PORTLAND — Despite the uncertainty and volatility caused by the pandemic, the Catholic Foundation of Maine is pleased to report that investments have exceeded expectations and the foundation has distributed 76 grants valued at $1,045,787 this year.

CFM has provided over $7.5 million in funding through its annual distribution process since its inception. The foundation utilizes endowment funds to benefit churches, parish programs, schools, social justice initiatives, vocations, and many other ministries across Maine. The foundation manages the funds to ensure the long-term viability of the endowments so that the charitable wishes of the donors are carried out. To view a list of endowments, visit www.catholicfoundationmaine.org/documents-1.

“Last year, seven new endowments were established and this fiscal year, we already have four new funds,” said Elizabeth Badger, executive director of CFM. “Through the gifts and great belief of many in the foundation, the annual distribution of grants to the various ministries are impacting lives and helping people.”

In many cases, what the endowment distributions make possible are things that cannot be offered through regular parish, school, and ministry budgets.

“This could include tuition assistance and scholarships, special programs like ‘Aging with Grace,’ days of reflection and prayer, educational and spiritual development programs, as well as church and parish expenses that were not budgeted or expected,” said Badger.

Guidance is offered by a volunteer board of trustees, comprised predominantly of lay people with experience in the finance, investment, and marketing fields. Bishop Robert Deeley serves as the president of the board.

“Our objective is to encourage and assist people who wish to make legacy and planned gifts,” said Badger. “The establishment of this foundation was a real blessing for the Church in Maine. I am so grateful for the generosity of God’s people in our state that have helped the foundation create a legacy of sharing.”

To create an endowment with the Catholic Foundation of Maine or to contribute to an existing one, contact Elizabeth Badger at 207-321-7820 or elizabeth.badger@portlanddiocese.org.

“We hope this good news and the light it shines inspires you and others to continue to support the endowments at the Catholic Foundation of Maine so we can continue to uplift and help others,” said Badger.

For more information, visit the foundation’s website at www.catholicfoundationmaine.org. You can also follow the foundation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/catholicfoundationmaine.