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A Message of Hope

09-18-2020NewslettersAndrew Kozusko

Hello friends of the Catholic Community Foundation,

My name is Andrew Kozusko, and I am the newest member of the Catholic Community Foundation family. I recently moved to Phoenix from Latrobe, PA, which is located just outside of Pittsburgh. After spending my first summer here in Arizona, I am happy to hear fall, and cooler weather is on its way, eventually. My role with the Foundation is a Philanthropic Advisor, which means I assist individuals and organizations in achieving their financial and charitable goals. I am truly blessed and happy to be a part of the CCF family and the Catholic community here in Arizona, as I will not have to shovel snow anymore.

As we are still in Ordinary time within the liturgical calendar, the color green is present in our parishes and used in the vestments worn by our pastors. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and excites the faithful to reap the eternal harvest of heaven through the Resurrection. As summer winds down and the fall season begins, regions and communities are preparing their harvest. After months of hard-back breaking and tedious work tending to their fields and prayers for prosperity, farmers hope for a bountiful harvest to feed their families and communities throughout the next year. The Church celebrates the harvest through the September Ember Days, which starts after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14th. During the days following the feast, individuals should fast, pray, and give alms to give thanks for or anticipation of a bountiful harvest.

This symbolism of sowing a bountiful harvest in anticipation of the upcoming year is not unlike the goal of many of our community's parishes, schools, and nonprofits who strive to build their endowment funds every year. As you may have read in our previous newsletter messages, endowment funds are essential investment vehicles designed to withstand economic fluctuations and financial uncertainties. Endowments offer predictable "bountiful harvests" to organizations through annualized disbursements at a percent of the fund's investment return. By annually distributing a portion of the return, endowments are guaranteed to produce a harvest of much-needed income year after year for the named organization. The chart below helps illustrate how endowments can help close the gap between expenses and donations over time.

The financial shock that COVID has had on our community has revealed that many organizations were not prepared for the impact this rainy day brought. Many of our community organizations rely on generous contributions from their supporters to offset various expenses. When unforeseen events disrupt anticipated contributions, our parishes, schools, and nonprofits struggle to fill the gap between ongoing operational expenses and lost donations. 2020 has been an exceptional year for all of us. We are all looking for hope, and I am here to say there is hope.

In response to our community's already prevailing need, the Foundation launched a $1 Million Match initiative back in January 2020. Individuals can be matched by 50% for their contributions to their named organization. The match dollars, which are a surplus of money from the Foundation's operating budget, are made possible using our own endowment funds. Because of sound investing and long-term growth through our endowments, the Foundation was able to create a match initiative to help boost our community schools, parishes, and organizations.

In November of this year, the Foundation seeks to further our community support by starting a collaborative $1 Million Match initiative with individual parishes, schools, and other nonprofit organizations. The Foundation's goal for this initiative is to assist in an endowment drive by educating the organization and its supporters on the importance of endowment funds. Individual donors who contribute to their parish, school, or nonprofit's endowment during the endowment drive will be matched by 100% (*up to $50,000)!

There is no doubt that the COVID19 pandemic blindsided our communities and showed us that preparing for the unknown is critical. These are the times when organizations wish they had hindsight and better prepared for their future. The Foundation is here to bring hope and help our community weather the storm. The Catholic Community Foundation was established 37 years ago with the sole purpose of serving those who serve others. The Million Dollar Match initiative aims to educate and better prepare those organizations that serve others through sound financial planning. As we wrap up Ordinary time, remember the farmer who planted the seed, and through their labors and prayerful intentions, that seed became a bountiful harvest.

If you or your organization have any questions regarding the endowment initiative or any other Foundation offering, please do not hesitate to contact us. It would be our pleasure to help start your organization on the path to a sound financial future through perpetual endowment harvests.

God Bless,
Andrew M Kozusko

*The 100% match will only apply during the parish, school, or nonprofit's "drive month". All contributions made outside of the month will be matched at 50% of the gift (up to $50,000).