by Joe Citro, Executive Director, Catholic Community of Southwest Florida
(Florida Catholic) –Â While the question, â€śWhat is the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida?â€ť has merit, the question is, â€śWho is the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida?â€ť has far more.
The Foundation is a partnership between the donors who make gifts out of gratitude to God and the Foundation Board of Directors and staff that promote endowment gifts to be used over generations, and needy families and individuals who lives are positively impacted by gifts from Foundation donors.
Catholic Community Foundation donors are frequently people of older age from various walks of life who decide they want to use their lifetime hard-earned assets to make a significant difference in the lives of others for generations to come.
One such person, an Irish immigrant spent her life cleaning houses, and left a contribution of almost $200,000 to the Foundation upon her death to support families of limited means who want to give their children the treasure of aCatholicSchooleducation. Her example, and those provided by many of the donors to the Catholic Community Foundation, affirms that all people have the opportunity to make a lasting gift to others.
The Catholic Community Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors which is composed of Catholic laypeople from throughout the Diocese with expertise in business and investing, diocesan administrators and the Bishop. The Board supports the fund raising efforts of the staff and invests gifts wisely, according to Catholic moral values, so that these Funds will be safeguarded and available to serve the Church for multiple generations.
The beneficiaries of the Foundationâ€™s Funds include poor families who are enabled to give their children the lifelong benefits of a Catholic School education; Special Needs Students who can gain access to Catholic Schools in our Diocese equipped specifically to meet their needs; parishes working with our growing Catholic Hispanic population; and men preparing in the for priesthood in the Diocese of Venice.
Over the last eighteen months the Catholic Community Foundation has experienced incredible growth in its quest follow its slogan: â€śfor good, for God. forever.â€ť In fact, since July of 2010 the Foundationâ€™s funds under management have grown by 147 percent, reaching a total of approximately $15 million; its charitable gift annuities have climbed 160 percent; 11 new Endowment Funds have been added; and promised future gifts have approached an additional $9 million. This growth translates into more students of limited means attending Catholic elementary and high schools, additional funds for Special Needs Students seeking a Catholic education and added resources for services to our Hispanic Catholics for hundreds of years to come.
The Catholic Community Foundation in 2012 will distribute for the first time $1 million through the generosity of its donors. The effect of this contribution, while never able to be fully measured, will undoubtedly make so many more lives better forever.
For more information about the Catholic Community Foundation please call Joseph Citro, the Executive Director, at 941-441-1124.