Endowment Funds Ensure the Future of Catholic Education

Outcomes, faith-filled environment make schools top funding priority for Catholic Foundation donors

Dioceses across the United States, including Allentown, just wrapped up the annual week-long celebration of Catholic education. Catholic Schools Week showcases how students benefit from a rigorous academic program with consistent outcomes coupled with a faith-filled, family-friendly school environment.  These benefits make Catholic school education a top funding priority for donors of the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania.

Fifty percent of the endowment funds managed by the Catholic Foundation are education and scholarship related. The current 57 funds were started with a focus on preserving access to a Catholic school education.

“Every week is Catholic Schools Week to our donors,” said Pete Waldron, President of the Catholic Foundation. “People see the strong results and outcomes at our Catholic schools and are asking how they can do more to sustain this education success for students.”

In the Diocese of Allentown, many students would like to attend or remain in a Catholic school. However, diminishing family finances can make this choice impossible. Cost is the top reason cited by families who do not enroll their children in Catholic schools.

During the past five years, schools that benefit from education endowment funds managed by the Catholic Foundation received more than $1 million in support.  However, the shortfall for annual scholarship needs for all Diocesan schools exceeds $10 million.

Catholic Education: An Investment in Our Future

“We need to create and grow more education endowment funds to make Catholic schools affordable and accessible for all families,” Waldron said.  “Education endowment funds generate future income for our schools and provide students access to a premier Catholic education and a chance to succeed.”

Scholarships, teacher excellence efforts, STEAM educational programs, as well as maintenance and capital improvement efforts, are top funding needs.

“The Catholic Foundation will work with parishes, schools and individual donors to create and grow endowments that will fund these educational priorities,” Waldron said.

— Updated February 15, 2024 from original article published February 3, 2022

Educational / Scholarship Endowment Funds at the Catholic Foundation Include: