Copyright © 2002, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Most dioceses have established fundraising and investment functions. These may be legally separate not-for-profit corporations ("foundation") or may be divisions operating within the Central Administrative Offices (CAO).
The accounting literature that addresses accounting for foundations is Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 136: Transfers of Assets to a Not-for-Profit Organization or Charitable Trust That Raises or Holds Contributions for Others. In most cases, a foundation established by a diocese would be the "recipient organization" as referred to in SFAS No. 136. The diocese or affiliates such as Catholic Charities would be the "specified beneficiary."
SFAS No. 136, paragraphs 13 and 14, addresses an important concept concerning "financially interrelated organizations" in determining the proper accounting treatment for a foundation. Examples are included in the appendix to SFAS No. 136 Transfers of Assets to a Not-for-Profit Organization or Charitable Trust That Raises or Holds Contributions for Others. Paragraphs 13 and 14, plus three examples, from SFAS No. 136 are adapted and reprinted in the print edition of this manual.