October 28, 2022

Investing with Faith / Kimberly Pohovey

Endowments allow Church to respond to those in need of God’s love

Kimberly PohoveyIt might surprise you to know that the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF) manages more than 550 distinct endowment funds with a total

value of more than $200 million. God has certainly blessed us. But those numbers might also make you wonder why you should consider investing in an endowment fund in addition to your annual giving.

There are so many needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to serve. And there will always be people who depend on the love of God they receive through both the corporal and the spiritual works of mercy. Opportunities to feed, clothe and house the poor, to visit the sick and imprisoned, to educate, counsel, comfort and guide aren’t going anywhere.

“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pt 4:10). The truth is that being good stewards of what God has given us means making decisions that will enable us to serve others now—but also in the future. The short term is urgent. But our long-term ability to support the mission of Christ and the Church is important, too. That’s what endowment funds are all about.

What is an endowment anyway? And how can the gifts we make benefit from them?

Briefly, endowments are investments fueled by compound interest. That is, the interest that is earned on a sum of money, plus any interest that has already accrued.

Anything with compounded interest grows exponentially rather than in a straight line. That can cost us when it applies to credit card debt. But with investments, compound interest can benefit us tremendously. The CCF leverages the power of compound interest for the good of the Gospel and the people we serve.

Endowments help ensure that our archdiocesan organizations will remain financially healthy. Funds invested in CCF grow at a faster pace than most, due to both compounding interest and the combined investing power of more than $200 million in assets.

As these funds grow, the benefits are twofold. First, the interest they earn provides an income stream that will help us respond to the needs we will encounter in the future. Second, the annual distributions from a portion of that interest provide our agencies and organizations the operating funds they need today.

Funds in the CCF are managed by investment policies that meet the long-term investment objective, while at the same time attempting to limit the volatility in year-to-year spending. The investment committee and investment managers invest in a manner consistent with the moral teachings of the Church.

Last year alone, more than $9 million was distributed from the CCF to organizations within the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. This support comes from investment income. The principal is never touched. So, we can provide for what we need now without sacrificing our ability to serve the needs we are likely to encounter in the future.

While we may not know what needs we will encounter, we do know that we will be called to bring the compassionate love of God to others as we are today.

Endowment funds give us the security of knowing that we will be able to respond to people in need with God’s love in the form of genuine assistance.

(Kimberly Pohovey is the director of major and planned gifts for the archdiocese. To learn more about endowments, including establishing a new fund or contributing to an existing one, please contact us at ccf@archindy.org or call 317-236-1482.)

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