Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click on each question to view the corresponding answer. If you have a question that does not appear on this page, please “Contact Us” with your question.

What is a Permanent Endowment?
A Permanent Endowment is a type of endowed fund where the principal, or corpus, of the fund remains invested in perpetuity. (Think of a savings account that can never be spent.) The principal is the amount of cash or other donated assets contributed by one or more donors to initiate an endowment. All additional contributions become part of the principal. Only a percentage of the annual investment income, as determined by the Independent Catholic Foundation’s Board of Trustees, will be awarded to one or more beneficiaries designated by the endowment agreement.

View all of our permanent endowments and download a sample endowment agreement on our Permanent Endowments webpage.

What is the minimum contribution required to create a Permanent Endowment with the Independent Catholic Foundation?
A contribution of any amount can be made at any time into one or more of our existing endowments.

An individual or family can create a Permanent Endowment, named in honor or memory of loved ones, with $10,000 payable over a three-year term.

How does the Independent Catholic Foundation invest the principal of a Permanent Endowment?
The Finance and Investment Committee of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring that our investment portfolio adheres to our Investment Policy Statement which conforms to socially-responsible investment guidelines issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Our endowments are held by Bank of New York Mellon and managed by Christian Brothers Investment Services with guidance from Cornerstone Advisors.  Our portfolio consists of 60% equities and 40% fixed-income assets using a perpetual investment horizon with a desired rate of return of at least 6.6%.
Is there a fee to administer an Endowment with the Independent Catholic Foundation?
Our annual administration fee of 1% is applied at the rate of 25 basis points (or 0.25%) quarterly.


Is there a complete list of the Foundation’s Permanent Endowments?

Yes, we regularly update our Permanent Endowments web page.

Is the Foundation governed by any Catholic diocese?
No, the Independent Catholic Foundation is a self-governed, nonprofit corporation with no oversight by any U.S. Catholic diocese.
How does the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown benefit from the Independent Catholic Foundation?
The Diocese, its parishes, cemeteries, schools, ministries and programs, as well as other Catholic organizations and religious orders, are beneficiaries of many of our 250+ permanent endowments according to designations as specified in each endowment agreement. As we expand our marketing efforts, we hope that more Catholics will extend their sense of stewardship by including their most cherished Catholic ministries in their estate plans.
Can I create a Permanent Endowment for a Catholic organization beyond the boundaries of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown?
We currently support several Catholic organizations elsewhere in Pennsylvania and beyond. Scholarships awarded to college students registered at local Catholic parishes are distributed throughout the U.S.
Where can I find a sample of a Catholic Living Will?
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has dedicated an entire webpage on the topic of a Catholic Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney for PA citizens. In addition to a series of questions and answers, the webpage also includes links to sample documents that can be downloaded to share with your legal counsel. Please visit the PCC’s Living Will page.
Doesn't a charitable gift to a Foundation endowment compete with parish offertory?
It could if an active parishioner donates their offertory to an endowment rather than through the Sunday basket, but we find that is not the case. Faithful parishioners realize they are called to regularly return a sacrificial portion of their resources to God as a sign of deep gratitude through the weekly offertory. They also understand the offertory should be supplemented by annual distributions from the parish’s endowment fund. Parishioners typically donate disposable income through the weekly offertory. Many contributions we receive to establish or add to permanent endowments begin as appreciated assets.

All visionary, vibrant organizations seek financial support for both current and future needs. A parish endowment fueled by memorial contributions and bequests allows faithful Catholics to support the parish long after their earthly journeys have concluded.