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Frequently Asked Questions



The preparation phase for the Bosco Catholic School System’s Everyday: Sustaining the Bosco System Legacy Campaign is underway! During the past several months, we have accomplished many important objectives as we prepare for the active fundraising component of the campaign. These preparations will continue through the end of 2015.


In addition to this work, we will also begin the “silent phase” of the campaign during which we will approach Bosco supporters with a capacity to contribute to the campaign at a significant level.


Rick Blackwell and Sharon Mayer are committed to offering transparent and open communications regarding the campaign. As part of these efforts, we are providing this “Frequently Asked Questions” document to members of the Bosco community.


If you have questions regarding this campaign that are not answered here, do not hesitate to reach out to Sharon Mayer at smayer@boscocatholic.org  Feel free to direct any questions also to our representative from the Steier Group, Christian Warneke, at cwarneke@steiergroup.com.


  1. What is an endowment?

    An endowment is a fund set up to provide ongoing financial support for an institution. The principal of the fund remains intact and is invested with the     intention of creating a source of annual income. Typically, a return of approximately 5 percent can be expected per year.

2.    How much is currently in each endowment?

    Currently, Don Bosco has an endowment of $1,687,990. Immaculate Conception/St. Joseph’s (IC/SJ) has an endowment fund of $292,000.

3.    Why is the goal for the Don Bosco endowment greater than the IC/SJ goal?

    The costs to run a high school are far greater than those needed to operate an elementary school. For Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph’s, a     greater percentage of the costs to educate a student is covered by parish support than is covered at Don Bosco.

4.    Where are our endowments invested?
    For the high school, endowment funds are invested through Vanguard, Franklin Templeton, Ariel Funds, the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Real Estate     Investment Trusts, preferred stocks, and through local banks. Current allocations are 26 percent cash or cash equivalents, 28 percent bonds and 46     percent equities.

    For Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph, current allocations are 50 percent stocks and 50 percent bonds, creating a balanced focus on income while     maintaining risk control.

5.    Who controls endowment investments?

    An endowment committee consisting of nine members representing each of the six parishes meets biannually to monitor endowment performance.     Members of the endowment committee for Don Bosco High School are: Tim Ament, Kerrie Becker, Joe Demuth, Todd Havel, Roger Hershberger, Bill Johannes, Pat Monat, Mary Phillips, Craig Schaefer and Don Weber. Members of the endowment committee for Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph’s are Todd Havel, Craig Schaefer, Joe Demuth, Tim Ament, Kerrie Becker, Bill Johannes and Mary Phillips.

6.    What are the average annual returns for our endowments?

    The Don Bosco endowment has experienced returns of 6 percent to 8 percent over the past five years. The IC/SJ endowment has experienced annualized returns of 3.7 percent over the past two years.

7.    How much money does the Bosco Catholic School System receive from endowments annually?

    By-laws for the Endowment Committee stipulate that the withdrawal must be no less than 5 percent of the total investment and must be greater than the previous year’s withdrawal. For each school year, beginning with 2011-2012, through the 2014-2015 year, Don Bosco High School received $76,000 from endowment returns. Beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year, Don Bosco High School will receive $90,000 from endowment returns.

    For Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph’s, the school received $15,000 from endowment returns for the 2015-2016 academic year and $10,000 for the 2014-2015 academic year.

8.    By raising this money, how much greater will Bosco’s returns be annually?

    Adding $700,000 to the Don Bosco endowment would have an expected return of $35,000 annually. Increasing the IC/SJ endowment by $450,000 would have an expected return of $22,500.

9.    What does “Tuition – Current Use” mean?

    These funds would be used as a supplement to the School Tuition Organization (STO). Should a family not qualify for STO but still need assistance with     their tuition bills, they could seek assistance from this fund. The money would sit in a savings account, with DBHS never using more than 1/4 of the total     fund in a given year and IC/SJ never using more than 1/6-1/8. This ensures funds will be available from the time the student begins school until the     student graduates. Each year, the director of development will work to replenish and grow the fund to replace what was expended.

10.    How is Bosco Catholic School System (BCSS) involved with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (CFNEIA)?

    BCSS currently has $494,851.25 in funds held and managed by the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. These funds provide an annual return of     4 percent delivered each fall. For 2015, BCSS received $17,374 in October. CFNEIA manages the Bosco funds in their entirety per the terms of the     investment policy found on the website at www.cfneia.org/. A contribution to the BCSS funds through the CFNEIA is eligible for a 25 percent state tax     credit through Endow Iowa.

11.    How does the Bosco Catholic School System use endowment returns?

    Both Don Bosco High School and Immaculate Conception/St. Joseph’s depend on endowment returns to subsidize their budgets. Endowment returns     assist in funding building maintenance and repairs, limiting annual tuition increases, maintaining up-to-date technology, and contributing to teacher     salaries.

12.    What is the timeline for this campaign?

    The campaign is currently in its preparation phase. During this time, we are finalizing goals, preparing campaign materials and recruiting volunteer     leadership. The public phase will begin after the New Year.


13.    If I make a gift or pledge to the Bosco System fundraising campaign, can I designate where my funds go?

    Absolutely. Campaign leadership realizes members of the Bosco community may hold specific goals of this campaign near and dear to their hearts.     Bosco will honor all gift designations.

14.    If I choose not to designate my gift to a specific goal, how will my gift be allocated?

    Your generous gift will be split proportionally among each of the campaign goals.

15.    How will I know where my money is being used?

    School and campaign leaders are committed to keeping all members of the Bosco community fully informed throughout the campaign and beyond. A     monthly campaign newsletter will carry up-to-date campaign figures. School leaders plan to make school financials available on the school website. The     school plans to circulate an annual report going forward, with inserts included in the bulletins within each parish. School and campaign leadership will     always be available to answer questions. This campaign is fully committed to transparency throughout the process.

16.    Are there concerns that the Bosco Catholic School System may close at some point in the future?

    It is the full intention of everyone associated with Don Bosco/Bosco School System that our schools will remain open for the long term. One of the     purposes of this campaign is to make attending Bosco more affordable for local families wanting to provide a Catholic education for their children. School     administration has been working diligently to address budget concerns and ensure that Bosco remains strong and vibrant. After the recent introduction of     the preschool at St. Joseph’s, enrollment numbers have rebounded and leadership is optimistic this will continue in years to come. The funds raised     through the Everyday: Sustaining the Bosco System Legacy Capital Campaign will allow the schools to continue improving enrollment numbers, while     establishing a strong foundation for continued growth.


17.    What happens to the money raised from the campaign if the school closes sometime in the future?

    While Bosco leadership is confident that our school system will be a part of the Catholic community for many years to come, a contingency plan is in     place in the unlikely event that the high school closes. Money in the high school’s endowment will be distributed back to Immaculate Conception, Sacred     Heart, St. Athanasius, St. Francis, St. Joseph and St. Mary of Mount Carmel to be used for religious education. The split will be proportional to the     amount each parish supported the school financially. Should IC/SJ close, the endowment will be split between Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph’s     for religious education purposes.

18.    How can I support the Bosco campaign?

    Gifts and pledges can be made by check or cash on a monthly, quarterly, or an annual basis. Gifts of stock and in-kind gifts will also be accepted with     great appreciation. For your convenience, we can have your pledge automatically deducted from your bank or credit card.

19.    Is my gift/pledge tax deductible?

    A gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law during the year it is given. For a pledge made over three years, only the amount given in the     calendar year can be deducted, not the amount of the pledge.

20.    Why did Bosco hire a consultant for the campaign?
    The Steier Group managed BCSS’s 2009 campaign to build the St. Mary’s Center. The campaign was a tremendous success, raising nearly $3.0 million     dollars. Furthermore, the Steier Group has nearly two decades of experience in raising funds for school systems like ours. A campaign requires a     tremendous amount of employee hours to organize and implement. These responsibilities include creating correspondence, creating and designing     campaign case statements and brochures, assisting in volunteer recruitment and training, and meeting with hundreds of members of the community.     Hiring a consultant allows school leadership to focus on carrying out their normal duties within the school. To learn more about the Steier Group, visit     www.steiergroup.com.