Partners in the Vineyard
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions
Purpose & Governance
Who is the CDMF?
The Catholic Diocese of Madison Foundation, Inc. (CDMF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation legally separate from the Diocese of Madison (the Diocese) and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, and educational purposes.
Our mission is to partner with the Catholic community to fund the future of the Church by providing excellent investment opportunities, guided by the light of faith in Jesus Christ.
What does the CDMF do?
We foster relationships, develop and manage endowments, and distribute funds, creating perpetual financial support for the Catholic schools, parishes, and ministries within the Diocese.
Partnering with the CDMF
How are my assets protected with the CDMF?
The CDMF serves as a fiduciary in maintaining endowments. Assets held in a designated fund are only used per the donor’s intentions as specified by the fund agreement’s legally binding purpose. The fund agreement sets the beneficiary of all distributions.
As a standalone entity that is legally separate from the Diocese, any parish, or other charitable organizations, monies held within the CDMF are wholly owned by and subject to the sole governance and management of the CDMF. This separation allows the CDMF to provide fundholders with a level of protection against claims and ensure donor intent is upheld.
Management of long-term investment funds by the CDMF preserves continuity between generations and personnel transitions (staff, pastors, or finance council members).
How will the CDMF market my fund?
The CDMF partners with fundholders to meet their marketing needs. As an experienced fundraiser, the CDMF offers fundholders graphic design assistance for educational materials along with an online giving platform for their donors. Depending on each fundholder’s financial goals, the CDMF can also offer experience in event planning and donor education to grow the fund’s assets and increase donor engagement.
Economies of Scale & Unitized Accounting
The CDMF’s investment portfolio is unitized, pooling all contributions together. Unitized accounting creates the significant benefit of access to investment strategies and money managers that are often exclusive to investors with larger accounts. The CDMF provides a monitored, socially screened, diverse investment portfolio with the benefit of these economies of scale.
Administratively, unitized accounting simplifies each fund’s investment holdings. The CDMF’s portfolio is comprised of both stock and bond pools. Each individual fund (such as a parish endowment) receives a percentage of units (shares) based on its value, and each new contribution receives a proportionate adjusted share of the portfolio. Funds are re-valued monthly to adjust for dividend income earned and changes in market value.
Catholicity: USCCB guidelines, social screening, & how securities are selected
The CDMF’s portfolio adheres to the socially responsible investment guidelines set forth by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). This significantly sets us apart from other financial partners. While still focusing our portfolio on long-term performance and exceeding established benchmarks, the CDMF’s investment manager, U.S. Bank, utilizes these principles and objectives when selecting securities, allowing the CDMF to safeguard our Catholic faith.
Social screens and faith-based mutual funds support Catholic teaching and avoid investment in companies contrary to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, such as companies associated with adult entertainment, contraception and abortifacient products, and embryonic stem cell research.
How are assets invested and monitored?
The CDMF engages its Board of Directors, Investment Committee, and investment manager, all working together, to ensure investment objectives are achieved. This high level of oversight provides expert guidance and due diligence, working toward the key goals of:
- long-term performance that exceeds established benchmarks to preserve the CDMF’s purchasing power and provide for distribution needs;
- proper diversification to reduce risk and achieve higher returns through all market cycles;
- adherence to the socially responsible investment policies set forth by the USCCB.
Currently, the CDMF’s portfolio primarily follows a balanced investment approach, which calls for a target asset allocation of 65% stocks, 30% bonds, and 5% short-term investments.
The CDMF’s Investment Committee reviews the portfolio quarterly with its investment manager and counsels the CDMF Board on its investment decisions. U.S. Bank provides ongoing reports and data to the Investment Committee and makes investment recommendations based on its assessment of market factors.
Additional information regarding the CDMF’s portfolio, benchmarks, long-term returns, or Investment Policy Statement are available upon request by contacting the CDMF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does it work?
Fund options, Spending Policy, & Fees
The CDMF manages endowed and non-endowed fund options allowing donors to specify charitable interests that will receive sustained support. Endowed funds are intended to be perpetual, while non-endowed funds offer donors a choice in the fund’s duration. Both options provide the donor with access to asset management services and expert assistance with their investment goals.
Endowments have an annual distribution of up to 4.5% of the fund’s 12-quarter rolling average. The CDMF may make additional discretionary distributions at the fundholder’s request. Non-Endowed funds may request a distribution at any time but not more than once quarterly.
CDMF fees are based on fund type and fund size:
The overall fee, including the CDMF fee and investment fee, ranges from approximately 1.28% - 1.57%. Based on assets under management and the current investment strategies, the investment fee assessed to a participant’s fund is approximately 0.55%.