By Rafael Gerena, Special to the Florida Catholic – August 3, 2017
A hungry child who needs food to eat, a family struggling to avoid eviction, a young man who dreams of becoming a priest: since its founding 10 years ago, The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, through parishioner support, has raised more than $373 million to assist thousands of people in these and similar situations. The Foundation’s work helps to fund 27 ministries and transforms lives in the Diocese of Orlando. Its expertise has also helped parishes and schools to renovate and expand their campuses throughout Central Florida, improving the spiritual lives of generations of Catholics.
To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, The Foundation has updated its branding by creating a new logo, tagline and mission statement. The new tagline reads: “Inspire Giving. Fund God’s Work.” The new Mission Statement reads: “The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida inspires giving to fund God’s work for the Diocese of Orlando.” The Foundation’s new brand offers a modern look and message that reflect its professionalism and stewardship excellence.
Over the years, The Foundation has achieved award-winning prominence. It has won the International Catholic Stewardship Council award for stewardship excellence five years in a row. This recognition reflects years of success.
“I am part of a wonderful team that is grateful for the generous support of Catholics throughout Central Florida who make our work possible,” said Meghan O. Post, The Foundation’s president. “We’re excited about our new brand as it reflects our desire to take our work to the next level.”
Since its beginning in August 2007, the organization has achieved many successful milestones on behalf of the Catholic community in the Diocese of Orlando. Through the generosity of parishioner support, The Foundation worked in partnership with pastors to oversee the “Alive In Christ” campaign that surpassed the $150 million goal in March 2013. This parishioner support has funded parish expansions, renovations, new-church construction and Catholic school tuition assistance in the past decade.
Foundation staff also oversee the annual Our Catholic Appeal campaign, which helps to fund ministries including Catholic education and formation, food and housing assistance for families in need, and seminarian education. The appeal surpassed $15 million in annual pledges for the first time in October 2015.
The Foundation also provides investment-management expertise to parishes. This allows parishes to build their savings and assets for long-term needs while investing only in companies that adhere to Catholic values. In April, The Catholic Foundation surpassed $50 million in investments under management, a sign that parishes need investment assistance.
Through its “Planned Giving” services, The Foundation makes it easy for parishioners to bequeath gifts to their parish. And its “Capital Campaign” service helps parishes and schools to expand and renovate their campuses with parishioner support.
During its 10-year history, many of The Foundation’s programs – run in partnership with parishes – have yielded blessings throughout Central Florida’s Catholic community. Foundation programs have inspired school children to pack food for the hungry, march to raise social awareness about homelessness, and come together in community prayer.
“Our team is so excited about what we can accomplish in the next 10 years with The Lord’s blessing,” said Post.