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Overcoming the Rainy Days

05-15-2020NewslettersKyle Felix, Director of Finance

It is astonishing to think of how our lives and way of life have been upended in just a few short months. After experiencing one of the largest economic growth cycles in the history of our country, that saw financial markets and economic conditions at historical levels, the unthinkable happened. Unemployment has hit an unprecedented high. The stock market has experienced a shock not felt since the 2008 Great Recession. People have been ordered to stay indoors. These factors have created hardship for those in our community who provide essential services to those most in need. Fortunately, we are blessed to have many philanthropically inclined individuals in our Catholic community that have admirably stepped up during this crisis. Unfortunately, the work is not done as there is much remaining unmet need in our community.

Download and read the full May 2020 newsletter.

The Foundation, along with our Donor Advised Fund (DAF) holders, are aiming to fill some of this unmet need. In April alone, we saw over $250,000 of funds flow from our DAF holders to the immediate community, an amazing gesture of support and love. On April 9th, the Foundation’s Finance and Investment Committee approved a motion to grant our organizational endowment fund holders a one-time 6% annual distribution, an increase from the regular 4% annual distribution. This additional 2% translates to an additional $900,000 being made available to organizational fundholders this year, for a total expected disbursement of $2.1 million.

Unfortunately, not every parish, school, and non-profit organization will share proportionately in the annual endowment disbursement. The organizations and individual donors that have diligently built their endowments over the several years are those who will benefit the most from this distribution. These organizations and their supporters have made a conscious effort to build their ‘rainy day’ fund so that when the unthinkable happens, they are able to weather the storm and continue in serving their respective missions.

Endowments are the core focus of the Catholic Community Foundation’s mission, as we believe these funds are built for times like we are experiencing today. In fact, the Foundation lives by what we preach. Each year the Foundation generates $300,000 in operating funds from our own endowments to support and enable us to fulfill our mission. This money is guaranteed to be here regardless of financial conditions.

An endowment fund is a tool used by organizations to create a permanent, predictable, and sustainable income that is protected from lawsuit, misappropriation, and legal claims. Contributing to an endowment takes several forms:

  • Create your own (individual and organizations)
  • Contribute to an organization’s existing endowment
  • Contribute to one of the Foundation’s Forever Funds

The contributions made are invested by our investment partners and continue to grow over time. Each year, there is a distribution made from the endowment to the benefiting organization or initiative that can be used in accordance with the purpose of the fund. Organizations have the option to either take the distribution for use or reinvest the distribution back into their fund as a means to promote further growth and save for times like we are experiencing now.

“I absolutely believe in the value of perpetual endowment investing. Mt Claret’s endowment fund {The Frank Knoell Fund} was established with the Foundation in June of 1997. Since then, the fund has grown to over $950,000. Our annual fund disbursement is allocated toward our operational budget which supports the operation and maintenance of our campus – two major expense areas. Msgr. John McMahon, who was largely responsible for the acquisition of Mt Claret, saw great value in the establishment of perpetual endowment funds for organizations. He took the long view, knowing that funds would grow over time through sound investing and gifts from donors. Mt Claret has seen the value and has since established two other perpetual endowment funds with CCF. All three of our funds continue to grow and replenish the needs of our organization while giving our community a way to show their love and support back to Mt. Claret.”

Tom McGuire
Mt. Claret Retreat Center, Director

My goal is to promote the importance and purpose of having a predictable, sustainable, and recurring income to support operations, regardless of the current economic conditions. The Foundation can provide the tools for you to help the organizations you love most by beginning the process of creating a meaningful and everlasting impact. In fact, the Foundation launched a “$1 Million Match” initiative in January 2020 to promote and incentivize the building of these important funds. The goal of this initiative is to help raise endowment funds for those who serve our community by matching new gifts 2:1. So far $200,000 of matched dollars have been granted to participating organizations. There is still time to take advantage of this initiative! You are not only making an impact for today, you are also making an impact for eternity. It is never too late to build for tomorrow. I invite you to contact us today to learn more about how you can multiply your impact in our community both right now and for the years to come 480-651-8800.

Please stay safe and continue being diligent in your day to day actions and interactions. We especially pray for those who are experiencing hardship as a result of this pandemic. God Bless.

Kyle Felix
Catholic Community Foundation
Director of Finance & Administration