Faith In Action

Tim and Christine Steigauf stand in front of White Bear Lake.

Photo by Chris Emeott, Local.

When it comes to donating financial resources, it’s personal. Donors often have individual motivations for choosing the recipients of their generosity, but there is one element that most donors have in common: they want their donations to be effective and impactful.

Tim and Christine Steigauf exemplify this aspiration. When they sold a business a few years ago and faced tax consequences, they wanted a smart charitable giving strategy.

They turned to the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota (CCF). With CCF’s guidance, Christine and Tim established a donor advised fund to support their favorite organizations.

Simplified Giving that Grows

The Steigaufs appreciate the simplicity of recommending grants through their fund. “CCF allows us the freedom and flexibility to support a wide variety of causes,” says  Christine. “We determine where and when it’s distributed, and CCF vets the organizations to make sure they’re legitimate and align with our values.”

CCF also increases the impact of charitable gifts through prudent, faith-aligned investments.

“Working with CCF reminds me of the Gospel story where three workers are entrusted with their boss’s money,” Tim says. “One squandered it, but two doubled their money because of good stewardship.” He adds with a laugh, “They probably had help from a group like CCF.”

Giving Smart with a Catholic Heart

Tim and Christine want their giving plan to be fiscally sound so that their gifts go further.

“The tax advantages and CCF’s effective management maximize the amount we can give,” Tim says.

“As we got to know the staff, the process and the resources, our relationship grew, and we started to realize how effective the Foundation is at stewarding our fund,” Tim reflects. “The people at CCF have a vocation to help us make the most of our donations.”

Tim believes that others may benefit from CCF “depending on your financial situation, charitable goals and where you are on life’s path.” He lists four situations where CCF may be particularly helpful.

“If you have an unusual influx of cash one year, assets with significant appreciation that you want to donate, a desire to support charitable causes after you die, or just want to simplify your giving,” he says, “CCF is a must.”

For those considering partnering with CCF, the Steigaufs have a few suggestions. “You can’t predict the future, and you don’t want to overcommit and leave yourself short,” Tim says. “Getting started takes a little faith and a little caution. Our advice is to ease into it like we did. You don’t need to have all the money you’re ever going to donate on hand before you start. Take any amount and get started.”

Establishing a Family Legacy

Through charitable giving, the Steigaufs are passing their deep-rooted values on to their three daughters.

“We’re showing our beliefs through our time, talent, and treasure,” Christine says. “They see our faith in action.”

Christine and Tim attended St. Agnes High School. Christine graduated from St. Catherine University and taught school for 24 years at St. Pascal Regional Catholic School.

Tim & Christine’s daughters: Erica Steigauf, Dr. Gretta Steigauf-Regan, and Nina Steigauf

Tim & Christine’s daughters: Erica Steigauf, Dr. Gretta Steigauf-Regan, and Nina Steigauf

Tim studied engineering at the University of Notre Dame, got his MBA from the University of St. Thomas, and pursued a career as an engineer and business owner. Their daughters went to Hill-Murray School. Two of them followed in their dad’s footsteps to Notre Dame while the youngest is pursuing her degree and playing hockey at  Quinnipiac University.

The Steigaufs say that from young ages, their daughters wondered about the inequities of the world and learned that those who have more resources must care for those with less.

“This is exactly what we’re doing with CCF: channeling our money to where it’s needed the most and will make the greatest difference,” Tim says.

“CCF’s long-term planning assures us that our family can continue to support the causes we care about indefinitely,” adds Christine. “We want our donations to have the biggest impact possible.”


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