Are you interested in setting up an endowment fund with the Catholic Community Foundation but need a clearer picture of what it is and how it works?

Simply put…

An endowment fund is a permanent fund created and managed to provide long-term financial support for a designated purpose. It receives donations from individuals or organizations, which are invested to generate income, leaving the capital intact. The revenue generated is then used to the benefit of a particular organization or purpose through regularly scheduled payouts or grants

An endowment fund is a powerful tool for creating long-term impact and ensuring that vital organizations and causes can continue their important work for years.

But how exactly does the process work? Are there benefits to the donor as well? Let’s take a deeper look at this topic.

How do endowment funds work?

Endowment funds can be established by individuals, or entities and can be structured in various ways to accommodate different needs and goals. Donations that create the endowment fund and future donations are typically kept intact; the interest or earnings are spent. 

The fund is invested in a diversified portfolio of assets, such as stocks, bonds, and other securities in accordance with the tenets of our Catholic faith. 

This investment generates a steady stream of income that can be used to support the organization’s activities forever. 

This allows the organization to continue receiving funding forever, ensuring its mission can be pursued confidently. Understanding how endowment funds work can be valuable for those supporting non-profit organizations or educational institutions.

Benefits of an Endowment Fund 

Establishing an endowment fund comes with several benefits that are worth considering. Below are some detailed explanations of the benefits of creating an endowment fund.

1. Long-term financial support

The primary benefit of creating an endowment fund at the Catholic Community Foundation is to provide a perpetual stream of revenue to a Catholic parish, school, agency, ministry or cause. 

The earnings generated from these investments support the organization’s activities, ensuring its continued success even during market fluctuations or economic downturns.

2. A reliable source of funding

Endowment funds provide a reliable funding source for an organization’s operations, unlike one-off donations, which may be irregular or unpredictable. 

With an endowment fund, the organization can plan and budget for the future as they have a predictable income stream.

3. Increased fundraising capability

Establishing an endowment fund can help organizations diversify their funding sources. 

This can enable them to tap into multiple charitable donors interested in contributing towards a specific cause. This can strengthen relationships with donors and increase the amount of funding an organization receives.

4. Enhanced reputation

Endowment funds can enhance the reputation of organizations over time. 

When donors invest in an endowment fund, they express their confidence in the organization’s mission and long-term viability, which can attract more donors and potential partner organizations.

5. Tax benefits

An endowment fund provides tax benefits. 

Donors are entitled to tax deductions for their contributions, and the endowment assets are exempt from taxes on capital gains, valuations, and income. 

This makes it an attractive option for donors seeking tax advantages while supporting a cause. 

How to establish an endowment fund?

Establishing an endowment fund may seem daunting at first, but with the right approach, it is straightforward and simple.

Firstly, you must identify the fund’s purpose and the organization that will manage it. Then you need to determine the initial funding, set guidelines for using the funds, and make provisions for ongoing contributions. 

If you want to set up an endowment fund with the Catholic Community Foundation, learn more here – ENDOWMENTS

Common misconceptions about endowment funds

Misconception 1: Endowment funds are only for wealthy people 
The Truth: Endowment funds do not require large donations.

Misconception 2: Only non-profit organizations can create endowments
The Truth: Individuals and families can also open an endowment fund. 

Misconception 3: Endowment funds are expensive to set up 
The Truth: There is no cost to open an endowment fund at CCF. Once the fund is open, there is an annual administrative fee of 75 basis points of three quarters or one percent on an annual basis. This is the only fee/cost and is charged to the endowment account . The tax benefits provided by donating to an endowment outweigh the costs. 


Endowment funds with the Catholic Community Foundation provide a stable source of income for Catholic parishes, schools, agencies, ministries and causes while offering tax benefits to donors. 

With the right approach and guidelines, anyone can establish an endowment fund to support causes they care about.


1. Who can create an endowment fund?

Anyone can establish an endowment fund, including individuals, families, parishes, schools, ministries and agencies. 

2. How much money do I need to create an endowment fund?

Endowment funds at CCF can be established for a Parish or Catholic school with an initial deposit of $5,000 or $10,000 for a Catholic ministry or Catholic agency. Once established, donors can contribute any amount they wish, at any time, and the funds are invested to generate long-term income. 

3. How are endowment funds managed?

Endowment funds with the Catholic Community Foundation  managed by an investment committee appointed by CCF’s Board of Directors. These individuals are responsible for managing the fund’s investments.

Investment objectives are competitive returns while guided by the tenets of our Catholic faith – Protect Human Life, Promote Human Dignity, Enhance the Common Good, Pursue Economic Justice, and Save Our Global Common Home.

4. What are the guidelines for using the funds generated by an endowment?

The fund’s initial donorsets the guidelines for using the funds generated by an endowment. Such parameters are set in the initiating document at the outset of an Endowment fund.

5. Are endowment funds expensive to set up?

There is no cost associated with setting up an endowment fund at the Catholic Community Foundation. Additionally, the benefits of establishing a stable source of income make it a worthwhile investment for many organizations and individuals. The cost of establishing an Endowment Fund with CCF is only the initial contribution. There are no fees or initiating costs to establish such a Fund with CCF.