The CCFESD Board of Directors met in Watertown on April 28, with a strategic planning session on April 27, discussing an aspirational vision to "drought proof" or provide a "future full of hope" for the ministries of our Church in eastern South Dakota - and identifying one and three-year goals toward achieving it.
Highlights of the Board report:
● We are an independent foundation that:
o Raises funds for parishes, schools and other charities that donors designate…
o We currently manage 911 individual endowment funds for the benefit of a variety of ministries, as determined by the donors, including funds for Immaculate Conception School here in Watertown.
o We also manage 363 agency accounts that parishes, schools, cemeteries and other ministries have asked us to manage – using Catholic-values investing.
o And last year we distributed over $6M to 356 ministries that donors selected - and that are consistent with the teachings of our Catholic faith
● We were blessed to have recently surpassed a milestone, with total assets of $150M and another $125M in future estate gift expectancies… funds that are invested in perpetuity, providing sustainable support to the parishes and ministries that donors have chosen.
o "It is very humbling to receive such generosity. It is an important stewardship that we, the board of the CCFESD, take seriously," said Kami Kurtenbach, Chair of the Board & member of St Thomas More in Brookings. "To not only protect and grow the funds, but to ensure that everything is done with our Catholic values in mind – with 'Catholic Responsible Investing,' with our investments and distributions and in how we make all of our decisions."
The CCFESD is committed to provide much needed sustainable funding for the ministries that donors have determined. "We desire to do as Jesus talked about in the parable of the good stewards, to not bury our gifts but to use them well and return our gifts with increase to the Lord,” added Kurtenbach.
Additionally, the Board celebrated the five-year partnership between the CCFESD and the Watertown area Catholic communities, with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with Bishop Donald DeGrood and a reception with area lay and clergy leaders. Of particular note was the hiring five years ago of Marne Hult, CCFESD Gift Planning Officer in Watertown, who led the successful initial phase of the Immaculate Conception School Teacher/Staff Compensation Endowment with $1.5M raised. Additionally, donors have committed charitable estate gifts valued at $3.3M that will provide additional endowment distributions to benefit IC School, providing a future full of hope for this important Catholic ministry in Watertown.
The next meeting of the CCFESD Board of Directors will be Nov. 3 in Sioux Falls.