In an effort to provide additional value to its endowment fund partners, the Catholic Foundation recently rolled out customized marketing and planned giving programs. The focus is to help partners raise awareness among its constituencies about their endowment funds managed by the Foundation. The goal is to help foundation partners get additional contributions and grow their endowments.
“Offering these services and resources is another way the Catholic Foundation differentiates itself from typical investment firms on the street,” Pete Waldron, Executive Director of the Catholic Foundation, said. “We work with our partners to develop a strategy and timeline to assist them in promoting their endowment fund to their donor base and show the various opportunities for giving.”
St. Joseph the Worker in Orefield and St. Theresa’s Parish in Hellertown piloted a marketing communication effort during Easter weekend. The Catholic Foundation inserted a customized 4-color special edition of the Foundation’s In Perpetuum newsletter in the parish bulletin. The newsletter featured articles and information about each parish’s respective endowment funds. St. Joseph has four endowment funds managed by the Catholic Foundation and St. Theresa has two. Follow-up tactics, such as e-newsletters, e-blasts, website posts, will follow later.
“A number of parishioners stopped and asked me about our endowment funds featured in the bulletin insert,” Monsignor Robert Wargo, pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Church, said. “It’s a start.”
Waldron agreed that communication is the first step in giving.
“Donors look very favorably on organizations that have formalized endowment efforts,” he said. “It demonstrates vision, good stewardship and financial stability. They like knowing their gift will live on forever.
“An endowment fund is the ‘gift that keeps on giving,’ “ Waldron said. “As an endowment fund grows, the annual distribution also will grow.”
St. Joseph the Worker is also piloting the Planned Giving Partner Program coordinated by the Catholic Foundation. The Foundation is working with the parish’s Planned Giving Committee to set up a series of information workshops that will serve to demystify the planned giving process.
“People don’t always realize how they can help causes that are important to them, both now and in the future,” Beth Beers, an estate planning attorney in Bath, PA and Secretary of the Catholic Foundation Board of Directors, said. “We want people to understand the impact anyone can have on their parish or school through planned giving.”
Beers has conducted similar workshops for Advancement Directors at Diocesan Catholic schools. Topics covered include the impact of planned giving, types of planned gifts and tax consequences with charitable giving. “An endowment fund in the Catholic Foundation is the perfect repository for a planned gift,” Waldron said. “People like to know their final gift to their favorite Catholic cause will have lasting impact.”