It’s been more than ten years since Tom and Sheila Letscher first got involved with the Catholic Community Foundation, but they’re more enthusiastic about the Foundation’s mission today than ever. “CCF is one way that we are the Church to others,” Sheila said as she explained their commitment.
Tom, a partner in the law firm of Fox Rothschild and current CCF Vice Chairperson, agrees. “CCF is growing – not just in assets,” he remarked. “It’s a place where people can go to figure out what they want to do with their philanthropy and how they want to do it.”
The Letschers were first introduced to CCF in 2007 when they served on the endowment committee at Our Lady of Grace in Edina. “We were impressed with the Foundation’s mission and how it was run,” Tom recalled. That led to establishing their own Donor Advised Fund. In 2011, Tom began serving a nine-year term on the board where he’s helped to expand CCF’s grantmaking capabilities and craft the current strategic plan.
“The Board envisions a bold future for CCF,” said Tom. “We expect several significant planned gifts that will grow our grantmaking. To prepare, CCF is designing grant programs that respond to the needs of our local community. And, the impact of those grants will tell a story that attracts and invites even more Catholics to imagine what it possible for our community when CCF stewards their charitable legacy.”
Their work with the Foundation reflects the Letschers’ deep commitment to Catholic philanthropy, especially for education and social justice causes. Sheila just completed a six-year term on the board at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School, and volunteers at Catholic Charities’ Higher Ground in Minneapolis. Tom tutors students at St. John Paul II Catholic Preparatory School in Northeast Minneapolis, where over 80% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch.
Sheila thinks CCF is playing a crucial role in growing Catholic philanthropy. “It’s really important if our community is going to survive 100 years from now,” Sheila stated. “CCF is not just moving money around for people. It’s really about building community.”