In 1986, a group of committed volunteers created the Winona Area Catholic Schools Foundation, an entity to help ensure the future of Catholic education in Winona. The name was then changed to Catholic Schools Foundation of Winona (CSF) to emphasize its support of all students in the Winona area that attend our Catholic schools. Throughout all of the changes within the schools, the focus of CSF has remained on growing the CSF endowment to ensure the future of Catholic Education in the Winona area.

The first major drive to raise 1.5 million dollars took place in 1987, and the foundation was able to accomplish this by the spring of 1990. In 1995, another major drive took place and an additional 1.3 million dollars was raised through gifts and pledges.

All gifts to the Foundation are endowed in perpetuity. Five percent  of managed assets  from this endowment are available to distribute annually to Cotter High School, Cotter Junior High School and the Winona Area Catholic Schools (WACS) elementary system.  When the final distribution is determined, ten percent  is retained to grow the foundation asset level.  Last year,  $215,110 was distributed to the schools.

Since its inception, CSF has been able to distribute earnings of over 3 million essential dollars to help Winona Area Catholic Schools and Cotter Schools carry on their missions.

CSF has a variety of opportunities for giving which include an Annual Giving Program and The Father Paul Nelson Legacy Society which allows for benefactors to support CSF through deferred giving.

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