Independent Catholic Foundation to Distribute More Than $1 Million for Fourth Straight Year


Despite a volatile investment cycle in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, the Board of Trustees of the Independent Catholic Foundation recently approved a 4.5% distribution rate for each of its 268 permanent endowments. This action will result in a record $1.37 million being made available to endowment beneficiaries this month.

According to Trustee and Finance & Investment Committee Chair Matt DiFrancesco, “We decided to maintain a 4.5% distribution rate for two reasons: (1) our three-year performance in the markets of 10% growth has exceeded our benchmark, and (2) the parishes, schools, ministries and cemeteries that benefit from our endowments need our help as much as possible.”

“What makes our 10% growth remarkable,” added President & CEO Bill Hiergeist, “is the fact that we also distributed $2.7 million during that same three-year period. Our trustees take their stewardship seriously by regularly engaging in an open dialogue with our partners, Cornerstone Advisors Asset Management and Christian Brothers Investment Services. Their engagement is reflected in our historical growth trends.”

The Independent Catholic Foundation was established 29 years ago as a self-governing, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to manage permanent endowments for the long-term financial benefit of parishes, schools, diocesan ministries and other Catholic causes in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Unique among all other foundations in Central Pennsylvania, the Independent Catholic Foundation invests its entire portfolio using socially responsible Catholic investment guidelines.

The Foundation has grown because of ordinary Catholics making extraordinary memorial gifts and planned gifts. All contributions are never spent; they become part of an endowment’s permanent principal. As each endowment grows annually, so too does its annual distribution.

To learn how you can create your own named endowment or contribute to an existing parish, school, cemetery or ministry endowment, please contact the Independent Catholic Foundation at (814) 201-2080 or visit us online at