Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Catholic Community Foundation of the Diocese of Richmond?

The Foundation is a charitable foundation established to provide endowment funds for the parishes, schools, and organizations of the Diocese of Richmond and a great choice to create a meaningful legacy for families and individuals.

What is the purpose of the Foundation?

The Foundation is established to provide a means for parishes, schools, organizations and families to provide long-term financial support for the Catholic Church. Through the creation of endowments, the Foundation provides a means to generate income to sustain and enhance the strength and viability of Catholic institutions in the Diocese of Richmond.

What is the Foundation’s relationship to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond?

The Foundation is a separately incorporated 501 (c)(3) organization.

What is an endowment?

An endowment fund is a permanent fund created in perpetuity, of which the principle is never invaded. The principle is the initial gift used to establish the fund and subsequent gifts. The funds of the Foundation grow through sound investment policies and from additional gifts. The income is used annually, in accordance with the Distribution or Spending Policy of the Foundation, to make grants or scholarships as the donor originally intended when establishing the fund. An endowment fund should not be confused with a savings account, reserve fund or special project fund.

Why would an individual/family or Catholic entity want to create an endowment fund?

By creating an endowment, an individual or family can take another step in living out the life of stewardship. A Catholic entity, such as a parish, school or organization, can ensure it is providing a secure source of income for the future and serving the community for many years to come.

Who manages the Foundation?

The Foundation is managed by a Board of Trustees comprised of clergy and lay people across the Diocese of Richmond. The Board’s objective is to pursue an investment policy consistent with reasonable growth while prudently safeguarding the principal. As good stewards, they oversee Foundation assets and audited financial statements.

What is the Foundation’s investment strategy?

The Foundation’s investment strategy is focused on total return to preserve and enhance the purchasing power of each endowment and to maintain a consistent distribution policy so that endowment beneficiaries can prudently utilize their distributions. The Board of Trustees, in particular its Investment Committee, is responsible for overseeing the investment management of the endowment funds. The Foundation’s Investment Committee determines the investment policy, asset allocation strategies, and hires appropriate investment fund managers and consultants. SunTrust Bank serves as the custodian and consultant for the Catholic Foundation’s investment portfolio.

What is the Foundation’s spending policy?

The spending policy, established by the Board of Trustees, encourages the growth of new endowment funds, protects them as a permanent source of income, and ensures distributions from endowment funds in changing economic cycles. The current spending policy is 4% of a fund’s average invested fair market value, over a three year period, as of December 31 of the year preceding the June 30 fiscal year end.

How much money is necessary to start an endowment fund?

Individuals/families can establish a named fund with an initial contribution of at least $25,000. These funds can be designated for parishes, schools or organizations, they can be unrestricted for the CCF’s greatest area of need, or they can be established for Catholic mission and ministries within the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. A parish or school of the Diocese of Richmond can establish an endowment with an initial contribution of at least $5,000. However, there is no minimum amount required for making a gift to an already established endowment fund.

Once an endowment is established, can the donor or Catholic entity take out money from the principal for special projects?

No, all endowments are permanent and the endowment principal cannot be withdrawn and used for any special projects or capital needs. The income from the endowment, however, may be used for projects unless there are restrictions on the use of the endowment.

What types of gifts are accepted by the Foundation?

Gifts may be given in the form of immediate gifts such as cash, real estate, stocks and bonds or in the form of future gifts through wills and bequests or as a designated beneficiary of a life insurance plan, retirement plan or IRA.

Can gifts be added to an endowment fund?

Yes. In fact, most Catholic entities and individuals develop a plan for growing their endowment. You may add to your endowment fund in any amount at any time.

How can I get more information about the Foundation?

Call Margaret Keightley, Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation at 804-622-5121 or you can email at [email protected].