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1. What is the role of the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri?

Founded in 2013, the mission of the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri (Foundation) is to build endowed funds that will continue to support Catholic parishes, schools, agencies, and charities throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis for generations to come. As part of its initial philanthropic efforts, the Foundation will conduct an Archdiocesan-wide fundraising campaign in support of our parishes and Catholic schools. The campaign has the blessing of Archbishop Carlson.

2. What is the rationale for the campaign?

In 2018, the Archdiocese will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Throughout two centuries we have been guided by the Holy Spirit and sustained through the thriving spirit of Catholicism in St. Louis. It is time to be grateful for past blessings and plan for the future! It is the responsibility of today’s Catholics to ensure that our parishes and schools have the resources to provide the proper environment to teach, prepare, and nurture the next generation of Catholics.

Annually we educate approximately 58,000 students in our 140 Catholic schools and through our numerous religious education programs. Our objective with this campaign is to raise more than $100 million to:

  • Create an Education Fund that will give middle-income families access to scholarship aid; ensure that our schools remain competitive to attract and retain skilled teachers and staff; and provide the resources necessary to ensure the latest technological and educational advancements are made available to our students; and,
  • Give each parish the ability to address its individual needs by raising funds for their own use.

3. When will parishes participate in the campaign?

All parishes will conduct their campaigns as part of a “Block” of parishes between June 2015 and December 2016:

  • The first group of parishes (Block 1) will launch the campaign in June of 2015;
  • The second group of parishes (Block 2) will launch the campaign in January of 2016; and,
  • The third group of parishes (Block 3) will launch the campaign in June of 2016.

4. How will parish targets be set?

Parish targets are set at 120% of the regular ordinary offertory for the year ended June 30, 2013, rounded up to the nearest increment of $5,000.

5. Goal/Block Review Process

Preliminary goals and block assignments may be adjusted based on local prevailing conditions such as recent campaigns, changing demographics, current parish indebtedness, and/or known local extenuating conditions.

  • Parishes will be informed of their goals in advance of the scheduled block of activity via a letter.
  • Goal/Block adjustment requests must be made within three weeks of receiving the assignment letter. These requests should be made via a letter from the pastor, after consultation with his Finance and/or Parish Pastoral Councils.
  • Goal adjustment requests will be limited to a percentage of the parish goal – 5%, 10% or 15%.
  • All requests should include supporting statistics and the rationale for goal reduction and/or block adjustment.
  • The Priests Advisory Committee will review requests and make recommendations to the Archbishop for his decision.
  • All goals and block assignments will be finalized after review of requests for reduction/adjustment.
  • Parishes that appealed for a goal and/or block adjustment will be notified in writing of their final goal and block assignment.
  • The Priests Advisory Committee will review any parishes struggling to achieve their goal and determine whether these parishes are following the fundraising plan designed to achieve their assigned campaign goal. The Priests Advisory Committee will then recommend a course of action to assist the parish in following the campaign plan and achieving the goal.

6. What share of campaign dollars raised will the parishes receive?

Each parish will receive 40% of the funds raised through their parish campaign and will use these funds to address their own local needs. For example, a parish may choose to use its share of the funds to create a parish or school endowment, support its faith formation programs, parish ministries, or to make improvements to parish infrastructure. If an affluent parish does not have critical needs it may choose to partner or “twin” with a parish in more need or school, or support Catholic Charities, St. Vincent DePaul Society or any number of Catholic organizations with its share.

7. How will the Foundation use the remaining 60% of the campaign dollars raised?

After campaign expenses, the Foundation will create a Beyond Sunday Education Fund that will focus on three initiatives:

  1. Scholarships for middle-income families;
  2. Academic Capacity Enhancement Grants for STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics); and,
  3. Innovation Grants to seed new ideas in education management, marketing, and faculty retention.

Funds will be available for schools in all ten Deaneries and grant recipients will be limited to parochial and Archdiocesan schools and education programs.

In order to jumpstart the distribution process, beginning in 2016 the Roman Catholic Foundation will distribute up to $5 million per year for the first five years; the amount directed to each of the three components will be determined by a Roman Catholic Foundation Grants Committee that will be appointed to review all applications. The remaining funds will be placed into a Beyond Sunday Education Fund with all investments morally screened according to USCCB guidelines.

8. How will the shared funds be returned to the parishes?

An account for each parish will be created specifically for the campaign. As funds are collected through the pledge redemption process, parishes will receive their disbursements semi-annually on a cash received basis.

9. Who oversees the funds for the campaign?

The Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri will manage all campaign funds. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees, which is comprised of laity and clergy from the community, carefully oversees the management of all investments and will report annually on campaign progress. Once campaign funds are disbursed to the parish, parish leadership will be responsible for overseeing the funds and utilizing them in accordance to the needs outlined within the parish’s campaign case for support.

Members of the Board include:

  • and Mrs. Donald and Nancy Ross
  • and Mrs. Leonard and Pat Dino
  • and Mrs. Frederick and Michele Forshaw
  • and Mrs. Niall and Gretchen Gannon
  • Msgr. Vernon Gardin
  • and Mrs. Michael and Rita Mooney
  • Stephen Notestine
  • and Mrs. Timothy and Susan Sansone
  • and Mrs. Joseph and Rosemary Shaughnessy
  • and Mrs. Kevin and Patti Short
  • and Mrs. David and Diane Snively
  • Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Ex-Officio
  • Msgr. Mark S. Rivituso, Ex-Officio
  • Nancy J. Werner, Ex-Officio
  • Mark J. Guyol, Ex-Officio

10. Who will be asked to support the campaign?

Every Catholic household in the Archdiocese of St. Louis will be asked for its prayerful consideration of a gift to the campaign.

11. Will the campaign affect parish offertory?

Parish offertory is expected to remain constant as parishioners will be asked to consider campaign gifts over and above their regular giving.

12. How much will a household be asked to give to the campaign?

The campaign is being run on the basis of “equal sacrifice, not equal giving.” It is well understood that for many the amount that is being requested represents a significant sacrifice. Gifts are payable for up to a five-year period through installments in order to allow donors to give significantly more than they might otherwise consider through a one-time gift. Parishioners are encouraged to choose one of the available gift plans which best suits their individual circumstances.

In order to better position parishes to meet their goal, we will respectfully request consideration of a larger-size commitment from families that may be able to consider an extraordinary “leadership gift” or “major gift” that will make the most positive impact possible. Please keep in mind that that this request is a suggested amount; we simply ask that each family prayerfully consider a sacrificial level of support that is appropriate for their situation, and will gratefully receive all commitments to Beyond Sunday in the same spirit in which they are given.

13. Are donors able to pay pledges using a credit card, debit card, or through automatic withdrawal from a checking account?

Yes. A donor may fulfill a pledge using a credit card, debit card, or automatic withdrawal from a checking account. The donor simply completes an authorization form with the required information. These forms will be included in all campaign materials presented to parishioners.

14. Can donors make gifts of stock or other non-cash gifts?

Yes. The campaign accepts gifts of stock and other non-liquid assets, including real estate. Donors wishing to make non-cash gifts should speak with their pastor/pastoral administrator or contact the Foundation at 314-918-2890. If considering an estate gift, donors should contact the Foundation directly for assistance. Donors should always consult their financial consultants before making a planned gift.

15. Why are donors asked to complete a pledge card?

Pledge cards aid in appropriately recording and acknowledging commitments and in providing donors with a reminder of subsequent payments according to the schedule they request. Donors are asked to sign the pledge card, indicating that they have authorized the terms of the gift as reported on the card. (The pledge card is not considered a legally binding document.)

16. Are gifts to the campaign tax deductible?

Yes. Gifts to the campaign are tax deductible as allowed by law. The application of such laws varies with individual financial circumstances.

17. Who will manage pledge redemption?

The Foundation will assume the responsibility of managing a comprehensive pledge redemption program on behalf of the parishes so as not to burden them with the task. Donors will receive pledge reminders according to the schedule they indicate on the campaign pledge card.

18. The Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) and the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation also raise funds for financial assistance for students. How will this be different?

The Annual Catholic Appeal provides the yearly operating funds necessary to support the many ministries and good works of the Archdiocese. The Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation provide annual scholarships to economically disadvantaged families in need of financial assistance for their children to attend Catholic schools.

The Capital Campaign conducted by the Roman Catholic Foundation is a one-time fundraising initiative with the dual purpose of strengthening our parishes and our schools.  Specifically, it will:

  • Create the Beyond Sunday Education Fund that will provide need-based scholarships to middle-income families and invest in our schools for generations to come; and,
  • Give parishes the opportunity to address their own local needs with the 40% of the funds raised through their parish campaign.

19. How will Beyond Sunday benefit special education?

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 students enrolled in special education programs, who will be eligible to receive Beyond Sunday Education Fund scholarships. Special education schools will also be eligible for both Academic Capacity Enhancement and Transformational Innovation Fund grants.

20. Is Common Core being taught in our schools?

No.  However, the Catholic Education Office remains mindful that several SAT questions are based on Common Core material, which makes it appropriate to provide our students with some knowledge of that program to assist with their SAT preparation.

21. Will parishes continue to take part in the Annual Catholic Appeal during the campaign?

Yes. The Annual Catholic Appeal is critical to the day-to-day operation of Archdiocesan services and ministries. A reduction in ACA collections would place the future of many people, served by services and ministries that are supported by the ACA, at risk.

22. Will the Alive in Christ! Mission Advancement Initiative annual assessment continue during and beyond this Campaign?

Yes. Approximately 2,500 students are attending 94 Catholic parish elementary schools throughout the Archdiocese as recipients of Alive in Christ! scholarships. The commitment to families receiving these scholarships is to follow their child(ren) through 8th grade graduation. Therefore, that particular parish assessment will continue during and beyond our campaign.

23. How will the campaign expenses be paid?

Campaign expenses will be paid from the Foundation’s portion of the gifts, not from the 40% that will be returned to the parishes.

24. I currently have an endowment with SLAF and would like to use my 40% to add to it. Can I move my endowment over to the Roman Catholic Foundation?

That is great that you would like to add to your endowment! Our understanding is that current endowments will remain in SLAF. Or you may choose to start a new endowment at the Foundation.

25. When will the campaign begin?

The campaign officially kicked off in June 2015.