move forward in formation within a year as opposed to 10 or more years. They train us really well on how to effectively fundraise, and they are super supportive throughout the entire process. They are a gift to those who have student loans blocking them from entering religious formation as well as to the Church because they are helping bring much needed vocations to the Church.

Gretchen G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Laboure Society changed my life! Not only did they provide me with a means to resolve my student loan debt, they taught me skills that I will be able to serve the Church with for years to come. I learned how to evangelize, speak in front of groups, and communicate effectively. In addition, I made connections with priests and religious all over the country and formed relationships with countless supporters. Thank you Laboure for what you have done for me and all aspiring priests and religious, and I highly recommend this organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would not have been able to fully live out my vocation as a missionary sister without the The Labouré Society. When others told me my student loan barrier was too big to help, the Labouré Society empowered me with the tools and endless encouragement to overcome my barrier. Working with Labouré was an experience of Church: my vocation was delivered through a river of people and communities and I believe that collaboration, now more than ever, between laity and religious will be the key to moving forward as a people. May we continue to support the critical work of the Labouré Society so others may be enabled to live out their calls as sisters, brothers, and priests for the world.
~Peace, Laryn Kovalik, VDMF

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Laboure Society, is a gift to the Church. The work it is doing to help rescue vocations is beautiful and necessary. If I had not met the staff and worked with them, I would not be in the Dominican Order today. Instead, I would be out working for several years to overcome the financial burden to entering religious life. As a result, I may have lost my vocation along the way. I am thankful for the help the Laboure Society has given me, which has allowed me to pursue my religious vocation, and to flourish in the life as a Dominican Friar.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was pretty certain that once I knew God was calling me to give my life to Him and to the poor as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal, I would never be truly happy because due to my student loans, I could not answer this call. The situation I was in, I found, was not uncommon. Thousands of Americans, men and woman, future religious and future priests, face this difficult obstacle. Thanks be to God and to His hand in The Labouré Society, I am able to overcome this obstacle and prepare to enter the Franciscans in a year rather than not at all. The work that Labouré is doing is not only making it possible for people like me to answer God's call, but they are forming us in virtue and in discipleship to be men and women after God's own heart, trusting and dependent upon His loving providence in the very way He intended. Because of Labouré, I am thankful that God gave me the obstacle of student loans!

Derek N. E.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Laboure Society is doing a very necessary work. It is helping rebuild the Catholic Church one vocation at a time. It is helping students who've unforseen a religous calling during college, realize that calling, and respond boldy and directly to what God is asking. I'm so very grateful for it's assitance to my classmates, and myself, Class 15, and their generous pouring out of self into this mission of "Rescuing Vocations". God bless them, and truly, they are a great non-profit!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As an Aspirant for the Laboure Society, this is something I would have never known existed if it weren't for a friend who knew I had a lot of student loan debt to mitigate. The Laboure Society has patiently been working with me and have been very encouraging in their whole process. I am very glad that they exist for the sole purpose of helping remove that obstacle that definitely holds many of us back. The staff and volunteers are extremely exceptional in their desire and willingness to help all the Aspirants reach their God-given vocations. Everyone there truly and genuinely care about us and want us all to succeed. They provide different means to promote ourselves which is beautiful to see how they all come together to make this happen and possible! I definitely encourage those wanting to help support Catholic vocations to partner up with the Laboure Society because they have a heart for vocations and work one-on-one to make these realities possible. Join an organization devoted to Christ and His Church that will bring much fruition!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Labouré Society is an answer to years of prayer by the Universal Church, including my own. Many individuals, including myself, would be unable to take the next step in our vocational journeys without the help of this magnificent organization.
Through the ministry of The Labouré Society, many lives continue to be impacted in positive ways as the wonderful works of God are shared.
May God continue to bless this wonderful organization, its staff, benefactors and volunteers as they continue to rescue vocations and renew the church with vocations.

Donor

Rating: 5

I appreciate the vision of the Laboure Society - help young adults transition from professional life to professed life. As young adults rack up excruciating debt, the Laboure Society offers a pathway forward. Young Catholics discerning a vocation have a way of inviting others to offer assistance in reducing debt - but more importantly - offers members of the Church a reason to hope.
Father Kevin Finnegan
Our Lady of Grace, Edina, MN

Board Member

Rating: 5

Laboure is the greatest and most concrete sign of hope that God is listening to so many prayers offered by so many for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life. THANK YOU LABOURE!
St. Catherine of Laboure, pray for us!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Working with the Laboure Society has far exceeded any expectations that I had. The staff are absolutely amazing, so open and generous with their time. The volunteers are top notch, truly interested in helping. I highly recommend supporting the Laboure Society.

Donor

Rating: 5

The staff at Labore is very dedicated to their work. I met them in Nashville at a Serra Convention and have been a donor and volunteer since then. The work that the do is so important to develop more good priests and great citizens.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with this organization to assist their clients by helping them set and review their weekly goals. The Laboure Society provides a wonderful service to their clients by giving them the skill set and encouragement that they need to raise money so they can enter into their vocations, which are all dedicated to a life of service. It is an incredibly positive and productive environment. It is also very well organized and uses processes that provide transparency and accountability for oversight of their own management performance and personnel.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Laboure Society is what the church needs today! I’m quite convinced that we would have less religious men and women serving our people if Laboure didn’t exist. Thank God for laboure volunteers, emplyee’s and accountability partners who teach Aspirants like myself how to tell our stories and to give parishioners the opportunity to invest in vocations today.

God bless you! & let us pray for one another :)
- In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Fall 2018 Aspirant

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Labouré Society is not only a wonderful non-profit, but also a family of believers in giving to the Church many new Men and Women to the Priesthood and Religious Life! I love my Labouré Family

2

Donor

Rating: 5

The Labouré Society has rescued hundreds of Catholic vocations from the barrier of student loan debt thereby freeing them to enter seminaries and religious communities. Labouré teaches these "aspirants" to religious life a Catholic-based, metric driven, collective fundraising model. Through this model, aspirants erase or substantially mitigate five and six figure student loan debt in 6-24 months rather than 15-18 years. Through the Labouré program the aspirants are not only able to accelerate the elimination of their debt, but they also undergo a human and pastoral formation process which makes them ideal candidates for religious life. Laboure's rescue mission is urgent because vocation studies tell us there are approximately 3000 discerning men and women in this country who are abandoning their vocation because they think their student loan debt is an insurmountable obstacle to their vocation. The Labouré model removes that obstacle and frees our future priests and religious to enter seminaries, convents and religious orders. There is no other Catholic lay organization in the country having the impact Labouré is having in delivering vocations to the Catholic church. Laboure's rescue mission strengthens the church and helps heal our wounded culture. The world needs the light and leaven consecrated lives bring to all they encounter.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Labouré Society is delivering vocations to the Church that would have otherwise been lost! As a Church, we have been praying for an increase in vocations for generations. I believe that Labouré is a part of those answered prayers. I've watched the work of Labouré transform the lives of the men and women who go through their program, giving them confidence, clarity, and new skillsets. They're better discerned at the end of the Labouré program and ready to serve the Church as they enter into formation.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been part of the Laboure family for almost five years! I left my former employer because I wanted to do something much more rewarding, something that would make an impact in the world and I found it in Laboure. The men and women we work with are making an impact in this world and I am blessed to be apart of this family.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Laboure is the most rewarding nonprofit organization I have served in my life! What a privilege to make an investment and/or donate time as a volunteer to terrific young men and women wanting to dedicate rest of their lives (but blocked by student debt) to serving others, society, sick, poor, and those less fortunate. For your ROI, this is best nonprofit I can recommend due to a total focus on the mission, talented lean staff, strong endorsements from alumni Laboure aspirants (now in religious/priestly formation) and Catholic bishops. Attached are photos from alumni aspirants with supporters including Bishop Robert Barron, and recent "Boot Camp" where Christian-based fundraising principles are taught.

2 Caitlin C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was introduced to The Laboure Society by the vocation director for my home diocese. At the time I was trying to fund raise on my own to pay off my student loan debt in order to enter religious life and realized that I needed more help. At first I was hesitant about flying out to Minnesota, but through prayer and The Holy Spirit I was strengthened to "Go out into the Deep". By joining The Laboure Society, my vocation to becoming a consecrated sister in the Roman Catholic Church has been saved! I have been given a second chance because of The Laboure Society. Without the Laboure Society, my vocation would have been lost. The Laboure Society is not only a Great Nonprofit, The Laboure Society is an answer to prayer!

3 Rick E.1

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Labouré Society is a unique organization that comes along-side individual's (Aspirants) whose only obstacle to enter formation to become Priests, Sisters & Brothers is their student loan debt. We train them in the best practices of fund-raising and support them as they raise funds as a class. The Labouré Society has partnered with business women and men from the around the country so that each Aspirant has an Accountability Coach that they meet with weekly. Not only are individuals trained in best practices of fund-raising but in a whole host of leadership qualities including; public speaking, evangelism, relationship building, time management, all skills that they will take with them into their vocation. They have an opportunity to make a decision to pursue their vocation everyday by writing letters, picking up the phone and building relationships with investors. Countless Vocations are saved from years of paying off student loan debt or the danger of being lost altogether. It has been an unspeakable joy to witness numerous men and women overcome the one obstacle holding them back and to see them enter formation. Please pray for and support The Labouré Society.

2 Nelson C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was an Aspirant of the Laboure Society from 2013-2014. Through the intercession of Saint Catherine Laboure and this incredible organization, I was awarded a grant which enabled my entrance into formation for the diocesan priesthood. Over 200 men and women have likewise entered formation to the priesthood and religious life due to this community. Laboure is truly a gift to the Church and thus to the world.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The mission of the Laboure Society is very clear and very defined. It is to help men and women give their lives to Christ through Catholic vocations to the Church. Many, if not most, would be unable to do this without the help of the Laboure Society. The staff is small but extremely dedicated to the mission. In short, it is an amazing organization.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

As someone who is discerning religious life the Laboure Society has been a Godsend. Everyone at the office is always so helpful and generous with their time. I am so grateful for the work they do to help promote religious vocations!

4

Advisor

Rating: 5

This review responds to the September review set forth above from a past Labouré donor. First, we at Labouré are deeply grateful for the donor's investment in vocations. Our mission would not be possible without support like his/hers. Second, a very important clarification is necessary. A donor's gift to a Laboure "aspirant class" ( a class of 15-20 men and women raising funds as a collective class for vocations) is never "wasted". The aspirants working through the Labouré program do not raise money for themselves, they raise money as a class with all donations being designated for the class in honor of an aspirant. For instance, a check would be made out to The Laboure Society in honor of a particular aspirant. This model preserves the charitable deduction for the donor (Labouré is a 501c3 non profit organization) and avoids income tax implications for the aspirant. At the end of the 6 month class, the total amount raised by the class is divided into awards for each aspirant. That money is held in reserve for the aspirant by Labouré, the aspirant never "receives" any funds. At that point, Laboure pays the aspirants' lenders directly with a minimum monthly payment over the course of 36 months. In the 37th month the loan is paid off in full. So, if the aspirant discerns out of a community within those 36 months the money that was awarded is held in reserve for other aspirant needs to remove their student loan impediment. It is extremely important for donors to understand that any donation to the Labouré General Fund or to an aspirant class will always be applied to the mission of delivering future priests and religious to the Catholic Church. Donations to the Labouré aspirants are NEVER wasted. The whole program is specifically designed to avoid that outcome. Any questions about this review can be directed to Bill LeMire at the Labouré Society at 651-295-2548. Please pray for our aspirants who seek nothing other than to devote their lives to Christ. May it please God!

Review from Guidestar

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Donor

Rating: 1

Pros - You will be helping Aspirants to enter the priesthood and the religious life.

Cons – Laboure Society only helps individuals with their student loans excluding their other debts which will delay their entering. There is no assurance from those Aspirants that they will finish their respective formations. There is no binding contract between the said organization and the Aspirants. In other words, if an individual decided to leave, they are not required to pay back. In the process, the money that we the benefactors donated are gone to waste.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Labouré Society exists to provide financial assistance and spiritual support to individuals who must resolve student loans in order to pursue a vocation to the priesthood and/or religious life in the Catholic Church.

They have assisted hundreds in pursuing their vocation, a vocation that without the help of Labouré they would never have been able to live out. I have volunteered for Labouré for nearly 6 years, and I am so humbled and proud to be a part of their beautiful work.