Charities USA Magazine: Summer 2011

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Summer 2011 | Volume 38 Number 2

Mike Schuette—CCUSA’s 2011 Volunteer of the Year Wichita’s Success in Making “Marriages for Keeps” One Year After the Gulf Oil Spill

Efficiency, Effectiveness, & Value
Achieving Poverty Reduction through Market-Based Approaches

On the Cover: Photo: © Steve Liss,




Efficiency, Effectiveness, & Value


his has been an interesting issue to put together, one very different in theme than any issue we’ve done before. As a further exploration of the policy ideas represented in the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act (NOCRA), this issue really pushes Catholic Charities to think in new, innovative, and even challenging ways about the work of poverty reduction.

market-based concepts reflected in NOCRA—measuring outcomes, gathering data to improve program designs, giving consumers choice, determining costeffectiveness, and monetizing the social value we provide—are new concepts for many of us. With our state and federal budgets in the dire shape that they are, with funds for social programs being cut left and right, with widespread attitudes about wasteful and ineffective government, and with often highly-publicized examples of publicly-funded social programs that don’t work, we have to begin showing with more tangible measures that our programs work and that they provide value to individuals and families, communities, and to the nation. We will need to think in new ways and do more work, but in doing so we can be more successful in doing what motivates us most— serving people in need. n

This issue largely focuses on market-based tools and concepts that can transform the work of poverty reduction. In the past, non-profit and for-profit organizations have operated in different cultural worlds, with different missions, methods, and goals. That divide has not always been healthy, for it has separated each from valuable principles that could make each a more effective contributor to society. Today, we are seeing that distinction blurred, as nonprofits apply business principles to their work and as for-profits pioneer new corporate structures designed to produce social benefits. Ruth Liljenquist Managing Editor Many Catholic Charities agencies have implemented smart business approaches to ensure their sustainabil- To comment on this issue, please write to Ruth Liljenquist ity. It’s practically a necessity these days. But we have at [email protected] not been as good at applying business principles in the way we design, implement, and evaluate programs. The

Charities USA (ISSN 0364-0760) is published by Catholic Charities USA. Address all correspondence to the managing editor. © 2011 Catholic Charities USA, Alexandria, Virginia. Editorial and Business Office Sixty-Six Canal Center Plaza Suite 600 Alexandria, VA 22314 t: 703-549-1390 • f: 703-549-4183 [email protected] Publisher Rev. Larry Snyder Executive Editor Roger Conner Managing Editor Ruth Liljenquist Creative Director Sheena Lefaye Crews Contributing Writers Roger Conner Ruth Liljenquist Editorial Committee Jean Beil Kim Burgo Kathleen King Kristan Schlichte Rachel Lustig Candy Hill Jane Stenson Catholic Charities USA is the National Office for one of the nation’s largest social service networks. Member agencies and institutions nationwide provide vital social services to 8.5 million people in need, regardless of their religious, social, or economic backgrounds. Catholic Charities USA supports and enhances the work of its membership by providing networking opportunities, national advocacy, program development, training and consulting, and financial benefits.



7 11 15 17 19 22 26 28 30 33 Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Value Achieving Poverty Reduction through Market-Based Approaches Making the Economic Argument Measuring Our Impact in Economic Terms Understanding Social Return on Investment Why Thinking Like a Social Enterprise Can Help Us Twin Cities RISE! An Example in Monetizing and Rewarding Social Value Funding Poverty Reduction in a New Way Community Renewal Bonds and Tax Incentives Moving Forward with the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act Catholic Charities USA’s 2011 Volunteer of the Year Finalists Catholic Charities USA’s 2011 Volunteer of the Year—Mike Schuette Strengthening Marriages, Strengthening the World A Humble and Generous Heart

4 34 36 38 44 President’s Column Disaster Response CCUSA News NewsNotes Working to Reduce Poverty in America

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President’s Column
By Rev. Larry Snyder


s we continue to promote and work towards Catholic Charities USA’s goal to cut poverty in half by 2020, it might be good to step back and ask ourselves how we got to this point. Was this a dream I conjured up out of thin air? Was this the result of an over-zealous meeting at the national office? The fact of the matter is that it came from YOU—the members of Catholic Charities. And it happened like this.

At the 2006 Annual Gathering in Minneapolis, the membership adopted a policy paper titled Poverty in America: A Threat to the Common Good. That paper captures the social situation in the United States, and it gives the foundation for why a response is required from people of good will. But more importantly it encapsulates the motivation and dedication of the women and men who are part of the Catholic Charities movement. Because of that, the paper was overwhelmingly adopted, and a clear message was sent to the national office: make this our call to action that will engage the membership for years to come. As we considered strategies that could keep the momentum going, we decided on the platform of a campaign. The Board of Trustees agreed and decided to make it quantifiable by setting the goal to cut poverty in half by 2020. In 2007, that seemed a lofty, but do-able goal. And we were off and running. As part of the celebration of our centennial year, we held ten regional summits on poverty to find out the big ideas that were happening on the local scene. We took what we learned to a

summit of some 30 different professionals and asked them what a system that incorporated these rich and diverse ideas would look like and how we could get there. The result was the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act, which was introduced into Congress during our Centennial celebration in September of last year. That piece of legislation is a starting point in the public forum about changing the safetynet system so that its goal becomes lifting people out of poverty. That conversation is gaining traction. But in that, we remember that the goal is not passing this piece of legislation, but rather getting people out of poverty. Make no mistake about it—Catholic Charities will continue its critical work of providing human services one individual and one family at a time. This is a commitment we will not walk away from. But we see our role as more than simply “maintaining” people who live in poverty. Our goal must be to help them find a way out. That is how we work to reduce poverty in America—one individual or one family at a time, even as we promote a re-fashioning of the safety net system in this country. With the Charter of 1910 tasking us to be “the attorney for the poor,” can we do any less? n

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Photo: © Steve Liss,



Efficiency, Effectiveness, & Value
Achieving Poverty Reduction through Market-Based Approaches
By Candy Hill


any times over the last 100 years, Catholic Charities has taken on the challenge of influencing public policy on behalf of the poor. We have been instrumental in shaping legislation regarding economic security, affordable housing, labor rights, child and family welfare, health care, and numerous other policy issues. We are now again engaged in an effort to influence policy, this time to reform the way that we as a nation create equal access to opportunity for individuals who are at risk of poverty or who are living in poverty.

efficient, and effective services delivery system. • Results Oriented: Focusing on effectiveness by measuring our success based on the outcomes in people’s lives, developing a single system to track results, and investing in programs that work. • Market Based: Using market principles and tools to express the social and economic value that poverty reduction generates, to incentivize private investment in poverty reduction, and to foster a consumer services model that encourages choice and greater access to opportunities. In short, these objectives are aimed at efficiency, effectiveness, and value in poverty reduction and have at their center the individual person.

Our reform policies, which are being advanced in the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act (NOCRA), are summarized in three objectives: • Systems Changing: Designing a holistic approach to helping people out of poverty as well as a comprehensive,

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Reengineering our service delivery system to take a holistic and integrated approach to the person, who actively participates in an individualized plan to overcome poverty, provides the opportunities and engagement that can lead the person to sustainable independence.

The current service delivery system for low-income Americans was designed decades ago in the era of carbon paper and vacuum tubes. Effective at the time, it supported our nation in cutting poverty in half from 22 percent to 11 percent by the mid1970s. However, the system needs to be modernized to face the unique challenges and opportunities we encounter today, as we see record numbers of people falling into poverty. Our current service delivery system consists of many varied safety net programs, each developed with good intentions to meet a specific social condition. While these programs have achieved positive results, they contribute to a fragmented, program-centric approach to assisting an individual. Reengineering our service delivery system to take a holistic and integrated approach to the person, who actively participates in an individualized plan to overcome poverty, provides the opportunities and engagement that can lead the person to sustainable independence. In creating such a system, we will improve services to people while achieving greater operational efficiency and better use of the limited resources available to do this work. If we are serious about cutting poverty in half in this nation by the year 2020, we must ensure that individuals engage

with a system that supports them in reaching their full human potential.

Catholic Charities advocates for a holistic casemanagement approach to poverty reduction, which is the most effective approach in helping people out of poverty. This individualized approach links people with an array of privately and publicly-funded social services. These services vary widely in their purposes, costs, and methods. In the past, service providers as well as government oversight agencies have lacked an adequate or agreed-on tool to evaluate these services for their effectiveness in helping people reach sustainable independence. In the absence of such a tool, we have focused on measuring outputs—for example, the number of meals served or the number of shelter nights provided. We need to develop an evaluation method or tool that measures effectiveness based on outcomes—for example, the number of people who are no longer hungry or homeless, the number of people who were prevented from falling into poverty or who were lifted out of poverty. We also need to evaluate for cost-effectiveness and the social and economic returns on the funds invested. As President Obama recently pointed out in an April town hall meeting:



Photo: © Steve Liss,

“We’ve got to have a much more rigorous review of how effective various programs are. Some work and some don’t. And if they don’t work we should eliminate them and put that money into programs that do.”

an efficient service delivery system will promote a more prosperous economy and nation for all.

Market-Based Approaches to Poverty Reduction
Integrating market-based principles and tools is one of the three poverty reduction objectives reflected in NOCRA. This concept may seem foreign to human service providers, but in order to reduce poverty, we should engage all the tools, including our market economy and market-based approaches, that can create the opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential and achieve sustainable independence. This is especially important in an economic environment where there continues to be long term high unemployment rates and a lack of new or sufficient job opportunities. We believe that government can be a catalyst in the marketplace to incentivize sustainability for human services, investment, innovation, and new funding mechanisms to ensure that people living in poverty have access to equal and expanded opportunities. Incentivizing the market and its players in a way that creates equal access to opportunity and sustainable independence is at the center of the market-based policy recommendations advanced in NOCRA.

Poverty reduction must yield measurable value— for the individuals and families who overcome poverty and also for communities and governments that invest in measures to reduce poverty. For those who overcome poverty, value should be measured in a holistic way that takes into account more than higher wages, but improved health, and access to educational and asset-building opportunities. The value created in people’s lives should translate into value for communities, as they become safer, healthier, and more prosperous. Further, reducing poverty should also reap economic value for governments in the form of reduced public subsidies and greater tax revenue as well as long-term reduction in costs associated with social problems that are related to or exacerbated by poverty. While we as Catholic Charities center our work on improving the quality of life for people and strengthening communities, based on the principles of human dignity and the common good, we also recognize that tangible results matched with

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What Is Poverty Reduction?
While the goal of poverty reduction is to help people move up out of poverty, measured holistically by improved health, higher income, and greater opportunities for education and asset-building, the foundational principle of this effort is about helping people reach their full potential. Regardless of one’s individual challenges and circumstances, each person should have the opportunity to reach their individual full potential, which, we must recognize, will vary from person to person. To do so, we must address the challenges and circumstances through an approach organized into three tiers of intervention and support. • Tier 1: People with skills and experience but who are in need, possibly because of an unexpected life circumstance, such as a job loss or other loss of income, an illness, or a natural disaster. With poverty prevention services and emergency assistance, these people can have the opportunity to recover quickly and return to sustainable independence, receiving support at the earliest onset of the unexpected circumstance so that they do not have to completely divest themselves of the assets that have kept them independent. • Tier 2: People who lack the opportunities and skills to reach sustainable independence on their own, possibly because of a lack of access to a quality education, experience, and skill building opportunities. Intervention strategies and supports to individuals in this tier may need to be more intense and delivered over a longer period of time before the individual can reach sustainable independence. Each individual will not reach sustainable independence at the same time period or with the same intervention and support. The service delivery and public assistance system must be flexible enough to holistically meet these unique needs. • Tier 3: People who have life-long challenges and require support to care for themselves. Services to people with a long-term illness, disability, or other long-term life challenge will include ongoing support to help them meet their basic needs as well as sustained assistance that will ensure them opportunities to reach their individual full potential. Poverty reduction among this group of people means alleviating the suffering of poverty and ensuring people a life of dignity. n

Putting in place policies that encourage the use of marketbased strategies can strengthen sustainability for human services, which are often vulnerable to budget cuts, as we have seen with the recent recession. The federal government and nearly every state government have faced budget crises, and services for low-income Americans have been among the first to be cut or eliminated, making it more difficult for already struggling families. By using the market-based strategies of measuring outcomes, monetizing savings, and demonstrating the return on investment, we can decrease the vulnerability of human services to funding cuts. These strategies have the potential to incentivize providers to find the most effective and cost-efficient programs and to encourage policymakers to see these programs as investments that can over time produce revenue, which can be used to continue funding human services or be returned to government treasuries. Implementing policies that encourage the use of already existing innovative funding models can also create sustainable support for human services, even in times of economic downturns. The market-based approaches advanced in NOCRA encourage diversification of funding sources by inviting and incentivizing the investment of private capital into human services. Innovative tax and financing concepts encourage individuals, businesses, and communities to invest in individuals and promote human development while at the same time reducing the burden on already cash-strapped governments. However, inviting investors into the human services arena will depend again on the community’s ability to show the value it generates in reducing poverty. The combined effect of these approaches will ultimately serve the very people we are trying to help. With numerous effective services that have the resources to operate, case managers and persons in need together will be able to choose those services that best meet the needs of the person, resulting in greater access to opportunity, less dependence, and more independence. n Candy Hill is senior vice president for social policy and government affairs



Photo: © Steve Liss,

Making the Economic Argument
Measuring Our Impact in Economic Terms

“When the moral argument and the common good argument do not work, then we need to make the economic argument. It is not our strength. We must change that.”
— Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA


n the 100 years that Catholic Charities has been serving people living in poverty, we have consistently advocated for greater support for the poor because we know by our faith that it is the right and moral thing to do. We have also appealed on the principle of the common good, that we all benefit when the good of all is sustained and preserved. Both of these concepts deeply motivate us to do what we do. They do not, however, motivate others in the same way. In these times, as Fr. Snyder, points out, we must be able to make an economic argument for why what we do matters.

value of their programs in more economic terms, whether it is to advocate for an effective and cost saving strategy, to show the value an agency brings to a community, or to communicate the impact of proposed funding cuts.

Making Economic Sense
Fr. Ragan Schriver, head of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee in Knoxville, TN, has been very involved from the beginning with his city’s ten-year plan to end chronic homelessness. With a strategy built around dignity and best practices, the plan is premised on the finding that what a chronically homeless person needs first and foremost, before any other service can be effective, is a home.

Increasingly, Catholic Charities agencies and other services providers are finding ways to measure and communicate the social impact they are having in their communities and the

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Photo: © Steve Liss,

Under the plan, Fr. Ragan and others have set out to build more permanent supportive housing facilities in Knoxville. But they often run into obstacles in finding sites to build on. “Because this kind of housing is congregate housing, we run into a lot of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitudes,” said Fr. Ragan. “Many residents do not want these housing programs close to their homes and neighborhoods.” Knowing that an appeal to compassion, human dignity, and best practices may not change their minds, Fr. Ragan has gathered data to show how permanent supportive housing is a benefit to the community. For one of his agency’s supportive housing projects, Fr. Ragan went before the city council to ask for zoning changes that would allow them to build. He came with an arsenal of data showing how perma-

nent supportive housing saves taxpayer dollars. He and others calculated that emergency room visits, arrests for loitering and public disturbances, jail stays, meals from soup kitchens, and overnight stays in shelters for one chronically homeless person cost Tennessee taxpayers $43,000 a year. The cost of permanent supportive housing for one person per year is estimated at $17,000, a huge reduction in costs. “I made three arguments that day—one about best practices, one about being a Good Samaritan, and one about cost savings,” said Fr. Ragan. “The cost savings argument was the clincher.” The city council passed the zoning change request, and Catholic Charities was able to move forward in building its supportive housing. Fr. Ragan, who also teaches on evaluative research in the social work program at the University of



Emergency room visits, arrests for loitering and public disturbances, jail stays, meals from soup kitchens, and overnight stays in shelters for one chronically homeless person cost Tennessee taxpayers $43,000 a year. The cost of permanent supportive housing for one person per year is estimated at $17,000, a huge reduction in costs.

Tennessee, sees the writing on the wall. “More and more, it is imperative that we show how our programs make economic sense. We need to use the logic model to make our case.”

Leveraging Up
In 2010, the leaders of the four Catholic Charities agencies in Kansas—Jan Lewis, Karen Hauser, Cynthia Colbert, and Deborah Snapp—came together to look for a way to leverage each other’s contributions as an advocacy tool. Even though they serve separately in disparate communities, they have a statewide impact, serving people in need in all parts of the state, engaging volunteers and donors, employing people, and leveraging community dollars. “We wanted to find a way to make our voice heard, to show our impact on the lives of Kansas citizens and to reflect a larger constituency of donors and volunteers,” said Jan Lewis, executive director of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. “We felt we could tell a bigger story together than we could by ourselves.”

Jan and her colleagues pulled together a joint impact report, a two-page aggregate summary of their agencies’ contributions to their communities and the state. They drew their data from the Catholic Charities USA Annual Survey, and each agency provided a story reflecting the successes of their programs. During the Centennial Gathering, Jan, Karen, Cynthia, and Deborah visited their members of Congress as a delegation and delivered the report. Since the gathering, they have produced a report each quarter, which they have sent to their state and federal legislators. The reports detail the services that the Kansas agencies provide, but also the economic value the agencies are generating. “The number of volunteers we engage is impressive. We can’t afford to hire more people, so from a cost-effectiveness standpoint, we wanted to leverage up our volunteers, over 1100 a month, and show how many people we can engage,” said Jan. The report also details how much money the four agencies leverage from the community and other sources—for each dollar in state grant funds, the agencies leverage four additional dollars.

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Relationship building is really the end goal. “We know our legislators are facing tough decisions. We want to be a resource, so that they can know the impact of legislation on people,” said Jan. The reports are also intended to build bridges with business people. “We want to get businesses involved in what we are doing, but we have to speak their language, we have to show the value we provide in a way business people understand.” Jan is pleased with the result so far. “At our recent visit with our new senator, his staff asked, ‘Are you the people that have been sending these reports? Because we heard you. We get it.’”

Kathleen and the director of the senior companion program, Dave Mickelson, crunched some numbers and found that for every month a low-income Ohio senior served by a senior companion stays in his or her home, $4,307 in cost savings to Medicaid is generated for the state of Ohio and the federal government. Kathleen and David presented this information to their state and federal legislators. “We wanted to show what would happen if the program were cut. In this case, it was very easy to show what the loss of the services would result in. Both the state and federal government would see a significant and almost instantaneous rise in Medicaid costs.” Kathleen hopes the information they presented had an impact. In any case, the Corporation for National and Community Services was preserved in the 2011 federal budget, as well as nearly all of the funding allocated for the senior companion program. n

Showing Fiscal Consequences
In the recent 2011 federal budget showdown in Congress, the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that funds several nationwide volunteer programs, was on the chopping block. If this agency was eliminated, federal funding would be eliminated for the Senior Companion program, which engages low-income senior volunteers in providing assistance—such as grocery shopping and errands, transportation, light housekeeping, and companionship—to frail and homebound low-income seniors so that they can stay in their homes. The volunteers receive a small stipend, which eases the strain on their own tight incomes. Kathleen Donnellan is executive director of Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio. Her agency has a senior companion program funded with state and federal dollars, and she knows how the program improves quality of life for both the senior companions and the seniors they serve. But knowing that Congress as well as Ohio’s legislature had (and still have) tough decisions to make, she felt it was important that her state and federal legislators understand the economic impact of cuts to the senior companion program. “It’s much less expensive for a person to live in their own home than in a nursing home,” said Kathleen. “If frail and sickly low-income seniors are unable to function in their own homes, they are admitted to nursing homes, with Medicaid bearing the full cost.”

For every month a low-income Ohio senior served by a senior companion stays in his or her home, $4,307 in cost savings to Medicaid is generated for the state of Ohio and the federal government.



Understanding Social Return on Investment
Why Thinking Like a Social Enterprise Can Help Us


hrough the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act (NOCRA), Catholic Charities USA is promoting results-oriented and market-based approaches to poverty reduction. These approaches can help us identify the best poverty reduction programs, not just in how they benefit the individual, but in how they benefit society.

of a larger strategy to reduce poverty. The most cost-effective strategies ensure that we get the most “bang for our buck.” If you take cost effectiveness a step further into a social enterprise investment framework, you’re looking at the principle of “social return on investment”—a measure of the financial benefit you gain for the money you invest. This principle is becoming increasingly salient to many state and federal legislators as they contemplate the nearly $1 trillion our nation spends each year on safety net and social programs. “Social return on investment is a vehicle to account for social impact in ways that are more tangible than others,” says Kim Altar, managing director of Virtue Ventures, LLC, an international social enterprise consulting firm. “Most leaders of nonprofits and social enterprises want to see if they are making an impact in people’s individual lives. Their investors (which can be donors, taxpayers, sponsors, and private contributors) want to see that impact in quantifiable ways. They want to see how the money they have invested is creating value.”

There are a number of ways to measure benefit, both qualitative and quantitative. In line with a market-driven approach, NOCRA is specifically pushing one kind of measure: cost benefit analysis. The bill as it is now written requires that each of the ten community pilots “calculate the program cost-benefit ratio for each program under [their local plan,] which shall be the ratio of—(1) the cost of the program measured by dollars; over (2) the benefit of the program expressed in dollars.” Expressing the benefit of a program in dollars (monetizing) is necessary to assessing the program’s cost effectiveness. Knowing the cost benefit ratio of a program can help determine its value as part

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Alter notes that in the United States, we have tools readily available to monetize the value of social programs. We can calculate the costs associated with incarceration, recidivism, substance abuse, unemployment, teen pregnancy, lack of a high school diploma, and other social problems, and then calculate the economic value of programs that prevent or resolve these problems, with the result of reducing government expenditures. That being said, this kind of measuring is challenging. Nonprofits are often unaccustomed to measuring social returns in “business” terms. Add to that the facts that social returns are often difficult to measure; that nonprofits may have insufficient funds or inadequate time, skills, and systems for measuring social return; and other business issues may overwhelm the social objectives of the organization. Calculating social return on investment depends on defining at the outset the social and economic value you intend to create— such as decreased public assistance, or money leveraged, or jobs created—as well as the indicators that can be measured to show that value. It also depends heavily on measuring program outcomes, which for many nonprofits is daunting. “Outcomes measurement is hard, especially in programs that are trying to change behavior. That change is hard to capture. And measuring tools are often focused on short-term goals that don’t really measure the long-term impact of transformative change. But it can be done well,” says Alter. The upside of measuring outcomes is that providers can capture valuable data to help them improve their programs. “With the information you’ve gained, you can compare your programs and figure out why one program is better than another,” says Alter. “You’ll get more for your money, and it will also help in tapping into new resources.” Alter has seen nonprofits become much more effective by integrating business processes and strategies. She does acknowledge, however, how challenging these ideas can be to many mission-based nonprofits, who are not accustomed to thinking like social enterprises or for-profit businesses. For some, there is a cultural disdain for business approaches. “There is this idea sometimes that business is evil and charity is good. But business is not evil. It’s just a tool. What matters is how you use it.” n

Measuring Social Return on Investment
Catholic Charities agencies and other nonprofits have been very good at measuring social impact when it comes to our output. We measure the services rendered and the number of people served, and those are important numbers because they indicate the scale of our work and the scale of people’s needs. We are less skilled, however, in measuring the outcomes of our programs, especially the long-term impact we’re having in people’s lives, and beyond that the impact of our programs on the community or the nation. For example, what is the economic impact of a formerly homeless and financially unstable family in need of public assistance coming out of a transitional housing program with greater earning potential, improved finances, better personal and family functioning, and no need for public assistance? Or what is the economic impact of an agency’s ability to engage volunteers to provide social services? Or how many jobs does an agency’s social enterprise venture create? Social Impact and Social Return Measuring social impact entails measuring both the qualitative and quantitative impact of a program or enterprise. One way to measure quantitative impact is to measure the social return on investment, which measures the social value the social enterprise creates in financial terms as a ratio of the investment. Social Return on Investment Measures There are a number of ways to measure social return of investment, based on the mission of an organization. Consider the following examples: • • • • Job created = cost savings on public assistance Fair wages = increase in taxable income Income-generated by enterprise = savings to donor Enterprise profit = investment money for other social programs

Social Return on Investment Formulas There are also difference formulas for figuring different kinds of social return on investment. For example: • Economic impact = public assistance savings + earned income ÷ program costs • Return to taxpayers = reduced government funding + increased tax payments ÷ program costs These are just some very basic ways to measure social return on investment. In recent years much more has been done in impact measurement, with some very good examples coming from nonprofits across the human service spectrum. For more examples and resources, visit,, or n Resource: Kim Alter, “Measuring Social Return for Social Enterprise” (PowerPoint presentation), October 2003.



Twin Cities Rise
An Example in Monetizing and Rewarding Social Value


win Cities RISE! (TCR!) is a Minnesota nonprofit dedicated to alleviating chronic poverty. TCR! works primarily with people whose families have been poor for generations, most with a history of homelessness, poor job histories, low academic achievement and criminal convictions. After an intensive year-long focus on remedial education, skills training, coaching, internships and personal empowerment (in other words, transformation into accountable and hopeful human beings), graduates are placed in jobs that pay an average of $25,000 annually plus benefits, an annual increase of almost $20,000 from the time they enter the program. One- and two-year job retention averages are 82 percent and 73 percent, respectively.

job that pays more than $20,000 annually with health benefits, a job that is at least a $10,000 improvement in their income, the state gains $3,800 per year from increased tax revenue and lower subsidy payments. The discounted present value of these future benefits over 15 years was calculated at $31,000. TCR! is paid a performance payment of $9,000 for each individual placement, and another a year later if the person is still employed in a job that’s at least as good. TCR! shares the economic value that its programming creates for the state and takes all the risks; there is no payment for failure. Since 1997, when it was first enacted, the state of Minnesota has enjoyed a return of $7.24 for each dollar paid to TCR! That’s a 624 percent return on its investment. Twin Cities RISE! was founded by Steven Rothschild, a former executive at General Mills. When he left the company in 1990, he wanted to start his own business, but got sidetracked into a much different venture. He observed the huge barriers for poor black men in his community in overcoming poverty and making something of themselves, and it got him thinking.

These long-term outcomes create the economic value that enabled TCR!, with the help of economists Arthur Rolnick and Gary Stern of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, to approach the state of Minnesota to develop the pay-for-performance model that it employs today. In 1995, the state of Minnesota determined that each time a person is placed in a

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From the start, Rothschild knew the program had to be successful and that he had to find a way to prove not just its social value but also its economic value, otherwise he would never be able to attract state dollars to keep the program going.

“I thought about the average young black 23-year-old male flipping burgers at McDonalds. He was a high-school dropout. He’d done time in prison. He had fathered a few children. He might be homeless,” said Rothschild. “Where could he go from there? What if he wanted to do something with his life? Who was there to help him?” Rothschild started doing some research. He called community colleges, job training programs, and government agencies, and what he found unsettled him. There really were no programs that he found that could take that challenged 23-year-old black man from right where he was and help him develop into a productive, responsible member of society. “No one wanted to invest in poor black males. Too much risk,” said Rothschild. “But I saw that as long as no one invested in poor black males, poor black women and children would remain poor as well.” Rothschild did more research and began developing a program—an intensive, multi-faceted, cognitive learning program—that would change lives. And with his own money and the contributions of like-minded friends, Rothschild started Twin Cities RISE! From the start, Rothschild knew the program had to be successful and that he had to find a way to prove not just its social value but also its economic value, otherwise he would never be able to attract state dollars to keep the program going. Drawing from his experience in business, he applied the concept of “return on investment” to his new social enterprise and developed a way for measuring the economic value TCR! could provide—the value of a man working in a good job with health benefits, whose need for public benefits was reduced and whose ability to contribute to the tax base was increased. Combining an effective program with a way to measure the program’s economic value led to the state of Minnesota’s funding

of the program, though not in the usual way with grant money up front. The pay-for-performance arrangement certainly put the burden of proving effectiveness on TCR!, but it also configured performance payments in such a way that TCR! retained a good percentage of the public savings it generated. “While nonprofits assume more risk in this scenario, they have the potential to earn considerably more financial support than under current (and future) state spending plans,” said Rothschild. “That’s a prospect that high performers should relish.” Rothschild believes that many nonprofits already generate economic value. “TCR! is not unique in its ability to generate economic value from the social good it performs. Any social enterprise whose quality programming creates incremental tax revenues and/or reduces public subsidies in the short to medium term could create high returns for the state and payments for itself. Examples include workforce and drug treatment programs, health care, subsidized housing and higher education, among others. Some nonprofits are doing it already; they (and the government) just don’t know it because returns aren’t being measured or captured by the state.” With forecasts of tight state and federal budgets for years ahead, nonprofits receiving government dollars for social programs will increasingly have to prove their effectiveness and illustrate not only the social value but the economic value they provide. TCR! provides a model worth consideration for Catholic Charities agencies—not only in developing effective programs that improve people’s lives but in illustrating how government investments in social programs are paying off. n



Funding Poverty Reduction In A New Way
Community Renewal Bonds and Tax Incentives
Community Renewal Bonds and Tax Incentives


eficit reduction is one of the top priorities in Washington these days. Comprehensive plans to cut spending over the next decade and reduce the deficit are proliferating, and in many of the plans, government-funded programs that serve low-income Americans are among the first programs to be cut. Cashstrapped states have already made drastic cuts to programs that serve low-income residents and likely will not be in a position to increase spending for years to come, especially as Medicaid costs rise. In this budgetary context, Catholic Charities USA introduced the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act (NOCRA), which, in short, proposes a pilot project—a fiveyear ten-community experiment in reducing poverty—that is designed to change both how the nation delivers poverty services and how we fund poverty reduction programs. Given the current budget challenges, CCUSA developed additional strategies for funding this project than just asking the government to write a check or develop whole new sections of the tax code to benefit the project. NOCRA’s developers looked at existing

financial tools in the tax code that could be adjusted to generate at least some of the funding needed to support the project. Here is some of what they proposed in the legislation: 1. Community Renewal Bonds: The passage of NOCRA as it is now written would authorize the national body overseeing the pilot project, the National Opportunity Board, to sell $50 million of 7-year term, U.S. Treasury bonds with a guaranteed coupon, guaranteed by the U.S. government. Funds raised from the bonds would be distributed by the National Opportunity Board to the ten communities participating in the pilot. The bonds would reduce federal funding requirements and generate public funding of poverty reduction programs by incenting local participation, including individuals, businesses, and banks, to purchase the bonds to invest in their communities. With reduced poverty among families and individuals, government subsidies to poor individuals would decrease and tax contributions would increase, generating the returns that would enable the government to repay the bonds.

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Photo: © Steve Liss,

2. Community Renewal Contributions: To encourage individual donors to support the poverty reduction pilot project, NOCRA would adjust tax laws to allow donors to claim 120 percent of contributions to the pilot on their federal tax returns. Further, the percentage of allowable contributions in relation to one’s adjusted gross income would be raised from 50 percent to 75 percent, meaning that a person could contribute up to 75 percent of their adjusted gross income and still receive the full deduction. For corporations, the limit would be raised from 5 percent to 15 percent. The local boards created under NOCRA would set specific criteria and select qualified non-profits to receive Community Renewal Contributions. This would have the effect of incenting donors to channel funds to qualified non-profits that are participating in NOCRA’s poverty reduction programs.

3. New Market Tax Credit: The New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) currently awards tax credits to projects that develop and construct facilities that provide community benefits. Many times, these projects are joint ventures comprised of a developer and an investor who contributes funds in exchange for tax credits, typically resulting in the development and construction of facilities that provide a community benefit in poor areas. The tax credits offset income, which makes it attractive for investors to enter into joint ventures with developers, some of whom will be nonprofits. Currently, the NMTC is restricted to building projects in very specific poor geographic areas. NOCRA would expand the NMTC to cover the entire area in which each of the ten communities participating in the pilot project is located. This is expected to generate greater participation from the community in supporting projects necessary to the success of the pilot project.



The tools CCUSA has proposed essentially bring outside funds into poverty reduction, relieving governments of at least some of the cost burden.

An Experiment in Funding Poverty Reduction
While these proposals will likely be modified in the final legislation, CCUSA is determined to preserve these funding tools. Why? Because how we fund poverty reduction is an integral part of the experiment. In other words, as much as NOCRA is an experiment in identifying, developing, and elevating the best poverty reduction strategies, it also is an experiment in funding poverty reduction in a new way that is less dependent on government funding and, as a result, less burdened by government regulations. The tools CCUSA has proposed essentially bring outside funds into poverty reduction, relieving governments of at least some of the cost burden. Tax incentives will encourage individuals and businesses to contribute private funds to poverty reduction causes, and selling Community Renewal Bonds will provide substantial funds from investors. The government will be able to repay these investors as it experiences both substantial savings and earnings from poverty reduction—decreases in public subsidies, increases in tax revenues, and a multiplier effect to the economy as assisted individuals earn more money. “This is really about funding poverty reduction in a whole different way—by reducing dependence on government funds and incenting greater participation by communities,” said Keith Styles of Arent Fox LLP in Washington, DC, who helped draft the NOCRA legislation. “The increased involvement of the private sector in the funding mechanism should result in more efficient and effective poverty reduction programs administered at the local level by people with direct knowledge of the poverty challenges in their communities. In turn, by reducing the number of people living in poverty and helping them become economically productive citizens, NOCRA should produce both savings to government and increased tax revenues. We are confident that both the private and public sectors will benefit financially from NOCRA.”

Once the pilot project identifies the most effective and efficient programs for reducing poverty, those programs will be rolled out for implementation nationwide. While NOCRA puts the burden on local nonprofits to implement highly effective programs, it also ensures that high-performing programs will continue to be well funded, which will enable them to continue making a lasting difference in the lives of America’s poor. n

As much as NOCRA is an experiment in identifying, developing, and elevating the best poverty reduction strategies, it also is an experiment in funding poverty reduction in a new way that is less dependent on government funding.

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Moving Forward with the National Opportunity & Community Renewal Act


embers of Congress have budgets on the brain. Even though the 2011 budget impasse was resolved, Congress is still very much focused on budget and deficit issues—raising the debt ceiling, approving the 2012 budget, and putting in place a long-term deficit reduction strategy. So it might seem that this is not the best time to reintroduce the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act (NOCRA). But that’s not the case. Poverty reduction needs to be a part of the discussion on budgets and deficit reduction. CCUSA’s social policy team is working to have NOCRA reintroduced in Congress. Several senators are interested in sponsoring the bill, and as things now stand, the bill will be reintroduced in the Senate with minor changes by June 1. At that point, the bill can be sent to the Congressional Budget Office to be “scored,” a process that estimates the cost and fiscal impact of the bill. The bill’s “score” will be necessary to future negotiations.

Introduction in the House of Representatives will come a bit later, after CCUSA has finalized a coalition of engaged partners which will formally make recommendations to improve the policy recommendations as the legislation continues to advance. The coalition, which is now being put together, will include diverse organizations that represent those working on public policies that serve the poor and representatives of state and local governments, business, philanthropy, and education who agree to work on innovative ideas and policy proposals to advance poverty reduction. With a broader base of people and organizations working together to develop the most innovative and effective programs and policies with the best outcomes, CCUSA expects NOCRA to be a strong engagement tool in advancing these ideas in the House. The coalition is expected to be finalized by late June.



Photo: Troy Zeigler

The passage of NOCRA is not the endgame....NOCRA is a tool to frame the debate, to start the conversation, to get across our ideas about poverty reduction.
Left to right: Rev. Larry Snyder; Bill Jones, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Covington (KY); Congressman Geoff Davis (R-KY); and Steve Bogus, executive director of Catholic Charities of Louisville.

NOCRA as a Tool
While NOCRA moves forward, Candy Hill, CCUSA’s senior vice president for social policy and government affairs, reminds us that we should look at NOCRA as a tool to advance policy ideas on poverty reduction into the legislative process and to engage other diverse partners and our network. The ideas proposed in NOCRA were gleaned from Catholic Charities agencies, community organizations, and local governments through the Centennial Leadership Summits during 2009 and 2010. “The passage of NOCRA is not the endgame, and we are not under the illusion that the bill will pass as it is, or that it will pass as a complete bill,” said Hill. “All bills get negotiated. Most often they do not pass in their original form. Some pieces of the legislation may have to move forward through different mechanisms. The point to remember is that NOCRA is a tool to frame the debate, to start the conversation, to get across our ideas about poverty reduction.” CCUSA continues to engage with the Administration through the Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Office and the Domestic Policy Council to advance poverty reduction strategies, and expects to expand conversations with the cabinet secretaries of the departments that oversee safety net and public assistance programs. CCUSA is also expanding and strengthening partnerships with those that are willing to commit to developing innovative poverty reduction policies and to reach out to elected officials at the state, county and city level across the country.

Capitol Hill Advocacy Day
On April 12, about 50 diocesan directors and local agency staff members went to Capitol Hill to discuss NOCRA with their members of Congress. The message was well-received, and it was because Catholic Charities advocates understand the budget constraints we as a nation now face. “The message of our diocesan leaders was well received. Reemphasizing the commitment to advocate for the least among us and to ensure that they do not disproportionally bear any cuts that are proposed, diocesan directors advanced the conversation, presenting their stories and ideas for greater efficiency and effectiveness without cutting services to those most in need,” said Hill. “Recognizing the tough choices that will need to be made, we want to ensure that our network is at the table providing information, insight, and policy that will protect those we serve while looking for efficiencies and effectiveness that address the challenges we face as a nation.” CCUSA is engaged now in significant follow-up to those visits. Members of Congress and their staffs have asked for more meetings, more details, and a deeper conversation about the proposed policies and innovative ideas. “We are very pleased by that,” said Hill. “Some diocesan directors were actually quite surprised that Congressional staff members were following up.” Hill again asserts the importance of NOCRA as a mechanism for promoting policy ideas. “We are looking for places we can advance ideas forward, and we will continue. This is not a short-term strategy. This is a commitment that began when we launched the Campaign to Reduce Poverty in 2007.” n

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oin your Catholic Charities colleagues and partners from across the country at the single event focused on the unique needs of our network.

With a keynote address from Colleen Barrett, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines Co, the opportunity to celebrate Mass with over 500 colleagues at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, time and space for networking, and over 30 unique workshop opportunities, attendees will head home invigorated, motivated, and inspired with the national mission of Catholic Charities and the breadth and scope of our network. • Engage in our national work to reduce poverty in America On Sunday and Monday of our gathering, we will convene the first annual national Poverty Summit, convening the national community to advance the work of pov-

erty reduction. This summit will continue to inspire active participation in a national movement to reduce poverty in America, to re-imagine the way America addresses poverty, and to identify, design, and implement innovative and measurable strategies towards our common goal. • Participate in issue specific workshops Over 30 workshops and breakout sessions will be offered Monday through Wednesday focusing on broad topics such as business ventures, sustaining programs, performance measurement, branding and communications, advocacy, board development, and funding opportunities, as well as critical issue areas such as adoption, housing, financial literacy, and immigration. Workshops will present best practices, share replicable programs, and discuss the unique needs of Catholic Charities agencies.



Exploring What Works
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fort Worth Program Tours Financial Stability Services Experience Fort Worth’s Financial Stability services by following a client’s experience from first contact with Central Intake to Financial Assistance to Financial Stability services, which help clients build assets and make good decisions to avoid future need for financial assistance. Business Venture Services Learn about the history, purpose, strategy, vision, and struggles of the agency’s social business ventures: Translation and Interpretation Services and WORN. Children’s Assessment Center Tour the Children’s Assessment Center, learn the advantages of an assessment center vs. emergency shelter, and take part in a discussion of issues such as shelter case management, social work in the shelter environment, staffing a 24-hour shelter, and coalition building in the community. HOMES (Housing Opportunity Model for Empowerment and Stability) Get an in-depth understanding of this model program that works in partnership with city government to address chronic homelessness as well as situational homelessness for families, individuals, and those re-entering society from prison. Discuss street outreach services, the differing models for different populations, and operational issues, such as housing vouchers vs. master-leases. CASA Housing Tour the CASA housing facilities for seniors and people with disabilities and get an overview of the qualifications, leasing process, and social services and activities offered to residents. An Innovative Development Office Learn the strategies of a mission-based fundraising model, experience a “Catholic Charities 101 Lunch & Learn,” and discuss issues such as fund development officers, parish relations, volunteers, and grant writing. n

• Reflect on your spirituality The Annual Gathering and Poverty Summit will kick off on Sunday afternoon with an opening liturgy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, followed by daily morning liturgies in the hotel with different celebrants from across our network, and an ecumenical prayer service will closing the Poverty Summit on Monday afternoon. • Network with colleagues from across the country On Monday evening, you will have the night on your own to dine with colleagues, explore Sundance Square, and continue the conversations from the day. On Tuesday, Professional Interest Section members will have time to meet over lunch to delve deeper into specific topics and interest areas. • Explore what works at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Worth On Tuesday afternoon, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Worth will throw open its doors, giving attendees the chance to explore some of its most successful programs. To keep these sessions interactive, space is limited for each site tour. • Enjoy a lively country evening at Billy Bob’s Texas Honky Tonk For an additional fee of $50, attendees can hit the town on Tuesday night, taking a bus to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards for a special cattle drive just for our attendees. After the cattle pass you by, follow the signs to Billy Bob’s, the world’s largest honky tonk, for a night of great food, drinks, games, live music, and maybe a little dancing! n

Please join the Catholic Charities network at our Annual Gathering and Poverty Summit. View the full schedule and register online at

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Catholic Charities USA’s 2011

of the Year Finalists

Congratulations from Catholic Charities USA to our 2011 Volunteer of the Year Finalists! Volunteers nationwide make an invaluable contribution to the Catholic Charities movement. Collectively, local Catholic Charities agencies rely on more than 260,000 volunteers each year to serve nearly 9 million people of all faiths and diverse needs.

Libba Claude
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Libba Claude of North Salem, NY, volunteers her time and resources to the hundreds of families who benefit from The Children’s Center, operated by Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, NY. The Children’s Center is a unique model program that unites children with their incarcerated mothers. Libba’s service to The Children’s Center began more than fifteen years ago, when she first volunteered to drive children back and forth to the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility so that they could enjoy visits with their mothers, who were often serving long sentences. Soon after, she became a children’s advocate, acting as a liaison between an incarcerated mother and the various entities that impact her child, such as guardians, schools, hospitals, social workers, social service agencies, and the family court system. Through the years Mrs. Claude has kept children and their incarcerated mothers closely connected, despite the physical separation imposed by their circumstances.

Theresa Meurs
Catholic Community Services of Western Washington Theresa Meurs of Bellingham, WA, is dedicated to the homeless. Eight years ago, she joined another volunteer to wander amidst the homeless in her community and offer sandwiches and warm gloves. That ministry has grown into the Hope House Street Outreach, a homeless feeding program of Catholic Community Services Northwest (CCSNW), a regional agency of Catholic Community Services of Western Washington. Theresa is now the volunteer coordinator of the Hope House Street Outreach Program, and every Thursday evening, she and two vans of volunteers depart from Hope House loaded with homemade lunches, warm clothing, blankets, and a lot of love! Theresa truly sees the face of Christ in each person she ministers to. With love, she offers them a voice and a friend to talk to. She has been responsible for several homeless addicts getting off the streets and getting clean.



Jody O’Connor
Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Chicago, hosts a nightly supper five days a week for 130 hungry and homeless clients. Jody O’Connor of Wilmette, IL, owner of Jody O’Connor Photography and Board of Advisors member, has been coming to the supper on Tuesday nights for nine years. During that time, she has been working on a unique idea called “After Supper: Visions of My Life,” a photo project that allows the dinner guests an opportunity to express themselves creatively from behind the camera lens. The project combines art with social services to give the clients a sense of normalcy, a means of expression, a development of talent and skills, and a much needed source of income. Clients are given disposable cameras to take photos with, and after several months of training, preparation, and narrowing of photographic choices, St. Vincent Hall is transformed into a glamorous photo gallery where their art is exhibited and sold. The proceeds generated from the sales go directly to the artists.

Marion Slack
Catholic Social Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia Meeting Mother Teresa of Calcutta when she visited Marion Slack’s hometown of Levittown, PA, 35 years ago had a life-changing impact on Marion. It resulted in her founding of a food assistance ministry called Mary’s Cupboard, a ministry that has worked in collaboration with Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for 25 years. What began small in her own parish blossomed to involve ten Catholic parishes and local churches which donate food or funds monthly. Marion began the ministry with her husband Donald, but now has 61 active volunteers whom she coordinates, most serving a few times each month. They pick up and deliver donated groceries from churches or supermarkets; receive, sort and stock food items; and prepare individual boxes of food to provide families in need enough meals and supplies for a week. Thanks to Marion, Mary’s Cupboard provides meal packages to over 1500 family households per year, totaling an estimated 78,000 meals annually.

Donna Uselding
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fort Worth In the four years she has been volunteering at Catholic Charities in Fort Worth, TX, Donna Uselding has become a dedicated advocate for the refugee community. She first started as a mentor for a Burmese family, then she befriended another refugee family, and soon was working with an entire apartment complex of refugee families. She teaches weekly ESL classes, tutors kids with homework, helps families complete Food Stamp and Medicaid applications, transports people to and from Catholic Charities Immigration Services, helps people find employment or get a driver’s license, provides transportation to doctor’s appointments, and so much more. Most recently, Donna got elderly refugee women involved in Catholic Charities’ new business venture named WORN, which hires women to knit scarves, pays them a living wage, and sells the scarves to local boutiques to bring awareness to refugees in the community.

Nancy Zabawa
Catholic Commission of Summit County, Diocese of Cleveland Nancy Zabawa of Doylestown, OH, exemplifies all that Catholic Charities stands for in empowering people to move out of poverty and advocating for the most vulnerable in our society. Nancy not only volunteers with the Catholic Commission of Summit County, in the Diocese of Cleveland, but personally mentors people in poverty, helping them help themselves. After studying the CCUSA document, Poverty and Racism, she put together a committee to study these issues and worked with the Diocesan African American Ministry Office to look at the particulars of racism and how it keeps people in poverty. From the committee’s work, Nancy developed and brought to reality a retreat focused on racism and poverty. She also developed a detailed manual for parishes or other groups to use in conducting that same retreat. With the committee, she has studied many povertyreduction programs and made connections with parishes and the larger community to bring together people interested in helping. As a result, the agency now has mentors in its Bridges Out of Poverty Program and more people aware of the need for mentoring. n

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Volunteer of the Year
Catholic Charities USA’s 2011
28 | CHARITIES USA • • • •

We all need that feeling, that knowledge that we can help someone. I would hate to go through life without it. It’s been the best thing in my life.

Mike Schuette
or more than 15 years, Mike Schuette of Breese, IL, has supported the work of Catholic Charities of Southern Illinois (CCSIL). During the last ten years, he has served as chair of the CCSIL Board and for the last fifteen years as the chair of Poverty Services, a volunteer-run agency of CCSIL that helps people overcome barriers to gainful employment and a life free from poverty. One of those barriers is illiteracy. In his early 20s, Mike started teaching prison inmates to read. A shockingly high number of them could not read well or at all, no doubt a contributing factor to their being incarcerated. When he saw his first success with an inmate, he was filled with an unquenchable hope. “The inmate was elated because he knew he could do it. And it really fired me up because I knew it could be done.” That hope has infused his volunteer work ever since. After decades of volunteer literacy efforts, Mike brought his passion for helping inmates learn to read to his volunteer work for Poverty Services at CCSIL. As volunteer chair of Poverty Services, he linked the agency with a statewide group to lobby for legislation that would require literacy programs in all of Illinois’s prisons. He also worked to engage more volunteers in tutoring, which succeeded somewhat, but not without problems, notably the problem of getting tutors past security in the prisons. Then with a flash of inspiration, he began developing the “Inmates Helping Inmates” program, in which literate inmates are trained by community colleges to teach illiterate inmates how to read. He got the program started in two prisons, and each program has been a phenome-


nal success, with reading improvement greatly increased among thousands of inmates. With the help of CCSIL and the Catholic Conference of Illinois, Mike is now working with state legislators to expand Inmates Helping Inmates into all prisons. One of the best things about the program is that it helps both the tutor and student. “It’s life-changing to both people. The student learns that he can do it, and the tutor realizes that he can help someone. It’s so neat to pass that fire on,” said Mike. Mike’s efforts on behalf of inmates have extended outside of the prisons. To assist inmates leaving prison, Mike is partnering Poverty Services with Catholic Charities’ St. Vincent de Paul Society, DOC Parole, Life Skills, and other referral service agencies to develop a program to extend “Inmates Helping Inmates” participants’ literacy classes toward achieving a GED and going to college. The follow-up program also assesses for mental illness, substance abuse, social needs, and provides each individual with contact information to locate employment and needed resources. “Mike tries to help the forgotten people, the people others have written off,” said Gary Huelsman, executive director of CCSIL. “He very quietly and patiently goes about the business of transforming lives, and he does it out of such purity of heart. I admire him so much.” For Mike, serving others has been its own reward. “We all need that feeling, that knowledge that we can help someone. I would hate to go through life without it. It’s been the best thing in my life.” n

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Strengthening the World
By Kathryn Sponsel-Pauls

Healthy Marriage, launched in 2003, thousands of low-income married couples have participated in cutting-edge marital education programs at eight sites across the country. Catholic Charities, Inc. in Wichita, KS, was one of the eight sites selected to conduct the study. For the study, the agency developed an innovative, multi-faceted program known as Marriage for Keeps (MfK). The essential components of the MfK program included offering marriage education curriculum in small groups in addition to providing social activities for the couples and their families. Nearly 800 low-income couples, in 46 cohort groups, took part in the program. Catholic Charities of Wichita along with the other three Catholic Charities organizations in Kansas—Dodge City, Salina, and Kansas City—implemented a MfK program in their re-


myriad of research studies has firmly established that married couples enjoy a multitude of benefits that include better health, longer life spans, higher earnings, and happier children. Yet over the last fifty years, the marriage rate in the United States has declined, while the rate of cohabitation and divorce and the number of single parent households have gone up. The decline in marriages is even more precipitous and troubling among lower-income households. Concerned about the decline in marriages and the correlation between that decline and poverty and crime, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded a longitudinal research project to identify programs that significantly improve the marriages of low-income couples with children. Through this project, Supporting



spective dioceses. Each site utilized the standard components of the program yet tailored the services to meet the specific needs of their community. The MfK program became one of the top performers in the nationwide study, with 80 percent of participants completing the program and the majority of participants reporting a significant benefit to their marriages. Although the final results of the research will not be published for a few years, the preliminary data has shown that measures related to marital satisfaction and improved communication showed marked improvement in the quality and closeness between marriage partners. Of the more than 700 couples who were assessed following completion of the program, the majority showed increased marital satisfaction; of those, 43 percent showed dramatic improvement in marital satisfaction. The majority of assessed couples also showed vast improvement in communication skills; of those, 69 percent showed dramatic improvement. MfK participants

have expressed their deep gratitude for the positive impact the program has had on their marriages and children. • “We’re learning ways of how to have fun with each other.” • “The skills are transferable to our kids.” • “Since we started this, we’ve been sleeping in the same bed again.” • “This is the high point of our week.” The success of MfK has prompted Catholic Charities in Wichita to make it a part of their poverty-reduction strategy. “We are working on taking the marriage strengthening techniques we have learned through the Marriage for Keeps programs and instilling those techniques in all our programs to empower our clients to have better marriages and stronger families so that they can escape poverty,” said Cynthia N. Colbert, executive director of Catholic Charities, Inc. “We have also utilized what

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we learned in the program to offer marriage strengthening classes to staff members of Catholic Charities and the Diocese of Wichita.” The success of Catholic Charities’ Marriage for Keeps program has been embraced by the community. It has inspired additional community initiatives that promote marriage, such as the Black Marriage Day event which brought together 300 participants from the African American community to join in celebrating marriages. Further, the MfK program, while continuing to serve low-income married couples, has expanded to serve many other populations throughout the state. For example, Marriage for Keeps staff members have been working with Hispanic groups to offer the program in Spanish. Given the tremendous success of the program, MfK personnel have been actively working with churches, federal and state agencies, businesses, and other Catholic Charities organizations across the country to create self-sustaining marriage enrichment services on a broad scale. Catholic Charities’ Marriage for Keeps program is currently producing a documentary that will not only showcase the accomplishments of the program but will also raise awareness of the importance of a healthy marriage. It will offer viewers insights on how to strengthen their marriages by utilizing the

principles of the program. Several television stations in Wichita have voiced interest in airing the program. In June 2011, Catholic Charities’ Marriage for Keeps program will take part in the first ever regional Kansas Healthy Families Summit, which is designed to educate the community about issues facing families and the tools to strengthen families. Kansans from all over the state will be invited to attend this three day event. National and local experts in marriage and family research, policy and services will present empirical strategies designed to strengthen marriages and families. “We see our Marriage for Keeps program as having the potential to change the community as a whole by addressing the root of many of society’s problems,” said Colbert. “As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated in their November 2009 pastoral letter, ‘Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan,’ we believe that ‘the future of humanity depends on marriage and the family.’ For that reason, our programs are focused on stabilizing and strengthening marriages and in turn families to make our community and world better.” n Kathyrn Sponsel-Pauls is marketing manager for Catholic Charities, Inc., Diocese of Wichita, KS. Learn more about the Marriage for Keeps project at

“The future of the world and of the church passes through the family.”
-Pope John Paul II, Familiais Consortio



A Humble & Generous Heart

Evelyn Scarcella

I wish I had been a philanthropist.” This was the regret Evelyn Scarcella of Bound Brook, NJ, expressed to her family as they pondered life together at their 2009 Thanksgiving dinner, just a few months before her passing.

And yet, Evelyn, a third order Carmelite nun who lived as a lay person, was a philanthropist—in every way. She volunteered for years at the local medical center, served as a Eucharistic minister for her parish, and ran errands for her many elderly neighbors, all while working full-time. She also gave generously to many organizations, among them Catholic Charities agencies in New Jersey and Catholic Charities USA. She was particularly moved by the needs of people suffering because of disasters. Elaine Schiavone, Evelyn’s niece, remembers her aunt as a talented, outgoing woman who lived her simple, modest life with an enthusiastic spirit. “She always wanted to help, always wanted to do what she could.”

through her aunt’s papers and journals after her aunt’s death. That modesty, which derived both from Evelyn’s personality and also from her commitment as a Carmelite, helped Elaine to understand her aunt’s thoughts at that last Thanksgiving gathering.

“She was too humble to see herself as a philanthropist, even though she gave and did so much,” said Elaine.“Quietly, she tried to live as much as possible the life of Christ.”
Elaine finds inspiration in her aunt’s life. “She was an extraordinary person. I hope to fulfill my life in the same way she did.” Though Evelyn felt that she could have done more in her life, in her passing, she left a legacy of charity and good will through bequests to Catholic Charities in Bridgewater, NJ; Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, NJ; and to Catholic Charities USA. Our deepest gratitude goes out to Evelyn and to those like her who support our vital work. n

The modesty with which Evelyn lived her life concealed her many acts of generosity, something Elaine learned as she went

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Still Recovering
One Year after the Oil Spill in the Gulf


t has been over a year since the BP oil spill began in the Gulf of Mexico and nearly a year since the defective well was sealed shut, but the effects of the spill still weigh on the lives of people who make their living from the Gulf.

Over the last year, five Catholic Charities agencies in the Gulf region—in New Orleans and Houma-Thibodaux, LA; Mobile, AL; Biloxi, MS; and Pensacola, FL—have responded to individuals and families in crisis, providing emergency food and clothing, financial assistance, case management, mental health counseling, assistance with claims applications, and other services as needed.

deficient and the spill was never declared a federal disaster. In his testimony in January before the U.S. Senate Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery, Tom Costanza, executive director of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Office of Justice and Peace, stated, “The [BP claims] process is cumbersome, takes too long,…requires excessive paperwork,…and fails to take into account the unique and special needs of the impacted people from the Gulf area and in particular, the needs of the fishing industry.” Costanza also noted, “This was never declared a federal disaster; therefore, no coordinating structures are in place. Subsequently, there is no federal funding for disaster case management, disaster unemployment, disaster food stamps, disaster mental health or individual assistance.” BP has provided large grants to states and social service providers for some of these services, but many nonprofits have had to dip into their own reserves to pay for the services. People are still having a difficult time getting the support they need. As of April 19, Catholic Charities in New Orleans reported that 79 percent of their current clients in coastal areas have yet to receive their claims payments. The agency’s case managers are working with families to file claims applications and following up with claims processors. Over the months, since the spill occurred, Catholic Charities agencies have shifted the focus of their response from emer-

The stories of the people who have come to Catholic Charities agencies for help are poignant—a tour fishing business owner on the verge of eviction after his business collapsed; a fisherman mentally and emotionally overcome by the loss of his arm in a recent accident, the loss of his marriage, the loss of income after the spill, and the loss of confidence in his future as a Gulf fisherman; a woman laid off from her job at a seafood processing plant and struggling to find another job and make ends meet. To these people, and thousands more, Catholic Charities agencies responded, assessing their needs and bringing together the services, programs, and resources to help them get back on their feet. Even so, recovery for the oil spill victims has been challenging for at least two reasons: the BP claims process has been



gency assistance to intensive case management and mental health services. Many people are still not able to work or cannot find work, and there is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about the resilience of the Gulf and the recovery of the seafood and tourism industries. Catholic Social Service in Mobile, AL, is administering Project Rebound, a case management program of the Alabama Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which is helping families establish emotional well-being and economic and employment sustainability through individually tailored recovery plans.

“With many left unemployed as a result of the oil spill, coupled with an already weak economy, our clients require a more thorough support program,” said John Wilson, disaster preparedness and response manager for CSS Mobile. So, one year after the oil spill, the work of recovery continues for this region of the country that has experienced more than its fair share of suffering in the last several years.

Get Prepared to Get Prepared!
Join CCUSA and your colleagues for the inaugural Applied Institute for Disaster Excellence,October 31-November 4, 2011, at Our Lady of Florida Center, North Palm Beach, FL. The Applied Institute for Disaster Excellence (AIDE) will equip Catholic Charities network and diocesan staff for their roles in disaster preparedness and response. It will prepare participants with the skills, understanding, and tools to engage disaster response and preparedness in their agency and diocese. Who should attend AIDE? CCUSA invites agency directors, agency disaster response staff (or agency staff designated as lead staff for disaster response), and diocesan staff to attend. What kind of training will be offered? Training participants can choose one of three tracks: • Disaster 101: Lays foundation in disaster preparedness and response (appropriate for staff with limited formal training in disaster strategies) • Disaster 201: Builds upon the CCUSA semi-annual Disaster Preparedness and Response Training (appropriate for staff who have been formally trained by CCUSA in disaster strategies) • Diocesan: Equips diocesan or parish-ministry based staff for disaster preparedness and response strategies How do I apply? Complete the online application available at n For more information about AIDE, contact Mandi Janis at [email protected] or 703-236-6252.

CCUSA Agencies Answer the Call to Help Storm and Tornado Victims
In the aftermath of tornadoes and storms that hit wide areas of the country in April, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Charities agencies jumped into action. In the early days, agency staffers and volunteers worked almost around the clock to provide relief to families and individuals devastated by the natural disasters. Charities USA will provide more coverage of our disaster response efforts in the fall issue.

Please Give Today Give from your mobile device: or call: 1-800-919-9338

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Fr. Snyder Receives Honorary Doctorate Degree from St. Francis University


ev. Larry Snyder received an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree and served as undergraduate commencement speaker as part of ceremonies at St. Francis University in Loretto, PA, on Sunday, May 8.

most respected Catholic institutions,” Fr. Snyder said. “I welcome the opportunity to share with the graduates the rich tradition of Catholic social teaching and our work to reduce poverty in America.” Fr. Snyder views the award as a recognition of the combined work of the Catholic Charities network to reduce poverty.

“I am deeply touched and honored to both serve as commencement speaker and be recognized by St. Francis University — one of the nation’s oldest and

CCUSA Presents More Centennial Medals
Although its centennial year has passed, Catholic Charities USA has continued to honor outstanding people and organizations with its Centennial Medal. The following people were recently honored with the award: • Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC A remarkable academic and religious leader, Fr. Hesburgh served as president of the University of Notre Dame for 35 years. He also served on 16 Presidential commissions, including the Civil Rights Commission. • Msgr. Jerome Boxleitner Msgr. Boxleitner was a compassionate and committed leader in the Catholic Charities movement, both locally and nationally. He served as executive director of Catholic



Charities of St. Paul-Minneapolis for 35 years and also served as the chair of the Catholic Charities USA Board of Trustees. • Judy Wilson Sullivan A force for good in her community, Judy has been a decades-long supporter, volunteer, and advocate for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Venice, FL. Her tremendous work in fundraising has been a key element to the success of the agency. Catholic Charities USA also awarded medals to Catholic Relief Services, FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, Inc.), The Society of St. Joseph, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Georgeann Lovett, director of Respect Life, Justice and Peace for the Diocese of Orange, helped plan the gathering, which was held at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, a multilingual parish in an area with significant numbers of English, Spanish, and Vietnamese speakers. “We honored the people there by presenting the message in these three languages. It brought an extra sense of comfort and helped people understand and participate more fully,” said Georgeann. Helping people understand the message of parish social ministry was an important goal for the planners. “Parish social ministry is kind of a new thing for us. The people that came didn’t really know what parish social ministry was all about,” said Georgeann. “The gathering helped them to better understand Catholic social teaching and how you integrate it into the life of the parish. They seemed very engaged by it.” The gathering was blessed by the participation of five bishops. Bishop Mike Driscoll of the Diocese of Boise, Bishop Jaime Soto of the Diocese of Sacramento, and Auxiliary Bishop Dominic Luong of the Diocese of Orange each gave keynote addresses on Catholic social teaching in their respective languages. Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange dropped by to greet the participants, and Auxiliary Bishop of Orange Cirilo Flores celebrated the closing liturgy. Other presenters talked about the vision of parish social ministry and building a culture in the parish that fosters parish social ministry. Catholic Charities of Orange County executive director Tita Smith said the gathering gave the agency an opportunity to broaden their support of parishes. “By enriching the parish lay leaders’ understanding of their works of charity within the framework of Catholic social teachings, we are encouraging and inspiring them to care for the poor in ways that are more acceptable and encompassing in their own culturally diverse parishes,” said Smith. “We could feel the excitement and great interest this gathering generated in Catholic social teaching.” n Save the date for CCUSA’s next Parish Social Ministry Regional Gathering, October 21-23 in St. Louis, MO. For more information about this gathering, visit

Trilingual PSM Regional Gathering in Orange County Reflects the Diversity of the Area

In late April, about 250 people gathered for a unique Parish Social Ministry Regional Gathering in Orange County, CA. Reflecting the diversity of the area, the presentations and liturgy were presented in three languages—English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. This helped to bridge linguistic and cultural barriers and to make it easier for non-English speakers to better understand parish social ministry. Parish Social Ministry Regional Gatherings are weekend conferences for parish and diocesan leaders to learn more about the Catholic social mission and to discover effective strategies to respond to need and injustice in the parish. Catholic Charities USA’s Office of Parish Social Ministry works with local agency and diocesan staff to plan the gatherings, in this case Catholic Charities of Orange County and the Diocese of Orange.

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Success Comes to CCUSA’s Consumer Advisory Council Members


wo members of Catholic Charities USA’s Consumer Advisory Council have reason to celebrate. Barb Strachan, who with the help of Catholic Charities in Phoenix overcame homelessness and now works for Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, Inc., accepted one of the FBI’s 2010 Director’s Community Leadership Awards on behalf of the Girl Scouts. The award was given for their Adelante Jovencitas (Young Women Moving Forward) program, a unique educational prevention program for underage females who have been sexually exploited and are incarcerated at the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections’ Black Canyon School. FBI Director Robert Mueller presented the award to Barb. In addition, Alicia Romero and her family recently purchased and moved into a home in Tucson, Arizona, after about three years living in transitional housing (See “Working to Reduce Poverty in America,” Charities USA Spring 2011) operated by Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona. The time in transitional housing helped the Romero family recover from

a foreclosure, save money toward buying a new home, and prepare for the future. Barb and Alicia serve on CCUSA’s Consumer Advisory Council. As current or past consumers of Catholic Charities services, they provide valuable input for Catholic Charities in developing, implementing, and advocating for successful antipoverty strategies.

Web Site of Los Angeles Agency Earns High Marks
Website grader,, recently gave a grade of 93 out of 100 to Catholic Charities of Los Angeles’s Web site for its readability, amount of daily traffic, and accessibility to web users. This “A” grade reflects the ease with which people can find Catholic Charities through search engines such as Google or Bing. The agency web site allows clients, supporters, staff, volunteers, other social service providers, and the general public to find out about the agency and keep abreast of what’s new in regard to programs.



Dennis Keenan of Catholic Charities Oregon to Retire
Catholic Charities Oregon Executive Director Dennis Keenan recently announced that he will retire in October after leader the Oregon agency since 1989. The agency has already begun searching for his successor. “Over 18 months ago, the Catholic Charities Board of Directors began to develop a robustly intentional strategy for future leadership transition, including my position as executive director,” said Keenan. “I have complete confidence that the board and our very talented and capable staff will handle this transition from a position of strength, success and stability, and Catholic Charities’ extraordinary legacy of service and excellence will seamlessly continue into the future.” A search committee composed of Catholic Charities board members is currently conducting a nationwide search for a successor to Keenan, with the goal of securing the new executive director by October 2011. Keenan will continue as executive director until then, and will serve beyond as needed to assist in the transition of new leadership. Keenan’s career spans 39 years as a social work administrator, including the last 22 years as executive director of Catholic Charities Oregon, which has grown from four to 200 employees and from $100,000 to $10 million in operating revenue. Today, Catholic Charities administers 25 social service programs and manages 530 units of affordable housing. In 2008, Keenan led the organization in its first-ever capital campaign, which raised $12.5 million for the construction of the Clark Family Center, Catholic Charities new headquarters.

A fourth member, Catholic Charities of Northern and Central Missouri, is currently being formed to serve the Diocese of Jefferson City, MO, and will be operational this summer. The necessity for a statewide coalition of Catholic Charities has been obvious to Michael Halterman, CEO of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph for a number of years. “The need for compassionate, professional social services extends across the state, especially in the rural areas,” explains Halterman. “When the four Missouri Catholic Charities act in concert to address those needs, we will see a multiplier effect in the effort to reduce poverty in Missouri.” Established on December 29, 2010, Catholic Charities of Missouri will bring more resources to any issue on which the association focuses. In addition to lobbying public policies that affect the poor of Missouri and addressing rural issues in cooperation with the Missouri Catholic Conference, the new organization will be able to seek out more statewide grants, as well as federal grants that require a statewide service area. The office will be located in Jefferson City, MO. For more information, contact Michael Halterman at [email protected] or at (816)-309-4377.

CCBQ Social Worker Honored for Outstanding Work on Behalf of Seniors
Debbie Hoffer, director of field operations for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queen’s Older Adult Services was honored by the Queensboro Council for Social Welfare, for her outstanding work on behalf of seniors in Queens, NY. In the presence of many esteemed colleagues in the field, Debbie received the Evelyn Pliego Memorial Social Work Award at an award ceremony held at Queens Borough Hall on March 25. Debbie helps Catholic Charities manage 19 senior centers throughout Brooklyn and Queens, which serve over 8,200 older adults each year. For many older adults, the Catholic Charities Senior Centers are a home away from home where they not only receive hot meals but participate in various activities that keep them young at heart. Senior centers offer recreational and multicultural activities, hot lunches, access to home delivered meals, entitlement counseling, crucial social services, and the necessary support so that older adults can continue

Missouri Agencies Form Partnership
In April, the formation of a new partnership to create Catholic Charities of Missouri was announced. The two long established social service agencies of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph and Catholic Charities of St. Louis joined with the recently established Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese to form a new limited liability corporation named Catholic Charities of Missouri.

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to live in their homes and in their neighborhoods as they age. Additionally, Catholic Charities distributes 1 million meals to the elderly and homebound each year. “Debbie [has been] a true resource to our Queens community for over 19 years,” shared Judy Kleve, vice president for Older Adult Services. “She is an outstanding social worker who uses all her talents and energy to improve the lives of the elderly and the programs she works in. She is dedicated, caring and has great leadership ability. All who work with Debbie agree that she is an outstanding social worker and an outstanding person!”

“Tom Etling’s appointment fulfills a lifetime of service to St. Patrick Center and our clients, a commitment that began more than 18 years ago as a volunteer,” said Steve O’Hara, president of the St. Patrick Center Board of Directors. “Tom is very passionate about our agency and mission to build permanent, positive change, and has a demonstrated history of getting results for St. Louis.” Tom Etling comes to St. Patrick Center from Metro, where he was vice president of marketing. He does have prior experience with St. Patrick Center as president of the Development Board, which included a seat on the Board of Directors. He was introduced to St. Patrick Center by his late father, Thomas H. Etling, who served on the Board of Directors for 14 years, including 2 years as board president, prior to his death in 2002. Tom Etling replaced Dan Buck, who departed St. Patrick Center in October 2010 after serving nearly eight years as CEO. Buck is now executive director of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation.

Catholic Charities of Idaho Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Roast of Bishop Driscoll
Catholic Charities of Idaho (CCI) celebrated its 10th Anniversary of service to the people of Idaho on January 29, 2011, with a dinner and roast of CCI’s founder, the Most Reverend Michael P. Driscoll, Bishop of the Diocese of Boise. The highlight of the evening was a warm and humorous roast of Bishop Driscoll featuring Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter; Msgr. Andrew Schumacher, retired priest of the Diocese of Boise and chair of CCI’s Board of Directors; and Fr. Ray Hopp, a long-time friend of Bishop Driscoll’s going back to seminary. Included in the many moments of uproarious laughter was Fr. Hopp’s “Cowboy Poem” about Bishop Driscoll and the many years of friendship the two have enjoyed. Governor Otter joked that his scheduler had reminded him that the Loaves & Fishes Dinner was a “holy day of obligation” and that if he didn’t attend he should be worried about the penance he might get. Bishop Driscoll responded to all in his hysterically funny rejoinder. This year’s Loaves & Fishes Dinner surpassed previous attendance and more than doubled the funds raised, going from $50,000 in the past to more than $105,000. The increase in fundraising was attributed to Bishop Driscoll’s appearance as guest of honor and the organization’s 10th Anniversary. The first time inclusion of a “Paddle Up to Fight Poverty” reverse auction, where guest made pledges and gifts starting at $10,000 and descending to $100, also contributed to the overwhelming success.

Federal Benefits Payments Are Going All-Electronic
The U.S. Department of the Treasury now requires all federal benefit and non-tax payments to be paid electronically. People applying for Social Security, Veterans benefits or other federal benefits after May 1, 2011, will receive their payments electronically starting with their first payment. People currently receiving federal benefit checks will need to switch to an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013. Benefit recipients can choose to receive their payments by direct deposit to a bank or credit union account of their choice or to a Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card account. Those who do not choose an electronic payment option at the time they apply for federal benefits or those who do not switch by the deadline will receive their benefit payments via the Direct Express® card, so they will not experience any interruption in payment. The new requirement will ensure that senior citizens, people with disabilities, veterans and others will receive their money in a faster, safer, and more reliable way than paper checks. Plus, electronic payments save taxpayer dollars and are better for the environment.

St. Patrick Center Names New CEO
The St. Patrick Center Board of Directors announced in March that it has hired Tom Etling as its new chief executive officer. Etling officially began his duties as agency CEO on April 11.



The Go Direct® campaign makes it easy for Catholic Charities employees help senior citizens, people with disabilities, and others get their federal benefits paid electronically. For more information, visit

Catholic Charities in Albuquerque Receives GED Funds
PNM is the primary electrical utility provider for the state of New Mexico, and as such they have an interest in helping the people of this state. Catholic Charities recently received a $10,000 check with a wonderful note from Ms. Diane Harrison Ogawa, the executive director of the PNM Resources Foundation. Her note recognized the high quality of adult education services provided by Catholic Charities, especially in the instruction of adults preparing to take their GED exams. The Catholic Charities program helps adults in need, who had not previously obtained their high school diploma. The check will help to pay teacher salaries for this valuable community service. GED preparation classes help adults in ways many of us don’t even think about. A GED is the first step towards a college education, and a GED can help a person to get a better job. A GED can also helps parents learn the skills that they need to help their children with school. A GED can allow a parent (or grandparent) to set an example for their children and grandchildren about the value of education.

Catholic Charities East Texas Supports Local Food Bank

Catholic Charities East Texas chose their long-term partner— the East Texas Food Bank—as recipient of the $20,000 grant made available from Catholic Charities USA, who also shares in their mission to feed the hungry in East Texas. Karen Kendrick (above left), marketing rep, and Nell Lawrence (middle), executive director, both of Catholic Charities East Texas, present a $20,000 check to Dennis Cullinane (right), executive director of the East Texas Food Bank. “In these tough economic times, we find more and more people turning to food pantries to feed their families,” said Nell Lawrence, executive director of Catholic Charities East Texas. “We are blessed to be able to assist our low-income neighbors to meet their dietary needs for active and healthy lives.” The funds will be used to provide food to people in need through 20 food pantries in East Texas. For Catholic Charities East Texas, this grant helps provide more food this year for an additional 160,000 meals for children, adults, and seniors in need. Catholic Charities has partnered with the East Texas Food Bank since its first year of service in 1988. “We are truly grateful to Catholic Charities for their ongoing commitment in supporting the East Texas Food Bank and are agencies in our fight against hunger,” said Dennis Cullinane, executive director of the East Texas Food Bank. “Their latest gift will enable us to provide immediate relief to those who need it the most.”

The PNM Foundation values education and Catholic Charities is grateful for their support. The funds from PNM will allow the agency to give students the skills that they need to make the best choices for themselves and their families. As one student said, “The best decision I’ve made so far is going back to school to get my GED. This is going to change my life for the better. Decisions that I’ve made are changing how I look at things. The outlook of my life is getting better and better. My kids, my family, and myself are doing things that I’ve dreamed about in the past. I’m doing it now and I am so happy to say I am going to make it – thanks to my one good decision!”

Catholic Charities Maine Opens Thrift Stores to Fund Food Bank
Vulnerable to state and federal budget cuts and fluctuating funding sources, Catholic Charities Maine has looked for new ways to raise funds to help offset the cost of serving people in its communities. The agency’s Home Supplies Store and Food Bank in the city of Caribou has provided the agency with a strong model for linking its program needs to a communitybased revenue source. Revenue from the Home Supplies Store directly supports Catholic Charities’s Food Bank, which serves 24 food pantries in Aroostook County. To help meet the rising needs for food in that area and the rising costs to purchase and distribute food, Catholic Charities recently opened two new thrift stores, one in Portland, with the help of Olympia Sports, and the other in in Presque Isle. Clothing, books, movies, fur-

SUMMER 2011 | 41

niture, and other home goods are available as well as merchandise from Olympia Sports at the Portland store. Another effort to raise awareness and funds—two TV commercials—won an award from the New England Society for Healthcare Communications awards. Congratulations!

Catholic Family Center Receives Single Largest Personal Donation
Catholic Family Center (CFC), Diocese of Rochester, received a donation of $100,000 from Rochester attorney and property manager, James Philippone, making this the largest personal donation in CFC’s history. “My wife and I have been associated with Catholic Family Center for many years,” said Philippone. “We are especially passionate about the Restart Program (Chemical Dependency Treatment) and have seen the tremendous impact that programs like Healthy Sisters’ Soup and Bean Works have on the lives of others. Catholic Family Center does so much good for so many people, and we wanted to be a part.” “This is the single largest gift to CFC,” said Carolyn Portanova, president & CEO. “The Philippones are wonderful friends who care deeply about the people we serve. We are so very grateful for their gift.”

Portanova to Retire from Catholic Family Center
Catholic Family Center’s (CFC) Board Chair, Anthony J. Adams, Jr., recently announced that president & CEO Carolyn A. Portanova will retire effective January 1, 2012. “Carolyn’s leadership has positioned the agency to thrive in even the most challenging times and the board is grateful to her. Together, we have planned thoughtfully and carefully for this time and, therefore, anticipate a seamless transition to a new president & CEO selected by our Succession Search Committee.” Since 1989, CFC has been led by Portanova, who has overseen the growth of the agency from $6 million to its current position as the largest multi-service organization in the county with a budget of $27 million. Portanova served as director of Catholic Family Center’s Restart Substance Abuse Services from 1983 to 1989, where she developed a nationally recognized residential substance abuse treatment model for women and their children. She also implemented intensive outpatient services and employee assistance programs with major businesses and industries in the Rochester area. “I have been blessed to have spent my career working for one of the best human service agencies in our community. Catholic Family Center is as strong as ever. Led by a dedicated Board of Directors and an incredibly talented and devoted staff, CFC is poised to meet the challenges ahead. Our financial position is strong and we have embraced a strategic plan that will serve us well into the future. Our clients are in good hands. It is because of these things—confidence in the future and gratitude for the past—that it is now time for me to pass the torch to a new leader.” In reflecting on her years of service at Catholic Family Center, Portanova says, “I have loved this job, our clients and staff, but it is time for me to move on to the next chapter. I intend to stay fully engaged in the greater Rochester community that I love and am proud to call home.”

Jennifer Dyer Appointed Assistant Director of Camden Agency
Most Reverend Joseph A. Galante, D.D., J.C.D., Bishop of Camden, has appointed Jennifer Dyer as the assistant director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Camden. Jennifer joined Catholic Charities in 2002 as the program director for Disaster Relief and Special Services, where she provided financial and administrative oversight to the September 11th fund and coordinated Project ONE, the diocesan-wide social action initiative to respond to the needs of the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2007, she became the director for the Division of Parish and Community Ministries for Catholic Charities. Throughout her time at Catholic Charities, Jennifer has provided assistance to both Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services as a loaned professional for short-term projects. Prior to joining the Diocese of Camden, Jennifer served as the donor relations coordinator for Catholic Near East Welfare Association in New York and as an analyst for Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Rutgers University and a bachelor’s degree from Towson University, Maryland. n



Become a Champion to End Hunger. Make A Commitment to Take Action Today!

In 2009, 14.7% of all households were food insecure. In those households, nearly 1 million children simply didn’t get enough to eat in the United States. It’s a scary statistic but one that we can change, and you can help. Catholic Charities and USDA’s successful partnership has helped connect many people across the country to nutrition assistance benefits when they encounter tough times. Now, USDA is asking you to renew that commitment and join us by becoming a champion to end hunger. Not sure where to start? You’re in luck! USDA has launched a new way for you to get involved! By visiting, you or your organization can make a commitment to end childhood hunger and join a network of people doing the same all across the country. Children across the country are counting on us.


Poverty in America
he optimism in the room was palpable as Our Daily Bread Employment Center’s (ODBEC) Work 4 Success program graduated its fifty-second class. Each student accepted a certificate with pride from this program at ODBEC, which is run by Catholic Charities in Baltimore. Armed with a new resume, cover letter, and interview skills, the graduates were eager to start working with an Our Daily Bread Employment Center placement coordinator to begin their job search. Once they have attained a job, a retention specialist will offer assistance over the first year of employment to help ensure success. Work 4 Success is a week-long job readiness program for adults. Classes are held Monday through Friday from 9 am to 12 pm and are designed to give students the social and educational tools and life experiences needed to obtain, maintain, and advance their careers in today’s competitive job market. Students begin by working with the instructor to assess their work history and skills to determine an appropriate career path. Through resume writing instruction and mock interviews, they learn critical communication skills and gain confidence. Business attire is required and is provided by ODBEC for clients who do not have suitable interview clothing. “The participants learn about what it takes to get a job and keep it,” said Kerrie Burch-DeLuca, communications director of Catholic Charities in Baltimore. “They learn the importance of dressing appropriately for an interview, making eye contact, greeting a prospective employer with a firm handshake, speaking confidently, and showing up on time. And they practice these skills throughout the week.”

Working to


Students are required to attend five consecutive classes. Once they have graduated, they are assigned to a placement coordinator and are given access to voice mail and the Center’s computer lab, where volunteers work one-on-one with individuals to aid them in their job search. In 2010, the Work 4 Success program was supported in large part by generous funding from the Abell and Walmart Foundations, which invested $236,000 and $200,000, respectively. These foundations are committed to funding programs that enable poor and unemployed individuals to become self-sufficient. The philanthropic investments made by these foundations have enabled 843 individuals to graduate from Work 4 Success last year alone. In his closing remarks to the class, Work 4 Success Instructor Michael Jones passionately conveyed how proud he was of the graduates’ hard work and reinforced that this was only the beginning. It was now time to put what they had learned into action and work diligently with the ODBEC placement specialists to attain and maintain employment. At the end of the program, graduate William Sessions, Jr. explained how much he gained from the week-long training: “I understand what is expected of me now in a job interview, how to present myself with confidence, and communicate with potential employers.”n



2011 Meetings

Location Contact
Troy Zeigler Kathy Brown Amy Stinger Tina Baldera 703 - 236-6239 703 - 236-6245 703 - 236-6227 703 - 236-6233

June 5-10 June 17-July 2 September 18-21 October 21-22 November 9-11

Leadership Institute O’Grady Institute Annual Gathering and Poverty Summit PSM Regional Training New Diocesan Directors Institute

Adrian, MI Germany and Italy Fort Worth, TX St. Louis, MO Alexandria, VA

Kristan Schlichte 703 - 236-6240

For more information about all training and events, visit


Summer 2011 | Volume 38 Number 2

Quality Isn’t Always Expensive!
Did you know that Charities USA is...
• Designed in-house by CCUSA’s Creative Services Team? • Printed on an economical paper stock? • Sized and organized to get maximum use of the press sheet paper we purchase? • Printed by a small press that specializes in driving costs down for short-run magazine publishers? Don’t be fooled by the quality look of Charities USA. We are committed to using our funds in the most cost-efficient way possible so that we can forward our work to reduce poverty.

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