This Day at the Foundation

This Day at the Foundation


Mary Quilici Aumack
Executive Director
Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County

Sometimes (okay, often) people ask me this: What exactly is it that you DO at the Foundation?
Sometimes I answer with examples of what we DO:

  • Build FOREVER VALUE for Catholic ministry through endowments and donor advised funds;
  • Provide investment and legacy planning services for parishes, elementary schools, and other Catholic organizations;
  • Match generous people with really cool Catholic programs that could do even more with expanded funding.

Sometimes I answer with examples of what we DON’T DO:

  • Direct support (food, clothing);
  • Wonderful economic support programs like Catholic Charities.

The other day, the staff was commenting about how, in one day, we experienced a number of activities and encounters that give form to these explanations. Here is an overview of that day.

This was a typical day; joyful, hopeful and productive:

We made progress on a new tuition assistance endowment for an elementary school.

We gave information and assistance to a fledgling Catholic Foundation for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

I had lunch with a donor who will be signing a letter of commitment, confirming a planned gift from his estate for his parish.

A committed parishioner sent us his “project plan,” a roadmap for significant growth of the parish endowment.

Some checks came in the mail; contributions to parish endowments. One was accompanied by our new Spanish language donation form.

We prepared materials for translation in three languages for a parish mailing.

Sean helped a young man open a Donor Advised Fund. He will make annual contributions, and this will enable his philanthropy and begin the process of developing his legacy plan.

A couple stopped by to learn more about donating to the endowment for their parish.

Marie sent out letters informing applicants of grants awarded for this year’s spring cycle. This was a record year for us, and her first.

Nora and Carolina worked on four upcoming parish gatherings.
Toward the end of the day, a pastor came in for assistance with a letter he was preparing to send to select parishioners regarding their endowment. This pastor is one of many who started the endowment with his own donation of $1,000. He is inspired by this opportunity and wanted the letter to be just right. When he arrived, I gave him a hug and he got to work.

He opened the letter with this from Saint Paul: I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you.

He likened the endowment to a “gratitude jar,” where gifts may be received that will provide fruits for future ministries, and future gratitude.

As I was leaving for an outside appointment, I said to the pastor, “Farewell Shakespeare. Keep up the great writing.” He replied, “Thanks for the bear hug; made my day.”

Such is a day in the life of the Foundation…

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