Susan Laielli – Special to the Florida Catholic
It’s difficult to imagine that with one simple phone call a person can donate to any number of their favorite Catholic, social service, and other pro-life causes such as Pregnancy Care Centers, abstinence programs, Catholic Schools, Catholic Charities and beyond, through the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida (CCFSF).
After investing in other foundations in Southwest Florida, philanthropists Janine Marrone, and her husband Steve, decided to place their hard-earned money into a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) at the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida, where their Catholic and pro-life passions could prosper, and hopefully change hearts and minds along the way.
A Donor-Advised Fund is a charitable investment account for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations you care most about, while offering an immediate tax deduction. Donors make a charitable contribution to their fund and recommend grants from it over time to their favorite Catholic, pro-life or social service programs and ministries.
In the Marrone’s case, they advance many Catholic and pro-life missions, such as creating Luncheons4Life. They are assisted by many good people in Sarasota, Lee and Collier counties within the Diocese, each offering monthly luncheons in support of life. The luncheons, also held in Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Georgia, and Alton, Illinois, bring like-minded supporters of life together without politics, and with no cost or “ask” at the end. Through their Donor-Advised Fund, the Marrone’s are able to raise awareness in hopes of bringing an end to abortion and offering healing to those who have had an abortion.
“The Donor-Advised Fund allows our contributions to be forwarded to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center for the luncheons, or to our Parish, the Catholic Faith Appeal, and Catholic Schools,” said Janine Marrone, who was excited to open the first Donor-Advised Fund with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida this year.
“We can also contribute to the Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation, Pregnancy Care Centers, and to Catholic Charities through this fund,” added Marrone, who was well-versed and experienced in donor-advised funds.
She approached the Catholic Community Foundation when she heard they were launching their own Donor-Advised Fund program that was more in alignment with her faith and values.
Funds with the Catholic Community Foundation are invested in socially responsible, Catholic-screened investments. Distributions can only be made to Catholic, pro-life or social service agencies whose mission and services are in keeping with the teachings of the Church.
“Earlier in 2018, the Catholic Community Foundation Board approved the launch of our Donor-Advised Fund program in response to numerous requests from donors within the Diocese who were looking for a Catholic option,” said Michael Morse, Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida. “I was so blessed to work with the Marrone’s on the program’s launch.”
With the launch of this new program the CCFSW is now a full-service community foundation that can meet the needs of donors looking for a faith-based alternative for their giving. All Donor-Advised Funds, similar to all funds held by the Foundation, are governed by fund agreements signed by the donor, which specify how they may be used.
“With the recent changes to the tax laws, Donor-Advised Funds with the Catholic Community Foundation may be a great way to maximize your tax benefits this year and going forward,” added Morse.
Marrone exhibits much enthusiasm when she talks about charitable giving and making a difference, but she also is very active and engaged in the community, so there’s not a lot of time to waste.
“Working with the Foundation is easy, and with the Donor-Advised Fund it’s essentially one-stop-shopping, really,” said Marrone.
For more information on donor-advised funds or the Catholic Community Foundation, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124.