Salem Catholic Schools Foundation

Salem Catholic Schools Foundation logo

Promoting faith and excellence in education

Our Mission

The mission of the Salem Catholic Schools Foundation is to solicit, receive, and invest gifts to provide a continuing source of funds to support excellence of Catholic education in the greater Salem area.

St. Vincent de Paul School

Salem Catholic Schools Foundation
Established 1978

Our History

The Foundation was established to provide an independent endowment for contributions dedicated to support the Salem Catholic schools. The Foundation is not controlled by any one parish or any one school but represents the entire Salem area Catholic community as a steward for these funds. 

The Salem Catholic Schools Foundation held its first Board of Directors meeting on December 19, 1978 and had cash assets of $23,165 and property assets assessed at $135,000. The seven-person Board of Directors included: Roy G. Green, President; Bernard G. Hawes, Treasurer; Patsy Ruth Heinlein, Secretary; Rev. Gary L. Jacobson (Pastor, Queen of Peace Parish); James S. Kreitzberg; Edward. S. Ritter, Vice President; and Carl Eugene Smith. The Foundation began with contributions from anonymous donors but also contributions of stock from Roy Green, and cash and property from Larry Epping. 

In 1981 the Foundation had assets of $700,000 which included $250,000 from the Franciscan order, representing a return to the community of funds which had been donated to that religious order, in support of Serra Catholic High School in Salem, which had closed in 1969.

From 1978 to 1984, the Foundation focused its support on Sacred Heart Academy, which maintained a Catholic school with grades seven through twelve, serving the Salem area.  Sacred Heart Academy was owned and run by the Sisters of the Holy Names. In 1984, the Sisters of the Holy Names provincial leadership (not the local leadership) determined that Sacred Heart Academy was losing too much money each year. The school was closed, and the property was sold.

The Foundation had worked for several years in conjunction with Salem Catholic Schools, Inc.  This organization conducted regular fund raising to support Sacred Heart Academy. On June 14, 1984, the Salem Catholic Schools Foundation held a joint meeting with Salem Catholic Schools, Inc to begin a process of merging their efforts. Salem Catholic Schools, Inc transferred their assets to Salem Catholic Schools Foundation and the dissolution of Salem Catholic Schools, Inc. was effective June 28, 1985.

Meanwhile, in 1984, St. Joseph Parish opened a community mid-high with substantial financial assistance from the Foundation. This meant that the community still had Catholic seventh and eighth grade education available, even after the closure of Sacred Heart Academy.

From 1984 to the present, the Salem Catholic Schools Foundation has provided annual grants to the three Salem parish schools: Queen of Peace Catholic School, St. Joseph Catholic School, and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School.

In 1995, the Foundation provided support in the establishment of Blanchet Catholic School, with a mid-high and eventually a high school. Blanchet reported enrollment of 134 students in its first year.

In 1996 the Salem Catholic Schools Foundation reported a corpus exceeding $1.5 million. The income generated from these funds is distributed annually to the Salem Catholic schools.

The Foundation relies solely on donor contributions to grow its assets. In 2022 the Salem Catholic Schools Foundation reported invested assets of $5,000,000. These funds have grown over the years as a result of generous donations and prudent investments. The income from these investments is used to provide leverage, stability, and resources to Salem area Catholic schools.

With the help of our supporters, the Salem Catholic Schools Foundation has been here for 45 years with a mission to keep our Salem area Catholic schools open, remain strong, and be viable for the years to come.

“Blanchet is grateful for the long-standing partnership between our school and the Salem Catholic Schools Foundation.  Through the years, the Foundation has supported our school and community in many ways – from providing scholarship funds and sponsoring groups to national conferences to helping support the growth of our facility and connecting us with other local Catholic schools.  In so many ways, the Foundation has played a significant role in our school’s development over the past 27 years.  We look forward to our on-going partnership for years to come.”

-Bob Weber
President, Blanchet Catholic School

What We Do

Since 1994, the Salem Catholic Schools Foundation has maintained an Emergency Tuition Assistance Fund.  This provides assistance in paying tuition for families who have been hurt financially due to a family emergency such as serious illness, death of a parent, loss of a parent’s job, etc. This fund responds to requests for assistance which come from the schools on behalf of parents.

The Foundation has worked with the Salem area Catholic schools to help nearly 500 students continue their Catholic education with grant funds. The Foundation continues to offer Emergency Tuition Assistance Grants and believes that tuition should not be a deterrent for a Catholic education.

The Salem Catholic Schools Foundation has offered several different grant programs over the years to support the Salem area Catholic schools. The types of grants have been donor driven and have met several needs by our schools from technology upgrades to building renovations to tuition assistance.

The Foundation relies on contributions to grow its assets. The income from these investments is used to provide allocations to the schools each year.

Learn more about donating by clicking the link below.

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