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Frequently Asked Questions


1.  What is the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota?


The Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota supports parishes, schools and ministries with the necessary resources to be vibrant     centers of faith and service in southern Minnesota and to assist faithful Catholics in fulfilling their stewardship call. 


Since its founding in 1991, the Foundation has faithfully managed and distributed contributions according to donors’ wishes in areas of greatest need in the wider community.  The Foundation stands as a Center for Catholic Philanthropy across southern Minnesota and beyond in service of Catholic Responsible Investing and sophisticated planned giving that celebrates our Catholic identity.


Over the life of the Foundation, nearly $80 Million has been stewarded back into the southern Minnesota community.  This is the direct result of the generosity of Catholics like you.


2.  What do you mean by ‘foundation’?


Our foundation is a public charity established to serve Catholic charitable interests throughout southern Minnesota.  Donors have the option of creating funds in support of their interests with respect to the foundation’s purpose.  Currently, the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota stewards 70 different funds each in alignment with Catholic means and ends.  Donors are able to designate which organizations will benefit through a restricted gift, or they may make an unrestricted gift in support of the overall mission of the Foundation. Since all funds are invested, the funds continue to grow so that over time more and more charitable causes will benefit from the donors’ gifts.


3.  What comprises the Foundation portfolio?

Current holdings total $24 million.  The Foundation administers the following campaigns and appeals: Seeds of Faith, Rooted in Faith-Rejoice in Hope, Catholic Ministries Appeal, and Seminarian Burse.  In addition to these fundraising efforts, the portfolio comprises parish and school endowments, as well as restricted and unrestricted gifts made by individual donors.


4.  What are some of the causes funded by the 70 funds?

·         Parishes

·         Schools

·         Cemeteries

·         Seminarian Education

·         Foreign Mission

·         Catholic Education Tuition Assistance

·         Higher Education Tuition Assistance

·         Hispanic Education Tuition Assistance

·         Faith Formation

·         Clergy Formation

·         Individual Charitable Trusts and Annuities

·         And more!

Gifts of perpetuity will ensure the longevity of our Catholic Church throughout southern Minnesota.  As more and more Catholics pray about and answer their call to stewardship, the list of supported causes will grow.

5.  Why would a donor use the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota to make his/her charitable gifts?

Here are several reasons why we can help you fulfill your stewardship calling:

  • We practice Catholic Responsible Investing (CRI), an investment strategy designed specifically to help Catholic institutions pursue their missions by providing sound financial returns while remaining faithful to the teachings of the Church.
  • We offer a higher return on investment than what most banks and CDs can offer.

  • A gift made to CFSM is tax-deductible, as we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and in many cases, there is no capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated securities and/or property.

  • You retain the flexibility to create a fund tailored to your charitable interests.

  • We adhere to public accountability in our annual reports certified by independent auditors that our funds are being used for charitable purposes.

  • Your funds are kept safe from legal actions against individual charities/organizations.

  • You receive access to our professional network of financial and legal advisors for guidance on planned giving.

  • You save costs on administration, investment management, and grant activities, since funds are combined into larger pools.

  • You gain the satisfaction of knowing your charitable interests will be supported for generations to come.

6.  What is planned giving in a nutshell?

Planned giving is a way for you to integrate your personal, financial and estate planning goals by making lifetime or testamentary charitable gifts.  Some common types of planned gifts are:

  • Bequest – a gift made through your will, trust or life insurance policy

  • Charitable Gift Annuity – You make a gift of cash or property to us, and we agree to make fixed payments for one or two lives.

  • Life Estate Reserved – You transfer your personal residence or farm to us and retain the right to use the property for your lifetime.

7.  If our parish wants to set up an Endowment, how can the Foundation help us?

We will work closely with you to secure the Endowment option that meets your expectations.  You can rest assured that you are in good hands with us as we provide you with investment and administrative services, stewardship and development assistance and planning, planned giving and access to Lumen Christi Society benefits, and greater exposure to the philanthropic community of southern Minnesota.  Contact us today to schedule a presentation at your parish: 507.858.1275.

Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota

55 W Sanborn St - PO Box 30098

Winona, MN  55987

Phone: 507-858-1275