The West Virginia Catholic Foundation’s endowment program has witnessed remarkable growth because the faithful in the Diocese see the many benefits of creating endowed funds that meet their stewardship goals. Many donors begin endowment funds now with a gift of cash, savings bonds or stock because they like to see results right away. Others make arrangements for their estate assets to be transferred, thus making a deferred gift to the Catholic Foundation. Some can do both by starting an endowment fund now and adding to it later with a bequest, a gift of life insurance or a gift from a retirement plan. Why do more and more donors continue to make endowment gifts to the West Virginia Catholic Foundation? Here are five motives that we have frequently heard from our donors: 1) A Positive Legacy: Donors will often ask that their names, or most often their parents’ names, be attached to an endowment fund. Because the funds are permanent, this legacy will carry their family name forward in perpetuity and influence future generations in the family. The commitment of the fund’s first donor(s) remains as a reminder of their values for children, great-grandchildren and other loved ones. 2) Continue Regular Giving: We have a number of donors who recognize that their gifts each year will be missed once they are deceased. Consider your gifts to your parish’s offertory. Many of our donors have provided an estate gift that is 20 times the amount they contribute annually to the Church. For example, a couple who contributes $2,000 each year can endow their gift by making a one-time gift of $40,000 to the Catholic Foundation. Once their endowment is in place, their annual giving to their parish may continue in perpetuity. 3) Permanence: Many of our donors see a similarity between their retirement funds and our endowment funds. Both are guarded closely, invested separately, and protected so the principal remains intact. Endowments in the Catholic Foundation are managed much like your retirement account, providing needed income in a predictable way while seeking to grow the amount and not have it eroded by inflation. 4) Strengthening a Parish: Catholic School or Catholic Charities. Every year, Catholic institutions in the Diocese must raise a certain amount of funding to sustain facilities, ministries, and charitable outreach. The need for funding for current operations will always remain. However, annual distributions from endowments can ease some of the financial pressures faced by our pastors, principals and charity leaders while also helping them plan with confidence. A strong endowment fund at each parish, school and charitable agency can provide a financially secure future. 5) Personal Satisfaction: Making a real difference in the world while doing something good that will last is highly satisfying. Every gift is important to the Church, but many endowment donors tell us that creating a perpetual fund for a parish, school or charity fulfills one of their most significant personal goals.