Have You Left Your Parish in Your Will or Trust?

A bequest is one of the easiest gifts you can make while also being one of the best ways to support the long-term sustainability of your Parish.  With the help of an advisor, you can include language in your will or trust specifying the gift you would like to make as part of your estate plan.  A bequest can be made in several ways including a specific dollar amount or asset, a percentage of the total estate, or the balance or residue of the estate.

You can also name your Parish as the beneficiary on various accounts and assets like life insurance policies, IRAs, 401(k)s, bank accounts and more.

The Catholic Community Foundation of SW Florida has a new Legacy Giving form that you can fill out to let your Parish, School or favorite Catholic entity know that you have named them in your will or trust or as a beneficiary.  This form can be found at https://ccfdioceseofvenice.org/2754-2/


You Can Now Donate Cryptocurrency

There are many ways a donor can support their favorite Catholic program or entity through the Catholic Community Foundation including:

  • Gifts of cash, checks or credit cards
  • Wills, bequests and other estate gifts
  • Beneficiary designations
  • Appreciated assets like stocks, mutual funds and real property
  • Gifts from donor advised funds
  • Qualified Charitable Distributions from IRAs

Now donors have a new option.  As of April 2022, donors can donate 42 different types of cryptocurrency through the Catholic Community Foundation for the benefit of their Parish, School or other Catholic program or ministry.  By donating long-term appreciated crypto, donors can avoid paying capital gains tax and be able to claim the donation as a tax deduction, if they itemize.

Donors are able to support multiple Catholic entities by using their cryptocurrency donation to establish a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) with the Catholic Community Foundation, receiving a tax deduction for the full fair market value of the crypto, then using their DAF to provide gifts to the organizations about which they care most.

Cryptocurrency donations can also be used to establish or add to endowment funds, scholarship funds, and charitable gift annuities with the Foundation.  To make a cryptocurrency donation, please visit  https://ccfdioceseofvenice.org/cryptocurrency-donation/ or for more information, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.


Foundation Donors Provide Record Amount in Grants

During the period of July 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022, Catholic Community Foundation donors provided a record $4,163,263 in grants to Catholic Parishes, Schools, programs, and ministries as well as to pro-life and social service agencies whose missions and purposes are in alignment with the teachings of the Catholic Church.  These grants were generated from endowment funds, scholarship funds, donor advised funds, charitable gift annuities, and outright gifts entrusted to the Foundation.  Every dollar granted by the Foundation was directed by a donor for a specific purpose or beneficiary.  One of the main purposes of the Foundation is to help safeguard donors’ assets and to ensure that donations will always be used in alignment with their wishes.   Thank you to the many donors who choose to give through the Foundation.


First Friday Prayer Intentions with Bishop Dewane

On the first Friday of every month, Bishop Frank Dewane leads a prayer for all of the intentions that were submitted during the previous month. The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida invites you to submit your prayer intentions as “comments” on our Facebook First Friday Prayer Intention post at www.facebook.com/ccfdov.  You can also access prayers and posts from previous months by visiting our website at www.ccfdioceseofvenice.org.  If you would like to submit your prayer via email, please send it to CCF@dioceseofvenice.org or you can mail it to Catholic Community Foundation, 1000 Pinebrook Rd, Venice, FL 34285.

Please know that First Friday Prayer Intentions with Bishop Dewane is a free service brought to you by the Catholic Community Foundation and donations are not expected nor encouraged as part of this program.


Easter Blessings

He is risen!  Alleluia, Alleluia!

At this most holy time, we can all be thankful for the many gifts and blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us.  First and foremost among those gifts is Jesus Christ, whom the Father sent to save us.  By Christ dying for our sins and rising from the dead, we have been restored.  We are now called to be His disciples, to live out His Word, and to spread the Gospel message to everyone we encounter.  Imagine living in a world where we all strive to see Christ in one another and to be Christ to one another.  May the blessings of the Lord be upon you and your loved ones.


Catholic Community Foundation Presents 17 Scholarships

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, joined by board members of the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc., led a virtual presentation ceremony May 27, 2021, from the Catholic Center in Venice to honor 17 foundation scholarship winners.

The recipients of the Mary Fran Carroll, Coseglia, and Schaerf scholarships were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and for their commitment of continuing their education in pursuit of wide-ranging career paths such as education, medicine, business, engineering, and more.  The Foundation Scholarship Committee carefully reviewed 97 applications before determining the worthiest applicants.

Bishop Dewane opened the presentation with prayer and said he was impressed with the new Foundation Scholars noting their academic success and ambition to seek out distinctive goals.  “God has blessed you each with different gifts.  Enjoy what you are going to do but keep an eye on that goal.”

Michael Morse, Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation, congratulated the new scholars, saying the young men and women are worthy to forever be known as Foundation Scholars.  “Every one of you, from what we learned, is unique, special, strong and smart; embrace that.”

The Mary Fran Carroll Scholarship provides a total of 11 academic scholarships, each valued at $3,000, to residents of Sarasota County and is available for tuition, books, and fees.  This year there were 10 traditional scholarship winners (high school graduates or recent high school graduates pursuing an undergraduate degree) and one non-traditional winner (an adult learner seeking an advanced education after being away from school for a number of years).  The scholarship is renewable annually up to a total of five academic years for those students who maintain their eligibility.

The Frank and Florence Coseglia Scholarship provides a one-time scholarship of $1,100 to one graduating senior from each of the four Catholic High Schools within the Diocese of Venice.  The winners were nominated by their high schools and selected by the Foundation Scholarship Committee.

The Frederick W. Schaerf, M.D., Ph.D. Neuroscience Scholarship provides a $4,000 one-time scholarship to a graduating senior from Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers interested in pursuing a career in Neuroscience or similar field.  This was the second year the scholarship was offered.

The Foundation also presented a one-time Foundation Scholarship for $7,500 to a graduating senior from Bishop Verot, which was offered by an anonymous family at the school.

During the virtual scholarship ceremony, the recipients shared their personal experiences as well as college and career goals.  Each expressed their appreciation for the scholarship from the Foundation.  Many specifically explained how the scholarship money will assist in lessening the financial burden of attending college and pursuing their career goals.

If you are interested in learning more about supporting an existing scholarship fund or establishing your own named scholarship fund with the Catholic Community Foundation, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.

Support the Catholic Community Foundation by Shopping on AmazonSmile

AmazonSmile is a simple way to support the mission of the Catholic Community Foundation every time you shop with no fees or extra cost to you. AmazonSmile is available at smile.amazon.com on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS and Android phones.  When you shop with AmazonSmile, you will find the exact same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the Foundation.

How do I shop with AmazonSmile?

To use AmazonSmile, simply go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/54-2119051 or click on the Amazon logo at the top of the Foundation’s website and sign in with your existing Amazon.com account.  You can also activate AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app on your mobile device within the Settings or Programs & Features menu.  If you are asked to pick a charity, please enter the full name of Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida.  Since you are using the same account on AmazonSmile and Amazon.com, your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

About shopping on AmazonSmile

If you shop on smile.amazon.com using an internet browser on your desktop or laptop computer, your mobile phone, or your tablet, then your purchases of eligible products (marked “eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on the detail pages) will result in donations.  If you shop on your Amazon Shopping app, with AmazonSmile ‘active’ (your app must be active for AmazonSmile when you make the purchase), then your purchases of eligible products will result in donations.

If you are interested in learning more about supporting the Catholic Community Foundation by shopping with AmazonSmile, please contact the Foundation at CCF@dioceseofvenice.org.

2021 Catholic Community Foundation Pine View Scholarship Winners

National Vocation Awareness Week

November 1-7, 2020 is National Vocation Awareness Week, when the entire U.S. Church is focusing on vocations – specifically on encouraging young Catholics to seriously consider the priesthood and religious life.

The Church needs more priests and sisters and each of us has a role to play by talking to our children and grandchildren. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In healthy, normal conversations about the future, we need to encourage boys and girls in our families to remain genuinely open to a vocation in the Church.

Invite young people. When we see teens and young adults in our parishes, encourage them! Do not be afraid to say, “I think you’d make a great priest/sister if God were calling you!” Even if they are not called, it is a compliment to their faith – one they will never forget.

Aside from our decision to follow Jesus, our vocation is life’s most important decision.  Whether we are called to serve God through the priesthood, religious life, marriage, or single life, we must act when the time comes.  Move in the direction your heart tells you, confident that God will never send you where his grace cannot sustain you.

Currently, the Diocese of Venice is training and supporting 16 seminarians to be the priests and pastors of tomorrow and annually spends more than $1.1 Million to cover the costs related to Vocations and Clergy Formation.  To help address this expense, the Timothy Fund was created with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida.  The fund is named after St. Paul’s disciple who eventually became the first Bishop of Ephesus.

The Timothy Fund is an endowed fund that is designed to last in perpetuity by investing the principal and using the earnings to make annual distributions to the Diocese of Venice is support of seminarian education. The fund is a perpetual gift to the people of the Diocese for the future of our Church.

You already know the joy that comes from sharing with the less fortunate.  Think about the joy that will be yours when you know you have created a legacy that will provide priests to the Diocese forever.  You will share in the blessings of all the lives they touch because you made it possible.

If you, or someone you know, are discerning your vocation to the priesthood or religious life, please

contact the Diocese of Venice Office of Vocations.  Please also consider these three tips from Vianney Vocations for figuring out your call:

If you are interested in learning more about supporting the future of our Church through the Timothy Fund, or establishing your own named fund, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.

Donor Advised Fund Rooted in Faith

On April 9, 2018, the very first Donor Advised Fund (DAF) with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida was established by Janine Marrone.  Since that time, $731,250 in grants from the DAF has been distributed to numerous Catholic entities within the Diocese of Venice in Florida as well as to multiple pro-life organizations and Catholic causes throughout the United States.

The idea of a Donor Advised Fund was not new to Mrs. Marrone.  In fact, she already had a DAF at another community foundation that had been serving her well.  What interested Mrs. Marrone the most however, was the Faith-based aspect of the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF).

As a person deeply rooted in her Catholic Faith, Mrs. Marrone was very attracted to the fact that the CCF will only support organizations whose missions and purposes are in alignment with the teachings of the Catholic Church.  In addition, donor funds are invested in accordance with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Guidelines for Socially Responsible Investments.

Mrs. Marrone looks at her Donor Advised Fund with the Catholic Community Foundation as her “Catholic charitable checkbook” and uses it to make all her faith-based charitable gifts.  When she deposits money, or appreciated assets, into her DAF, she receives an immediate tax deduction.  She then decides over time where she wants her gifts to go.  It can be used right away or used over a period of weeks, months, or even years.  Mrs. Marrone can even choose to invest her DAF in the CCF’s investment pool and have it grow tax-free until she is ready to use it.

Faith-filled donors like Mrs. Marrone make it possible for the Catholic Church to serve as the hands and feet of Christ by providing resources to countless individuals and families, by saving lives, by educating our youth, and by sharing the Gospel with all of God’s people.

If you are interested in learning more about establishing your Catholic Legacy through a Donor Advised Fund, Endowment Fund, Bequest or other type of gift through the Catholic Community Foundation, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.

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