Why have a Diocesan Foundation?

The short answer is efficiency. Another answer may be found on every US dollar bill, “E Pluribus Unum” or “Out of many, one.”

Within our diocese there are many parishes and services. Likewise, there are many individuals who wish to support a given parish or service with major contributions from time to time. These “over and above” contributions are often put into a separate fund which is managed for the long term benefit of the designated entity. Common examples would be: Parish Savings Funds, School Endowments, Seminarian Education or Retirement Funds.

Over the history of the Diocese, these funds existed separately; they were placed with different banks or investment specialists; and they were scattered geographically. Their modest size did not command the highest returns or the best financial expertise.

By combining them into one large pot of money it was possible to attract both higher earnings and better management. Efficiency!

The Catholic Foundation of South Georgia (CFSG) was created nine years ago for the express purpose of capturing that efficiency. Bishop J. Kevin Boland organized the Foundation for the Diocese of Savannah and pooled money from eight different funds. The average amount in these funds was $233,000. Today, there are 18 funds in the CFSG and the average value of each is $659,000.

Each of the funds still benefits the original parish or service for which it was created – only their assets are earning more and growing faster.

Before the Foundation was formed, each of the small individual funds were overseen by disparate groups such as Parish Councils, Endowment Trustees, clergy, and lay people. By combining the Funds into a larger Foundation, the bishop was able to assemble a Board of Trustees whose main focus was on investment returns and financial security. The CFSG has a Board of Trustees composed of bankers, lawyers, accountants and businessmen who meet regularly for the sole interest of the Foundation.

Out of many funds, we now have one, a successful one. “E Pluribus Unum.”

Jack Markley is past chairman of the board and current trustee of the CFSG and parishioner of St. Williams Church, St. Simons Island.

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