Endow Your Annual Giving
For many Catholics, the notion of stewardship extends beyond individual lives to encompass a shared commitment to service and generosity. Catholic families, seeking to fortify their legacy of faith-driven giving, are establishing family funds with the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania as a profound and strategic avenue to provide ongoing support for their favorite Catholic causes.
The O’Hara Family Fund
Recently, Bob and Cindi O’Hara created the Robert and Cynthia O’Hara Family Fund to provide annual gifts now and later to a core group of Catholic organizations and causes that are meaningful to their family.
“We wanted to get our affairs in order to avoid anxiety later,” Bob O’Hara said.
“Making impactful gifts now for our family, and for the Catholic causes we supported and believed in for years, was important to us,” Cindi O’Hara added.
The O’Hara Family Fund is the fourth family fund managed by the Catholic Foundation. Organizations that will receive annual support from the O’Hara Family Fund include:
- Catholic Charities
- Because We Are Catholic annual appeal
- St. Ann Parish in Emmaus
- St. Ann School in Emmaus
- Scranton Preparatory School
- Villanova University.
The O’Haras also have the distinction of being the 100th partner and establishing the 130th fund overall since the Catholic Foundation started 10 years ago.
“A family endowment fund provides ongoing financial support for a family’s cherished Catholic causes, ensuring sustained impact across generations,” said Pete Waldron, President of the Catholic Foundation. “This enduring commitment aligns seamlessly with the Catholic philosophy of selfless giving and the perpetuation of charitable endeavors.”
The Scalici Family Fund
One of the primary benefits of family funds lies in their ability to provide stability and consistency to annual giving. Tom and Amy Scalici see this benefit more clearly now as they continue to build up the Scalici Family Endowment Fund started in October 2017. Theirs was the first family fund started with the Catholic Foundation.
“We wanted to endow our annual giving,” said Tom Scalici, CEO of Cornerstone Advisors Asset Management. “I have spent my career managing a prudent investment process for retirement plans, institutions and individuals, and every Catholic institution needs funding so they may remain sustainable over the long run.”
Both Tom and Amy have served in leadership positions and supported many Catholic organizations including their parish Cathedral of St. Catherine of Siena. The couples’ involvement, as well as their children’s involvement, exposed them to the needs in our community.
“A family fund with the Catholic Foundation will provide consistent annual funding to the Catholic causes we care about for generations,” Amy said.
With their family endowment fund in place, the Scalicis believe their support will have lasting impact for three worthy Catholic causes in perpetuity: St. John Vianney Regional School in Allentown, the Mercy School for Special Learning and Catholic Charities.
How to set up a family fund
By creating a sustainable financial base, families can guarantee ongoing support for their chosen Catholic parish, school or Catholic ministry. This stable funding allows beneficiaries to plan and execute impactful initiatives with confidence, fostering a deeper and more lasting impact on the communities they serve.
Family funds offer a structured and disciplined approach to charitable giving. The Catholic Foundation works with a family to define specific criteria and guidelines for fund disbursement, ensuring that their resources are directed toward Catholic causes that resonate with their deeply held values and beliefs.
“This intentional approach not only amplifies the effectiveness of philanthropy but also serves as a testament to the family’s unwavering commitment to their Catholic faith,” Waldron said.
Once the purpose of the fund is established with the selection of the annual beneficiaries, the Catholic Foundation works with the donors and their financial advisor to make sure all tax benefits are being considered. Each year, the Catholic Foundation then sends the annual gifts to each of the designated organizations in the name of the family fund. The annual gift distributions start now, while the donors are still living, and continues on after they pass away.
“The Catholic Foundation made it so easy,” Cindi O’Hara said. “God puts people together to do good.”
Donors have started family funds using a variety of funding methods: appreciated securities, required minimum distributions from an IRA (either personal or inherited), and cash. Families may add to the funds each year, and also include the funds in their will or as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or IRA/investment account.
The Waldron Family Fund
The seven Waldron siblings started the Francis and Mary Waldron Family Endowment Fund as a 60th wedding anniversary gift when their parents were alive. They added to the fund using the proceeds from an inherited IRA left to them by their parents. The fund provides support for a graduation award given to a senior exemplifying school citizenship and service, as well as scholarships, and support for academic and extra-curricular programs at Allentown Central Catholic High School. They also used the inherited IRA to start the Mary Kate Waldron Mercy School Endowment Fund in memory of their sister, who died as an infant. This fund provides an annual gift to the Mercy School for Special Learning.
As the Waldron brothers and sisters worked through the mechanics of setting up the funds, Nora Waldron Gintowt recalled a message shared in the 2021 All Soul’s Day homily by her parish priest in California. Her father’s name was part of the roll call of the recently deceased.
“The priest told us that we are all here because we were loved, and we loved someone,” Gintowt said. “Love never dies. It binds us to each other here on earth and with those in heaven.
“We were loved by our Mom and Dad and this family fund is a wonderful way to share that love with the world around us.”
The Lou Monaco, Jr. Family Fund
Another family fund established with the Catholic Foundation is the St. Joseph the Worker Lou Monaco, Jr. Family Fund. This fund supports activities, programs and organizations designed to provide for the care, well-being and education of children and families at St. Joseph the Worker Parish and School, and at Catholic-related 501(c)(3) children and family ministries within and outside the Diocese of Allentown.
“Ultimately, the establishment of family endowment funds embodies the Catholic belief in the transformative potential of sustained, purposeful giving,” Waldron said. “It is a testament to the enduring nature of faith and a powerful means for Catholic families to leave an indelible mark on the world through their ongoing support of Catholic causes that reflect the essence of their shared beliefs.”
Interested in endowing your annual giving for today and later? Please contact the Catholic Foundation at [email protected].