School Endowment Fund

All St. John's parishioners, St. John's School alumni, and members of the local business community have a stake in ensuring the continued financial viability and growth of St. John's School.

To work toward achieving this goal, we would like to establish a permanent endowment for the benefit of St. John's School. Our goal is to raise $1,000,000 to provide for the school's continued work well into the future.

Fundraising will begin in November 2018, and donations can be made at any time after that.

For more information about the School Endowment Fund, please contact:

Bruce Newell, Coordinator     (email)

Susan McDonough, Principal     (email)

PURPOSE OF THE SCHOOL ENDOWMENT FUND

The goal of this endowment is to be a financial tool to provide ongoing funds to help sustain and improve the school now and in perpetuity, to be used as determined by the School Advisory Board (SAB). Both the Pastor and SJS Principal are members of this board.

To provide for regular updates of IT equipment and software - SJS technology needs are varied, and there is a strong need for funds to update our technology periodically. The endowment will help to ensure that the required equipment and software can be kept up-to-date.

To purchase capital equipment and maintain safe and clean facilities - The endowment will also ensure that SJS can maintain and make necessary repairs to facilities and purchase new capital equipment when needed.

To initiate new educational programs - SJS will be able to use funds from the endowment to provide the best possible education for all its students.

WHY SUPPORT THE FUND?

"To Secure Our Catholic Future"

The famous "Shema" passage of the Book of Deuteronomy, in which Moses conveys God's law to the nation of Israel for a second time right before they cross the Jordan into the Promised Land, says that the first commandment of the law is the following:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. (Dt 6: 4-5)

Crucially, two verses later, Moses reminds the Israelites of their responsibility to "teach these words diligently" to their children, along with the other words of God which they had received. (Dt 6: 7)

One of the things that would cause the Israelites no end of difficulty later was their failure to teach God's word to the next generation: to teach them how to pray, to live uprightly, and to put love of God and obedience to his word before everything else.

Widespread failure to pass on the faith can mean its death in the space of a single generation. This actually happened several times in Israel's history, leading to civil war (e.g., Jgs 20: 12-25 and 1 Kgs 12: 16-19), conquest by foreign nations (e.g., Jgs 13: 1 and 2 Kgs 17: 3), exile (e.g., 2 Kgs 24: 14-16), and untold suffering for countless families and individuals.

We are still subject to this commandment today, and our failure to obey it still has dire consequences. This is clearly evident from the sad state of our contemporary cultural institutions, family relationships, and political discourse.

Although parents remain the primary teachers of the faith for their children, Catholic schools have a vital part to play in handing on the faith to the next generation.

Please consider contributing to this fund, which we hope will allow SJS to provide an affordable, academically rigorous, authentically Catholic education to our children for years to come.

HOW TO DONATE

- By check or credit card - St. John's Parishioners and SJS alumni should be receiving a special blue self-addressed contribution envelope from St. John's Parish or St. John's School in the mail.

On the top flap of the envelope, fill in your required contact information to ensure that you receive your contribution statement for tax purposes. Your tax receipt will be mailed to you after your donation is received.

If paying by check, please make your check out to "Community Foundation of Southern Maryland" and write in SJS Endowment on the memo line.

If paying by credit card, fill in the required credit card information.

To pay by mail, simply add a stamp and drop the envelope in the mail. The envelopes are self-addressed.

You may also simply drop the blue envelope in the regular Sunday collection basket.

- Online - Please take the following steps:

1. Visit the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland website here and scroll down to DONATE NOW.

2. On the right side, scroll down to GIVING BY FUND NAME, and click on it.

3. On the next page, look for ST. JOHN'S SCHOOL ENDOWMENT FUND, and click on it. (Please note that there is also a St. John's School Scholarship Fund, which is not related. Please be sure to select the correct fund.)

4. This will take you to the donation page. Fill in the required information and click ENTER PAYMENT.

You're done! You should get your tax receipt as a reply and confirmation within a few minutes.

- Using your IRA Minimum Required Distribution (MRD) - If eligible, you can have your financial institution send a designated amount directly to The Community Foundation of Southern Maryland, PO Box 716, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622. Please be sure that the check designates St. John's School (of Hollywood, MD) Endowment Fund in the memo line as the recipient. Also, please notify Bruce Newell at (301) 373-3799 or SJSEndowment@gmail.com to ensure your donation is credited to the proper account. You will get your tax receipt in the mail from CFOSM. Most MRD funds donated this way are not taxable income; but please consult your tax advisor for limitations and reporting details.

- Using stocks or other assets - Stocks and some other assets may be donated. Please contact Bruce Newell at (301) 373-3799 for details on how to do this.

- Via a Charitable Gift Annuity - These are an excellent way to give. They provide a guaranteed lifetime income and have tax advantages. Please contact Bruce Newell at (301) 373-3799 or SJSEndowment@gmail.com to arrange an appointment with our Charitable Gift Annuity contact.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

- Does Fr. Ray support the creation of the School Endowment Fund?

Yes. Multiple meetings and phone conversations with Fr. Ray and appropriate personnel at the Archdiocese of Washington have kept both aware of every aspect of this endeavor, and they are supportive.

- Why does St. John's School need an endowment?

St. John's School's revenue sources are usually sufficient only to cover current operating expenses. There are seldom extra funds available to update capital equipment, renovate classrooms, or hire extra additional faculty or staff. Additionally, the fact is that some of the school's current sources of revenue vary substantially from year to year and may not always be available. Thus there is a need for a growth-oriented and reliable source of funds that are available to meet SJS's future needs identified above.

- What are St. John's School's current sources of revenue? 

Tuition is the number one source. The school makes a major effort to keep tuition as low as possible so that an SJS education will be a realistic option for as many families as possible. Additional revenue sources include Bingo, the annual SJS Auction and other fundraisers, the Msgr. Harris Scholarship Fund, and contributions from the Combs Foundation, which contributes funds to several Catholic schools in our region.

- What are the fees to open and operate the School Endowment Fund? 

There are no fees to open the endowment. All funds given to this project will go directly to the endowment. All funds from the endowment will benefit St. John's School.

The fund administrator, the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland, has a sliding scale for their fees. They are currently charging 1.25%. When we reach $100,000, their fee will drop to 1%, and if we exceed $1,000,000, the fee will drop to .75%.

The Merrill Lynch advisory and US Trust fiduciary oversight fee is 1%. There is a .28% fee for BlackRock Third Party investment management. These and all other fees associated with the administration of the fund and the investing of the revenue come to a total of 2.53%.

- What will the payouts be? 

The goal is to achieve a total return that will maintain the endowment permanently. Over the long term, investment returns coupled with the spending rate are designed to maintain or increase a fund's payout over time in real dollars.

The amount available for distribution each year is calculated once annually in January using the spending rate below and the ending market value for the preceding calendar year. No distribution will be made from an endowed fund that would invade the principal or historic gift value of that fund. Historic gift value is defined as the total dollars contributed for the endowment of the fund.

Building up the initial invested funds is crucial. Therefore, limited spending rates are below.

After one year, the spending rate will be 2%.

After two years, the spending rate will be 4%.

After three years, the spending rate will be 5%.

- Will donations be taxed by the Archdiocese of Washington?

No. Donations to the SJS Endowment Fund are exempt from the Archdiocese's "offertory tax." They cannot be commingled with any other funds or used for any other project.

What would happen to the Fund if St. John's School was abruptly closed for any reason?

In such an event, endowment funds would be distributed to the remaining Catholic schools in Southern Maryland.