Our faith has been handed down from one generation to another. Did we sacrifice to build the sanctuary where we were baptized? No. Thankfully, our ancestors had us in mind when they gave of themselves to build the church.
Today, we are challenged to care for the Church that has been passed on to us, and to preserve it for future generations. Providing for future generations is a significant aspect of Catholic stewardship.
Below are some frequently asked questions about the Catholic Community Foundation and endowments:
What is the Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana?
The Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana was formed to provide for the financial future of our diocese, and provide ways for individuals and families to invest in the work of Christ throughout the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The Catholic Community Foundation was established in 1994 as a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt entity, and receives current and deferred major gifts and endowments. Contributions to the Catholic Community Foundation are deductible under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Catholic Community Foundation funds are under the auspices of the Catholic Church, yet none of the funds will ever be spent on operating expenses of the diocese. These endowment funds are invested and used exclusively for the purposes for which they were established. Endowments and planned gifts are important vehicles through which we pass on a Church in better shape than when we received it. Unlike a parish offertory, or the Annual Bishop's Appeal, which are spent each year, endowment funds are invested and kept in perpetuity.
The Catholic Community Foundation serves donors by matching their philanthropic vision with grants to the ministries, programs and institutions that best serve their dreams for a better world. The Catholic Community Foundation offers an opportunity to optimize tax benefits by prudent investing and disburses funds from the interest accumulated. The Catholic Community Foundation also provides an easy way to give generously and responsibly during your lifetime and as part of your estate plan. When you are ready to invest in the work of Christ, think carefully about your legacy and what inspires you, and talk to your pastor, parish or school development staff, or the diocesan Office of Planned Giving. A gift to the Catholic Community Foundation is an investment in the future of the Church, and a very real way to express gratitude to God for a lifetime of blessings. Whatever your charitable goals, the Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana can help you develop a unique plan to achieve them. By making thoughtful choices now, you support the work of Christ in perpetuity.
What is an endowment fund?
One aspect of Catholic stewardship is to provide for future generations. An endowment can accomplish that mission. Unlike an offertory collection or annual appeal which are immediately usable, an endowment is a permanent fund and is held in an investment set aside for the long-term support for the work of the Church. The principal is never touched, but the income from the fund is used in accordance with the wishes of the donor. The principal, as it is defined, includes the initial contribution given to establish the endowment, as well as all additional contributions to the endowment. The assets of the Catholic Community Foundation grow through sound investment policies and from additional gifts. An endowment fund should not be confused with a capital fund, a reserve fund, or a special project fund, all of which generally allow expenditures of principle.
How do endowments further the mission of parishes, schools and Catholic ministries?
As a parish, school or other organization grows spiritually and physically, its needs may exceed its financial means. Fluctuations and short falls in offertory collections, school tuition, and other donations may lead to deferred maintenance of buildings, difficulty retaining good teachers and staff, and other program cutbacks. Endowments help stabilize income. They help parishes, schools, and other Catholic organizations carry out the work of Christ.
Why would an individual, parish or parish school want to create an endowment fund?
A pastor or an individual donor may establish an endowment fund within the Catholic Community Foundation for the purpose of a specific parish, school, charity or other need. There are two types of endowments – restricted and unrestricted. An endowment may be established as a restricted gift for tuition assistance or a specific parish ministry. Or, an endowment may be established as an unrestricted fund so that there are no stipulations for its specific use. In other words, an unrestricted endowment will provide financial support for a diocesan program or project as determined by the Bishop and Chief Financial Officer of the Diocese.
How can I establish an endowment?
It is very simple to establish an endowment within the Catholic Community Foundation. The minimum requirement to establish an endowment is $5,000. We will share with you the guidelines at a face-to-face meeting and together we will draw up a document that will specify your wishes and the interests of the Catholic Community Foundation. Your endowment will be listed in our annual report and promoted throughout the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. You will also receive periodic reports on your endowment's balance.
Who manages the Catholic Community Foundation?
The Catholic Community Foundation is managed by Chief Executive Officer, Michael Shade and a board of directors, composed of clergy and lay people. A professional investment group manages the investment assets of the Catholic Community Foundation.
What are the advantages of investing in the Catholic Community Foundation?
The Catholic Community Foundation provides for the work of Christ throughout the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The interest on our investments supports the things you believe in, the work of the Catholic Church in our parishes and communities. We are committed to building and maintaining trust with our donors. Our reporting is transparent and the Catholic Community Foundation investment portfolio has a strong and stable record. We are committed to being good stewards of these endowments created to carry on the work of Christ. We invest and distribute funds in a manner consistent with the Church's mission and teachings according to the Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops .
The Catholic Community Foundation is flexible because it gives the donor the ability to support many causes under our Catholic Community Foundation, as well as other charitable not-for-profits. We highly encourage you to include others in the planning process such as your financial advisor, parish and school leaders, and family members. To find out more about the types of ministries and services that are financially supported through the Catholic Community Foundation, or to learn more about the creation of an endowment to support the work of your parish, school, or other organization, please contact us. We offer resources and materials that will help with your discernment process. Please be assured that we will keep all information completely confidential. We invite you to meet with us when you are ready by emailing Michael Shade or, giving us a call in Fort Wayne at 260-422-4611 ext. 3348.
What are the endowments established by the Legacy of Faith campaign?
In 2004, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend embarked on a grand effort to raise funds for endowments through the Legacy of Faith campaign in order to strengthen the work of the diocese. Endowments for Catholic education, Hispanic ministries, and Catholic Charities were established, and are accounted for and administered through the Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana.
Are endowments only for diocesan-wide projects like the Legacy of Faith campaign?
No. A donor may establish an endowment fund within the Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana for the purpose of a specific parish, school, or other Catholic ministry. It may be a restricted gift for building maintenance or tuition assistance, or an unrestricted endowment fund, which has no stipulation for use, and can be set up if the donor wishes to provide the greatest good to those Catholic organizations in greatest need. The Foundation holds over 150 endowment funds for parishes, schools, and other ministries.
Who manages the Foundation?
The Foundation is managed by a CEO who reports to a Board of Directors comprised of clergy and lay persons. The directors are leaders in their parishes and communities. The financial statements of the Foundation are audited each year to ensure accuracy and accountability by a certified public accounting firm. In addition, professional investment advisors manage and invest the assets of the Foundation.
How are the assets in the Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana invested?
The Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana and its Board of Directors are committed to providing prudent investment strategies in an effort to deliver strong investment returns. The Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana strictly adheres to morally and socially responsible guidelines in accordance with those set forth by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
How do endowments further the mission of one's parish and school?
As a parish grows spiritually and physically, its needs may exceed its financial means. Fluctuations and shortfalls in offertory collections and school tuition may lead to deferred maintenance of church and school buildings, inability to retain good teachers, and other program cutbacks. Endowments are a way to stabilize income for years to come. Thus, they help parishes, schools, and other Catholic organizations continue to carry out the work of Christ.
How can endowments be funded?
Funding an endowment can be achieved with current outright gifts of cash, securities or real estate from a donor or from capital campaign funds similar to Legacy of Faith. However, the best way to grow an endowment is by way of a bequest – a gift left to an endowment in a donor's will. There are many other ways of leaving a "deffered gift" or a "planned gift," such as: a charitable gift annuity, charitable remainder trust, retirement plan asset, life estate, or life insurance policy. Planned giving is an effective way to fund an endowment. Planned gifts can provide a wider number of benefits such as reduction or elimination of estate and inheritance taxes, income taxes, and capital gains taxes; continued use of property during the donor's lifetime; and/or a lifetime stream of income.
How much money is necessary to start an endowment?
An initial minimum gift of $5,000 is required for an individual or for a Catholic parish, school, or agency to set up a separate endowment. Donors have the option of naming the endowment in their family's name or in memory of a loved one.
Why would an individual or Catholic entity want to create an endowment fund?
An endowment can be the vehicle for an annual gift to continue each year to a parish even after the donor's death. For example, if a donor contributes $1,000 per year to his/her parish, the donor could create an endowment that would be funded with $20,000 principal and would pay out approximately 5% each year. This would provide the parish with approximately $1,000 annually from this endowment to use as donor chooses – unrestricted or for a restricted purpose. If the donor intended for his/her endowment to be used for a specific purpose, such as a scholarship fund for a Catholic school, the same $20,000 contributed initially, could annually provide approximately $1,000 for tuition assistance for a student attending that school.
What are the steps to establishing an endowment fund with the Catholic Community Foundation?