Frequently Asked Questions & Comments

1. What is the mission and purpose of the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas?

Promote the spiritual mission of the Catholic Church by encouraging stewardship. Collaborate with parishes and institutions to develop additional resources and support. Build endowed funds to ensure the vitality of the Church and its ministries. Steward responsibly the funds entrusted to the Foundation.

2. How is the CFNEK managed?

The Archbishop is the sole member of this separately incorporated foundation, and he relies on the guidance of a board of professional Catholics to make important decisions. This board meets quarterly and is operated primarily in three committees - Finance, who manages investment decisions; Marketing, who promotes the use of the CFNEK to the Catholic community in northeast Kansas; and Nominating, who recruits new representatives to the board.

3. What is an endowment fund?

An endowment fund is a fund whose purpose is to provide income for a specified purpose. The principal of an endowment is permanent and is not available for withdrawal.

4. We would like to invest in equity securities in the stock market; can we do this through the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas?

The Catholic Foundation offers a diversified equity and fixed income portfolio managed by outside money managers.

5. Some people think we can get better investment returns by investing with a member of our own community.  Is this true?

Based on Canon Law it is Archdiocesan policy that long term investments are best managed through strict investment management protocols. The Foundation's Finance Committee relies on the Christian Brothers Investment Services Funds that offer equity investments with competitive returns using highly respected third party investment managers. In addition to offering competitive returns, they offer investments that adhere to Catholic socially responsible investment policies. In addition to the equity investments, the fixed income portion of your investments is placed in the Archdiocesan Deposit and Loan Fund. This fund pays an above average interest rate and is a lending resource for other parish's capital improvement projects.

6. Who manages the investments of an endowment in the CFNEK?

The sponsoring institution (i.e. parish, school, or Catholic Organization) is responsible for the investment allocation of their endowment fund within CFNEK investment portfolio options.

7. Past parishioners did not create an endowment, why should we?

The parishioners who preceded you built your church, school and other parish buildings. They built the solid physical foundation on which your parish now stands. This generation has the opportunity to lay a solid financial foundation for future parishioners.

8. If we create an endowment that produces more income than we need, future parishioners will not feel the need to give.

An endowment fund is not intended to replace all the income for a parish or institution but, rather supplement the income. If endowment income does grow to significant levels, local and outreach programs that were not possible now become possible.

8. Our parish or institution has a large debt. Should we postpone starting an endowment until we have eliminated the debt?

There are a number of ways to fund an endowment. The repayment of debt generally comes from ordinary income such as Sunday envelopes and annual fundraising events. An endowment can be funded with extra-ordinary income such as bequests and memorials.  Since these are two separate funding sources it is not necessary to choose between planning for the future and addressing immediate needs.  The local finance committee makes the decisions based on their unique situations.

9. Our parish or institution currently has a major capital project. All gifts we receive should go toward this capital project.

An important aspect of your capital campaign should be the establishment of and/or the additional funding of an endowment fund for the purpose of providing income for the on-going maintenance and improvement plan for the capital project.  Capital campaigns are a great time to communicate the importance of planning for long-term financial needs.

10. If we place our money with the Catholic Foundation in an endowment fund, then if an emergency would arise, we would not have access to these dollars.

The definition of an endowment fund is permanently held capital used to produce income to support on-going projects and meet institutional opportunities. The concept of perpetual income with the preservation of principal is the reason many people donate to an endowment. A parish / institution should find a good balance between reserves for emergencies and endowments for long-term viability.

11. When will we receive distributions from our endowment and how are the distributions calculated?

Distributions from your endowment fund are optional. Distributions are available semi-annually in January and July. The current income distribution policy of the CFNEK states that if a fund is invested 50% or greater in the actively managed equity portfolio, the available annual distribution will be 4% of the average of the previous three year-end total account balances. If the account is invested at less than 50% in the equity portfolio the available annual distribution will be the fixed income portfolio income plus 4% of the average of the previous three year-end equity portfolio balances.

12. Can our parish have separate endowments fund for the parish and the parish school?

A parish can set up separate endowments for the parish and parish school. If a parish elects to have one endowment fund with a dual purpose, the parish would be responsible for the distribution of income to the stated beneficiaries.

13. What will happen to our endowment fund if our parish, school or institution no longer exists?

The endowment document contains language that directs who the contingent beneficiary will be. In the case of the dissolution of a parish, the endowment would transfer to the parish where the former parishioners would attend. The same is true for a school endowment. In the event that an endowment is established by an individual, the donor has the ability to name a subsequent beneficiary at the time of the gift.