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Catholic Foundation of Michigan

The Catholic Foundation of Michigan is an independent nonprofit charitable Catholic community foundation that receives and manages assets to principally provide perpetual funding for parishes, schools, ministries and other Catholic organizations in southeast Michigan.

Its mission is to inspire charitable giving and assist donors in creating a meaningful and lasting impact through planned giving and charitable fund management. The Foundation works closely with the charities that donors designate as beneficiaries, as well as with the Catholic organizations who apply for grants.

The Catholic Foundation of Michigan offers donors a way to leave their legacy uniquely aligned with their Catholic values and beliefs. Donors enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that their gift directly supports the Catholic organizations of their choice. Importantly, the Foundation manages and invests all funds consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church and in accordance with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ guidelines for socially responsible investing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Catholic Foundation of Michigan and why does it exist?
The Catholic Foundation of Michigan is a lay-led nonprofit, charitable organization that inspires faith-filled donor-centered charitable giving and manages assets to provide perpetual funding for the parishes, schools, ministries and other organizations within the Archdiocese of Detroit. Contributions to the Foundation are deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. It was founded in 2016.

How does the Foundation serve the Archdiocese of Detroit?
The Foundation makes distributions and grants to benefit Catholic parishes, schools, ministries and other faithful organizations in southeast Michigan. Donors may restrict their contributions to benefit one or more Catholic organizations designated by the donor. For example, the Foundation is awarding grants to help launch and stimulate the work of many who are helping to unleash the Gospel in southeast Michigan.

An integral part of the Catholic community in southeast Michigan, the Catholic Foundation serves the geographic area of the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Foundation also works with individuals from outside the area to support entities of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Grants from donor-advised funds may be awarded to entities anywhere in the United States.

What are the benefits of working with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan?
There are many donor benefits including: the convenience of using a single source to give to numerous charities; expert assistance and advice tailored to donor needs and interests; tax advantages; and possible wealth replacement to heirs for charitable gifts in trust.

The Foundation’s advisors can help donors increase the impact of their charitable giving and provide more support for those in need than may be thought possible. Importantly, donors know that their gifts will benefit, in perpetuity, the Catholic causes that are most important to them and that their funds always will be invested according to Catholic investment principles.

Who governs the Foundation?

As a lay–led 501c3 public charity, the Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors of not less than four individuals comprised of Church, business and civic leaders. The Archbishop of Detroit and the Moderator of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Curia are ex officio directors. Twenty-four Detroit area Catholic business leaders, each of whom pledged $25,000 over five years to defray the operational expenses of launching the new foundation, helped launch the Foundation by becoming Founder’s Circle members. A list of the current board can be read here.

What is the difference between The Catholic Foundation of Michigan and the Archdiocese of Detroit Endowment Foundation?

The Archdiocese of Detroit Endowment Foundation (AODEF) is a Michigan nonprofit corporation established to receive assets from parishes, Catholic schools and other Catholic organizations and ministries. It uses those assets to provide perpetual funding for the benefit of the Archdiocese of Detroit and the people it serves. The AODEF was not created to offer donor advised funds or endowment accounts to individuals and other entities, and as a result did not obtain a separate IRS tax exemption (it is exempt under the Catholic Church’s group ruling) and is not required to file a tax return with the IRS because of its status as an “integrated auxiliary” of the Catholic Church. The Archbishop of Detroit is the sole member of the AODEF, and elects and removes its trustees. The assets of the AODEF are invested under the supervision of the Archdiocese of Detroit Finance Council.

The Catholic Foundation of Michigan is a Michigan nonprofit corporation established to receive assets from the public, including individuals, trusts and other entities, and to primarily use those assets to provide perpetual funding for religious, educational and charitable activities for the benefit of the Catholic Church and the parishes, schools, ministries and other Catholic organizations within the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Catholic Foundation has its own separate IRS tax exemption as a public charity and files a separate tax return with the IRS. The Foundation does not have a sole member, but is a directorship organization, with the Archbishop of Detroit and the Moderator of the Curia as ex officio board members, along with other directors elected by the board from individuals nominated by the Archbishop of Detroit.

What is the relationship between the Catholic Foundation of Michigan and the Archdiocese of Detroit Endowment Foundation?

There is no legal or business relationship between the two organizations.

What is the relationship between The Catholic Foundation of Michigan and the Archdiocese of Detroit?

The Catholic Foundation of Michigan is a Michigan nonprofit corporation legally separate and distinct from the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Foundation is endorsed by Archbishop Allen Vigneron. The Archbishop of Detroit serves as an ex-officio, member of the Board of Directors to ensure the Foundation’s Catholicity.

It is expected that most, if not all, of the Catholic parishes and schools, and other Catholic organizations and ministries of the Archdiocese of Detroit will be beneficiaries of gifts made to the Foundation as designated by the donors.

Could contributions to, or assets of, the Catholic Foundation of Michigan be reached by creditors of the Archdiocese of Detroit to pay its attorneys’ fees or lawsuit settlements?

No, the Catholic Foundation of Michigan is a Michigan nonprofit corporation legally separate and distinct, both structurally and operationally, from the Archdiocese of Detroit. Debts of the Archdiocese of Detroit are not the obligations of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. Contributions to the Catholic Foundation of Michigan must be used for the purposes for which they are designated.

For more information please visit the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s website.


Posted: December 2018