Frequently Asked Questions

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The Catholic Community Fund is a community foundation whose mission is to help strengthen the Catholic faith in the 144 communities in eastern Massachusetts that make up the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. The Catholic Community Fund fulfills its mission by:

  • Working with Catholic parishes, schools, and other ministries to help them meet their long-term and future financial needs through planned gifts
  • Helping donors achieve their charitable and financial goals
  • Seeking permanent endowment funds that support the work of the Church
  • Providing responsible and effective financial management
  • Distributing earnings according to donor intent

The Catholic Community Fund has endowment assets of more than $57 million. In addition to endowments, the Fund offers life income arrangements via Charitable Gift Annuities and other giving vehicles.

Yes. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, the Catholic Community Fund made grant distributions totaling more than $1.9 million from its 112 endowment funds. Most of these grants were donor-directed.

Yes. One of the most satisfying aspects of estate planning is leaving a legacy by providing financial support to the charitable organizations closest to your heart. We encourage you to consider remembering your parish, school, or other Catholic ministries through the Catholic Community Fund as you prepare your Will or Trust.

Endowments established with the Catholic Community Fund are overseen by our Board of Trustees and invested in the Archdiocese of Boston’s Common Investment Fund. The principal (or corpus) of the fund is invested in keeping with the guidelines of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. On a quarterly basis, 1% of the beginning-of-the-quarter market value of the endowment fund is distributed for the purpose(s) for which the fund has been established, along with information about investment performance. Any additional earned interest above and beyond that which is distributed (4% total annually) is added back to the principal of the fund, to grow the fund’s corpus. As the corpus of the fund grows, so will the distributable income.

The spendable portion of an endowment fund’s earned income – 1% of the beginning-of-the-quarter market value of the endowment fund – is distributed on a quarterly basis to the entity it benefits, to be spent by the entity for the purpose it was established, as directed by the donor. It is then the responsibility of the entity (parish, school, or other) to use the money in accordance with the donor’s wishes.

No. Individual endowment funds are discretely held in the Archdiocese’s Common Investment Fund, which is managed by the Archdiocesan Investment Committee. Every quarter, the recipient(s) of each fund receive a financial statement of the fund along with a distribution check.

No. We are legally bound to use the spendable earned income from the endowment fund for the purpose(s) established by the donor.

This can happen. When an endowment fund is established with a living donor, the written fund agreement includes a clause on alternative use of distributions. It usually reads: If, in the opinion of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Community Fund, the purposes for which the Fund is established become illegal, impractical, or no longer able to be carried out to meet the intention of the donor, the Board may designate an alternative use for the annual distribution of the Fund, giving consideration to the donor’s special interests as evidenced by the original purpose of the Fund.

A bequest is a gift of assets (money and/or other property) that is made through a Will, Living Trust, or other testamentary arrangement. No funds are transmitted or irrevocably transferred to the designated charity until after the death of the donor. No estate tax will be owed on the amount of the charitable bequest. The Catholic Community Fund is able to help administer bequests on behalf of the Archbishop of Boston for Catholic organizations that are part of the Archdiocese (e.g., parishes, schools, seminaries, social service agencies).

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