Centennial Campaign distributions surpass $5.3 million

By RENEE WEBB
rwebb@catholicglobe.org

The recent distribution of $600,000 to several diocesan entities from the Centennial Campaign of Excellence, affirms the value of endowments.

According to Diane Donnelly, director of finance for the Diocese of Sioux City, distributions from the Centennial Campaign endowment have totaled more than $5.3 million since its inception 16 years ago.

template“It’s always nice for parishioners to know that the dollars they gave years ago are continuing to reap benefits,” she said.

Held in 2002 during the Diocese of Sioux City’s centennial year, the campaign raised $10,385,000 that is maintained in a permanent endowment which is professionally managed in a balanced portfolio.

Only earnings from this fund may be distributed, noted Donnelly. The Diocesan Finance Council reviews the investment returns and determines the amount of money to be distributed for the year at its January meeting.

Karen Waldschmitt of Remsen, a member of the Diocesan Finance Council, was a participant in the initial development and planning of the Centennial Campaign of Excellence years ago.

The campaign established endowments in four specific areas of need in diocesan life – Catholic schools (teacher salaries and benefits), Catholic Charities, faith formation (adult and family ministries, youth ministries and religious education) and multicultural ministries. Those who made contributions to the campaign could direct their gift to a specific area if they opted to do so.

“Donations to this campaign have been invested wisely, yielding significant financial contributions to key diocesan entities over the years,” Waldschmitt said. “It is most gratifying to me to witness the ongoing positive outcomes from this campaign endeavor, past, present and future.”

Donors were able to designate a gift that would benefit their own school, the Catholic School Foundation or another of the other areas of need.  In accordance with the Diocesan spending policy, the original value of the gifts must remain intact and distributions can only be made from the fund’s investment earnings. The distribution formula is based partly on initial fundraising efforts for the campaign back in 2002 and partly on the full time equivalent of the teachers employed at the schools.

Of the $600,000 distributed this year, Catholic schools received $315,000, Catholic Charities $135,000, adult faith formation $123,360 and multicultural ministries, $26,640.

One of the schools that had success with the campaign was the Kuemper Catholic School System. This year, Kuemper received more than $46,000 and to date annual distributions have yielded the Carroll school nearly $413,000.

John Steffes, president of the Kuemper Catholic Schools, said the Centennial Campaign has been a wonderful supplement to Kuemper over the years.  He extended gratitude to the donors who contributed to the campaign back in 2002.

“That campaign continues to produce dividends today to our teachers,” he said. “Twice a year, we give our Kuemper teachers an extra boost in their Advent and Easter paychecks and deliver them in person which comes from this diocesan fund.”

Fred Shellabarger, director of evangelization and discipleship, said these funds are beneficial to many parish faith formation programs.

“Whether it is helping to subsidize the cost of Formed subscriptions, providing catechisms to all parents of children in religious education programs, launching youth ministry efforts or upgrading technology, these funds help parishes to share the joy of the Gospel,” he said.

Given the recipients of these funds all work with limited resources, Donnelly said they are all grateful for the generosity of parishioners who gave donations to establish the endowment.

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