The Foundation of Catholics United in Service

The Foundation of Catholics United in Service (FOCUS) is an endowment fund for the Diocese of Harrisburg established by Bishop Nicholas Dattilo in 1988. All funds within the endowment, from restricted funds to named scholarships to unrestricted endowed funds, are managed and invested as one fund for optimal returns. As an endowment, only the interests and dividends are available for use, leaving the principle of the fund to grow over time.

Endowments are created to provide for the future needs of the many ministries, programs, schools and parishes throughout the Diocese. Endowed funds are irrevocable, meaning that they are maintained as a permanent fund in perpetuity, with only the interest and dividends available for use. Annual distributions of the draw are made in the fall of each year and are based on June 30th fund balances. Additional monies may be added to an established endowed fund at any time.

Donors are encouraged to consult with their professional advisors (tax, legal and/or financial) prior to making a gift. If you are interested in learning more about endowments and how they can support a particular school, parish or program, please contact the Office of Stewardship & Development at the Diocese for more details. All conversations are held in confidence.

An endowment can be defined as a transfer of money or property donated to an institution, with the stipulation that it be invested, and the principal remain intact. This allows for the donation to have a much greater impact than if it were spent all at once.

An endowment can be compared to a savings account or a retirement savings plan. People make donations to an endowment and the funds are invested with growth as a goal. It is sustainable because it renews itself through smart investing and preserving of the principal.

Learn more through this Declaration of Trust.

Your initial gift is invested to grow and give for an eternity. The interest and dividends earned by the gift are distributed each year to the parishes, the schools or to special projects or ministries that you have designated. Since the initial gift continues to grow through capital gains, the interest and dividends grow as well. Thus, a gift to FOCUS is more than a donation; it is an investment and a legacy that will last forever.

The Bishop utilizes the proceeds from the unrestricted FOCUS endowment fund for an annual distribution of grants to parishes, schools, and special diocesan programs. Gifts in any amount, from donors who stipulate that the Bishop may use their gift as he determines, contribute to the Unrestricted Endowment Fund.

Individual Endowment Funds are gifts from individuals or families, often in honor or in memory of a loved one. They are generally designated by the donor to benefit a particular parish or program. A gift to FOCUS in any amount can also be designated for a particular school, since every Catholic school throughout the diocese has at least one FOCUS Endowment Fund for their school. A gift of $25,000 is needed to begin a new individual endowment fund, but gifts of any amount may be added to an existing individual endowment fund once it has been established.

If you want to express your everlasting love of God and His people, a contribution to FOCUS may be the perfect offering, a gift that will last forever. Prayerfully consider joining this partnership with the Bishop.

  • Joining FOCUS can be as easy as writing a check.
  • A gift in any amount is greatly appreciated and can be applied to an existing endowment of your choice.
  • Pledges, in which a donation is accompanied by a commitment to future donations, can make a more generous gift affordable.
  • Stewardship often leads potential donors to consider giving gifts that may offer additional tax savings and other benefits.
  • With a minimum gift of $25,000 you may begin a new Individual Focus Endowment Fund. A gift of this magnitude is a beautiful way to honor a faith-filled family member or friend, either as a tribute for the living or an everlasting memorial for the deceased.
  • The vast majority of FOCUS endowment funds come from individuals or families.
  • Parishes or parish organizations, alumni groups and other Catholic associations may also establish FOCUS endowment funds, perhaps to honor a beloved pastor, teacher, special person or any special need the donor chooses to support.

Other ways in which you may donate include:

  • Gifts of stocks, bonds, mutual funds
  • Gifts of property
  • Gifts of life insurance policies
  • Charitable Gift Annuities
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
    • If you choose one of the last two listed, the diocese will pay you and your spouse a regular income for life. When the last beneficiary of the income dies, the remaining funds become your gifts to FOCUS, to be used as you directed.
  • The last way to give is to include a gift to FOCUS restricting it, if you wish, to a parish, school or special ministry by including this in your will.