The Beyond Sunday Education Fund (Fund) of the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri (Foundation) is designed to increase the percentage of Catholic school-aged children enrolled in Catholic schools in Eastern Missouri, including those schools’ special education programs. The Fund’s structure will help ensure that such increases can be sustained over the long-term. While the initial focus will be heavily oriented toward scholarship support, over time the Fund will also provide resources to strengthen academic capacity and innovate in management systems so as to grow and maintain Catholic schools as educational institutions of choice for families of all economic means in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
The Fund will have three grant-making purposes:
At its maturity, the structure of the Fund is anticipated to approximate this illustration, with three funding pools and two advisory partnerships focused on encouraging highly skilled leaders and institutions to become Catholic school system partners.
Each of these grant-making purposes has its own objectives, targets, and measures of grant performance. The distribution of funds across these areas will be re-balanced annually by the Foundation Board to reflect education priorities and funding opportunities and to allow flexibility to meet priority needs or opportunities. The Fund’s overall directions and strategies will be re-examined every five years as part of the Foundation’s review of its grant-making priorities, ensuring that the Fund adjusts its focus in line with the changing needs and environment of the Catholic community in Eastern Missouri. This purposeful process of continual flexibility will allow for a critical focus on scholarships along with regular responsiveness to the opportunities and needs of the school system within the region’s educational market.
A Grants Committee will be formed to include members of the Foundation Board but also potentially Catholic funders and leadership. This Committee will review all grant proposals and bring grants to the full Board for approval.
The intent of the Fund is to support areas of need that will strengthen Catholic education for generations to come. The Fund will grow with continued fundraising. Funds raised in the initial years will be allocated in a proportion determined by the Board to meet immediate grant- making needs and to create a longer-term reserve, the strategic investment of which will allow additional grant-making. The Foundation will pursue a policy of enhanced resource distribution for at least the 2016-2020 period to immediately initiate grant-making at levels that are material and sustainable. Over the longer term, the distribution rate from the corpus will revert to distribution rates that are aligned with an endowed fund. At all times, grant-making decisions will be faithful to life-of-commitment implications, regarding scholarship resources, in order to ensure that the grant commitments can be maintained.
The Beyond Sunday Education Fund represents an ongoing commitment to invest in Catholic education in Eastern Missouri. It will require continuous giving from those equally committed to assure robust Catholic educational institutions in the Archdiocese of St. Louis for future generations.