Catholic Diocese of Madison Foundation Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

caitlin forkins elain hathaway
Caitlin Forkins Elaine Hathaway

MADISON -- Recently, The Catholic Diocese of Madison Foundation (CDMF) board of directors spent a full day on retreat reviewing their mission within the diocese.

The CDMF was established to help the faithful invest in the work of the Church by providing a sound way to create funds that will help the diocese now and in the future.

A board of directors consisting of priests and professional lay men and women manage the foundation.

Currently, as an independent 501(c)(3), the CDMF invests over $20 million directly supporting Catholic needs throughout the diocese. Fund holders partner with the foundation to oversee administration, implement Catholic value investing, and provide professional management personalized to meet the fund needs. Most funds are structured as endowments, but not all.

Pursuing initiatives

Along with enjoying a day of camaraderie, the retreat drew out important initiatives the CDMF plans to pursue, including help in finding ways to support Catholic education.

Michael Lancaster, superintendent of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Madison, presented an update on Catholic education. In particular, he highlighted the growing need for student tuition assistance and faculty support programs to find and retain quality staff and teachers.

Bishop Robert C. Morlino also suggested the board consider ways to help the diocese fulfill Pope Francis’ request to permanently memorialize the Year of Mercy.

While the CDMF has helped create a number of funds specifically designed to serve parishes and schools, they have also been fortunate to be a part of building larger funds that will have a significant impact on the future of the entire diocese, including the Priests for Our Future Endowment that was created in the recent Priests for Our Future campaign.

Legacy gifts

The CDMF looks forward to continuing to work with diocesan ministries, parishes, schools, and Catholic organizations, but it is equally committed to spending more time with individuals who want to make the Church a more significant and meaningful part of their charitable giving.

Daun Maier, executive director of the CDMF, explained, “Many people have never considered setting up an endowment, leaving a personal legacy gift or making an estate gift because there were no clear directives on how to do that. We want to make that type of gift giving easy for everyone.

“Working with individuals and families one on one is important and a big part of our mission,” she said. “Each partnership that is created with the CDMF is unique and making sure that the relationships we develop with people are as enduring as the funds themselves is important to our vision.”

Additions to CDMF board, staff

Another part of that forward vision includes growth in not only their funds, but in the CDMF board and staff.

The board recently welcomed Elaine Hathaway, a member of St. Bernard Parish in Middleton, to the board. Hathaway brings a strong accounting background and will serve on the Audit and Governance Committee.

Her years of work as a CPA, volunteering for numerous organizations, and serving as trustee for her family’s personal foundation in Minnesota, continue to grow the board’s diverse make-up.

A second addition to the CDMF is the hire of a new Development Associate, Caitlin Forkins. She returns to her Midwest roots after living in Seattle, Wash., and will work with Maier.

Hiring Forkins will allow the CDMF to devote more time to marketing existing funds, to work with individuals on creating legacy funds, and to explore greater opportunity for partnering with Catholic ministry diocesan wide.

To learn more about the work and services of the CDMF, visit its website at or contact Daun Maier at 608-821-3046.

Please support our advertisers: