Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities, Inc.
The Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities (RFCA) is an unusual and, in some respects, unique American foundation. A family foundation founded in 1945, it makes grants and loans to a wide variety of projects and organizations. While it funds only Catholic entities, their 2002 Annual Report shows grants and loans for such diverse expenditures as:
- Carpentry tools for a vocational training center for homeless boys
- To lay pipelines to supply drinking water
- Courses/transportation/materials to train health promoters
- Medical equipment
- Repairing churches
- Building a soup kitchen
- Equipment for schools
- Prison ministry
- Affordable housing for low income families
to name just a few.
For a mid-size American foundation with assets
of roughly $117,000,000 in 2002, RFCA pays out an unusually high percentage
of its grants to foreign countries.
While most foundations concentrate on a specific field or geographical area, RFCA is one of the few foundations of its size that seems open to almost any request.
Most of RFCA's grants are relatively small. In 2002, RFCA paid out just over 4.5 million dollars to 453 applicants. While the largest grant was for over $300,000, the median grant was just $6,000. There were one hundred grants for $1,000 or less.
What makes RFCA truly special, though, is its decision makers. Most family foundations turn funding decisions over to professional Program Managers during or soon after the children of the founder(s) take control. In contrast, the third and fourth generations of the Raskob family are active participants in funding decisions. While men over 50 years of age dominate American philanthropy, RFCA's membership is split roughly 50% 50% between women and men and has an average age of 40.
The youth and diversity of the RFCA membership and Board of Trustees leads it to funding Catholic programs and projects that are undeniably lower case "c" catholic.
Copyright © 2002-2005 by Jakob Raskob