Home Community On A Firm Foundation: Stories from the Foundation

On A Firm Foundation: Stories from the Foundation


By Mary Quilici Aumack

Chief Executive Officer
The Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County

In this issue of The Valley Catholic, as is our tradition, we publish our annual newsletter. Read this piece to learn more about the work of the Foundation and the success stories of our wonderful grantees and donors. (Click here to access newsletter on pages 11-14).

Grantees? Yup, these are the parishes, schools and other organizations who have received grants from the Catholic Community Foundation.

The Foundation is first and foremost a grant maker. We grant from institutional funds (think Parish and school endowments) and from family funds. One thing is the same in all our grant making: Through developing and granting from these funds, we are able to connect generous people with important and effective programs.

Let me tell you a few stories:

In 2016 we introduced our $1 million match for parish endowments. We now manage 38 parish endowments and have granted over $100,000 from these funds since 2016.

We are working with individuals and families as they develop their philanthropic strategies for today and as part of their legacy plan. When you open a family charitable (Donor Advised) fund with us, you become a grant maker! This can have measurable impact on a family, moving them from “givers” to “philanthropists.” We see it every day. Using a Donor Advised Fund, parents can talk to their children about giving and strategize a family philanthropy plan.

The best stories are those of collaboration – when people come together with a shared goal of providing permanent financial support. Such is the case with the tuition assistance endowment for Saint Simon, which is featured in our newsletter. This was also true when Saint Justin School came together to honor George Santich for 50 years of service and started an endowment to mark the occasion. We have stories of charitable funds started to honor the ministries of Father Rick Rodoni, Father Hao Dinh, Father Enzie Lagatutta and Father Saju Joseph. I have too many stories to share here but would love to tell you about them.

At the Foundation we do not provide direct services. We do not house, clothe, or educate people. We develop funds for those who do. We work with families to increase the capability, reach, and impact of our funds and grants.

Sometimes when I am talking to an individual, couple, finance committee, or pastoral council, one person will say, “This is the answer to my prayers.” He/she may be talking about the establishment of an endowment for a parish, or perhaps a family charitable fund. But most often it is when talking about how the Foundation can partner in implementing a legacy plan. We are the perfect partner to help you think through a legacy gift to a parish, school or other ministry. There is great joy in remembering effective ministries when we die. These are the organizations that helped form our families, sustained us in joy and sorrow, facilitated our gospel-based outreach. By making a legacy gift, we provide what we call FOREVER VALUE, enabling us to forever remain a part of those ministries.

THIS is the face of Catholic philanthropy. We internalize our Gospel values. We live in constant gratitude for our personal friendship with Jesus. We go out to be the body of Christ in the world.

I hope that you will take our newsletter in the center of this issue, read it, and keep it around. I hope you will be inspired to:

  • Find out if your parish has an endowment, and perhaps donate
  • Support a school endowment
  • Think about a Donor Advised Fund, and a family philanthropic plan
  • Talk to us about your legacy

Please call me (408) 995-5219 if you have questions or ideas. We ARE a generous people. Thank you for everything you do to strengthen this community. We are grateful to be your partner.

Visit our website: www.cfoscc.org.