Diocese names new executive director of Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island

Catholic Foundation now operates under Area of Mission 600: The Secretariat for Planning and Financial Services

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PROVIDENCE — This summer, the Diocese of Providence not only welcomed Rich Popovic to the new position of executive director for the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island, but with the approval of Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, the operational structure of the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island underwent a process of review and now operates as a separate department within the diocesan Area of Mission 600: The Secretariat for Planning and Financial Services.
Msgr. Raymond Bastia, vicar of the diocesan Office of Planning and Financial Services, offered his congratulations to Popovic on his new appointment as director of the Catholic Foundation adding that he was the candidate selected through an extensive search process and had served as interim director through the time of the pandemic.
“Rich is really taking on a new position for the diocese,” said Msgr. Bastia. “Under Rich’s guidance the past year saw a great deal of effort by present dedicated board members to draft their new vision and internal governance. One major result is that a separate department has been created for the Catholic Foundation within the Area of Mission 600, or the Secretariat for Planning and Financial Services. In actuality, while building on the good work of past directors, Rich is the first director of this new, separate office.”
This is more than a nominal change, Msgr. Bastia explained, as the activities of the Foundation will be substantially increased and staffing added. Programs to cultivate planned gifts, increased donor outreach and interaction and the establishment of new board subcommittees will be among these changes. Through increased representation the board of the Catholic Foundation will also have more direct participation in the discussions undertaken by the Diocesan Investment Advisory Committee.
“It is an exciting time for the work of the Foundation,” said Msgr. Bastia. “I am grateful to Rich for his role in getting us to this point. I look forward now to his time of capable leadership and interaction with the Foundation Board. I feel strongly that it will one day form his legacy to the diocese.”
Popovic began his career at the diocese in 2014 as the associate director of Stewardship and Development. With the departure of Andrea Krupp, Popovic was named interim Director for the Catholic Foundation. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the selection process for the permanent director was delayed. Popovic assumed the role of executive director effective July 1, 2021.
Popvich shared that the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island currently has approximately 400 endowed funds and over $130 million in assets under management. It is one of the top fifteen Catholic Foundations in the nation for this category.
“With that being said, there is always room to improve and grow,” said Popovic. “Simply put, we need to be more visible. Our marketing efforts must be increased to better reach our existing donor base along with more stakeholders in the legal and wealth management communities.”
The new executive director added that Catholic Foundation has positively impacted how the church serves its people in the Diocese of Providence.
“The gifts of our charitable donors touch every part of the church. Our funds assist with social ministry, seminarians, Catholic education, evangelical outreach and physical maintenance of parishes. These types of financial support overlap with one another to make our people, parishes and communities more effective for both the short and long terms.”
He also offered his sincere thanks to the Board of Advisors for their guidance, adding that the board is one of the most invested and active groups in the diocese.
The Catholic Foundation also assists individuals and organizations with responsible Christian stewardship, he said.
“Our role is to assist both existing and prospective donors in their philanthropic desires within the faith,” said Popovic. “A key rule is to always understand donor intent. There is nothing more important than this. Our outreach does not only mean asking for a gift, but also establishing consistent communication that acknowledges their decision to give to Catholic Foundation.”
To learn more about the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island, please visit dioceseofprovidence.org/catholic-foundation-of-rhode-island.

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