Catholic-School Donors Taking On Oversight Role

Major donors to Catholic education are taking an increasingly active role in the schools they support, The New York Times writes.

Benefactors such as the Wall Street financier Charles B. Durkin Jr., who leads a small group of donors that has given $1.5-million over 15 years to a church school in Harlem, are offering advice on staffing and examining schools’ budgets and test scores. As Catholic-school enrollments have dwindled donors, have pressed archdioceses to consolidate and close facilities.

“The relationship between the church and its contributors used to be basically, ‘Pray, pay. and obey—give us money, we’ll take it from there.’ But donors are much more proactive today,” said Francis J. Butler, president of the philanthropic network Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities.

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