As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, I’m humbled by the outpouring of joy from our Catholic community. At $358 million in assets, the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota (CCF) is the largest of its kind in the nation, but we don’t believe that’s the true measure of our success.
From the beginning, CCF has engaged philanthropic Catholics and stewarded their charitable giving. As the years have passed, we’ve accumulated more than assets. We’ve accumulated valuable insights into the resources and needs of our community. Last year, we invested those insights into new initiatives that have yielded significant returns. We were inspired to share what we’ve learned at three Giving Insights forums. We experienced the joy of satisfying a thirst for connection that many of us didn’t realize we had. I’m happy to share the series continues today.
We made our first impact investments, leveraging our ability as an investor to advance the common good. Locally, we invested $1 million in CommonBond’s Housing Opportunity Fund for affordable housing. Globally, we invested $2.5 million with a long-term private equity impact fund that increases access to medical care in Africa, Asia, and South America. This investment strategy resulted in an invitation to the third Vatican Conference on Impact Investing, a global conference organized around Pope Francis’s vision of “putting the economy at the service of peoples.”
We also distributed $275,000 in Impact Grants. To ensure these grants have the greatest impact, CCF’s grants committee conducted an assessment of our community’s needs, drawing upon the wisdom of local and national partners. The results have given focus to our grantmaking efforts.
We don’t feed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, but inspired by the example of Jesus, we invite Catholics to participate in communal generosity to maximize every dollar. This year’s annual report, Table of Plenty, illustrates the beautiful mystery of generosity. In the giving of time, talents, and treasure, we receive more than we could have ever imagined.
We remain ever-grateful to our generous donors, community partners, and board members who gather with us in faith at the Table of Plenty.
Anne Cullen Miller, MBA