By Sue Nunn, Executive Director, Orange Catholic Foundation     11/7/2019

“Perpetuity” is a word you don’t run across every day, but it is a word known well at the Orange Catholic Foundation. We use it often as it describes our endowment funds. 

According to Webster’s Dictionary, perpetuity is “the state or quality of being perpetual.” The phrase “in perpetuity” means “forever or for an indefinite period.”  

Generations from now, the Orange Catholic Foundation and the people we serve throughout our Catholic community in Orange County will benefit from the foresight and generosity of those that have established an endowment fund. They will see names on our endowment funds and know that these individuals responded to God’s involvement in their life by making a gift to an endowment fund. 

In Luke 6:38, Jesus said “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.” Endowment funds are gifts that keep giving and giving and giving. They allow families to continue their annual support long after they are gone. Gifts to endowment funds can be established during a person’s lifetime by using cash, securities, real estate or other assets.  An endowment can also be created through your estate plan at the time of death. Some families establish an endowment gift now, so they can watch it grow and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the endowment fund benefit others. They may add to it periodically and possibly encourage family members and friends to get involved. Then, through their wills, they make provision for a final and often larger contribution. 

Endowments protect donor intent. Endowment funds at the Orange Catholic Foundation are set aside and separate from other operating and capital funds. Each endowment fund has a written agreement on file and the terms are carefully followed in perpetuity.  

Most families want to support an endowment fund that will benefit their parish community or a specific ministry such as Seminarian Education, Retired Priests, Tuition Assistance for Catholic schools or other areas of interest. That’s what makes endowments personal. Families appreciate the flexibility and the opportunity to personalize their perpetual giving. 

Since only a portion of the annual earnings are distributed, endowment funds are able to preserve the initial gift.  The remaining earnings are left to help grow the fund, in order to produce a larger distribution each year while allowing the fund to keep pace with inflation.   

The Orange Catholic Foundation has developed sound policies for creating and managing endowment funds. This information is available upon request.  We are willing to show you a variety of ways you can use the vehicles of gift planning to make an endowment dream come true — whether now through a current gift, or later through your estate plan. We are happy to visit with you about this exciting area of philanthropy. Feel free to contact us at 714-282-3021 or email [email protected] for more details.