Established in 1983, Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien, along with a group of laymen and clergy from the Diocese of Phoenix, took a leap of faith and formed the Catholic Community Foundation. Their goal was to raise funds to provide ongoing financial support for the future of Catholic education and communications, which in addition to many recent and newer initiatives, the Foundation remains true to today.
Little, however, did Bishop O’Brien and his counterparts know at the time just how much the Foundation would come to accomplish over the coming years.
In late 1987 Rev. Philip J. Poirier was appointed as the Foundation’s first Executive Director. Succeeded by two others, the Foundation’s first Board was then formed and Chairman, Jim Bruner, was appointed in 1988.
In 1989, the first Crozier Gala was held at the Phoenician. Special guest Cardinal O’Connor Archbishop of New York addressed the audience.
In 2003, the Catholic Community Foundation became a separate 501(c)3 charitable foundation which expanded our ability to offer services including Charitable Gift Annuities and Donor Advised Funds.
2004-2015 has shown substantial growth in the Foundation’s assets and programs. Now, with assets surpassing $50 million, the Foundation wants to help further develop the support of the religious, educational and philanthropic objectives of the Diocese of Phoenix. We have granted millions of dollars back to our Catholic community through our Annual Grants Program and awarded over $2 million dollars in Catholic high school scholarships. The Catholic Community Foundation currently manages endowment funds for 150 agencies, including over 85 parishes and 41 schools, and provides opportunities for individuals, families and organizations to leave a legacy of giving to support future need in perpetuity.