Our Executive Director

About Gary Rectenwald

Gary Rectenwald was selected as the first Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation of San Diego’s in February, 2016 following a successful 30-year career as an executive with information technology companies such as IBM, AT&T, and Computerland. Gary has consistently developed outstanding sales and consultative services organizations, innovative “best in class” products and client support organizations that are responsive to client needs and industry trends.

Prior to joining IBM in 1978, Gary graduated summa cum laude and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computer science from The Ohio State University. He went on to earn a Master of Science degree in computer and information science and an MBA in marketing and finance from Ohio State.

Gary feels blessed to have served All Hallows Catholic Church for more than 25 years. Over that time, he has headed training and scheduling of liturgical ministers and was appointed Chairman of All Hallows’ Stewardship Committee in 1998. Gary hosted a family of 8 Kosovo refugees in his home for 15 years. Three of the children graduated from Catholic universities. Gary was blessed with an audience with Pope Francis in 2013 and received a personal visit from former President Clinton in recognition of his efforts. Gary has delivered homilies on his personal story of stewardship to San Diego parishes for many years.

Gary has dedicated himself to serving the San Diego community for more than 25 years. He has served on several community boards and committees including the San Diego Bowl Game Association, Lead San Diego, UCSD, San Diego State University, San Diego Unified School District and the Mayor’s “City of the Future” task force.

A Message from the Executive Director

The Catholic Community Foundation of San Diego is now 5 years old.  Our foundation is excited to serve and support the Catholic communities in San Diego and Imperial counties today and for many generations to come.

Our foundation is intended to be a one-stop resource that promotes thoughtful, spiritual and effective Catholic philanthropy. One of the foundation’s many benefits is that it can streamline the process of giving by allowing individuals or companies to establish funds that can benefit several charities over time.

Our primary focus is to support our parishes and our Catholic schools, to support vocations and our community’s social services organizations. By creating new endowments for these organizations, we can be confident that these institutions and ministries will be sustained and thrive in future generations.

We are Catholic. We understand the stewardship and spirituality of our Catholic heritage. We understand and respect your desire to support the Church and provide a legacy of faith for future generations.  However, the Foundation is not exclusively Catholic.   Funds may be created benefiting non-Catholic charitable organizations so long as their mission doesn’t contradict establish Catholic values.

We are one of 52 Catholic Community Foundations in the United States. We were formed as an autonomous pious foundation under canon law and incorporated as a tax-exempt nonprofit under civil law. Our Foundation is independent from the Diocese of San Diego and we have our own Board of Trustees.  Any donations to the Catholic Community Foundation of San Diego are protected from any past, present or future litigation against the Catholic church.

We are here to help and support you with your charitable giving. We are the only foundation in San Diego and Imperial counties that specifically serves our Catholic community. We are blessed to work with so many passionate and good stewards of the gifts God has bestowed on them, who want to express their Catholic identity by creating a legacy, and provide their support in a purposeful and meaningful way to those organizations that are near and dear to their hearts.

We are already standing on a strong foundation. We are currently stewards of more than $80 million under management. Most of these funds are permanent endowment funds from parishes, schools and other Catholic institutions in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Each endowment fund will benefit its intended beneficiary in this generation and for many generations to come.

Our short-term goal is to grow our endowment funds to $100 million. You can be an important part of our exciting growth by prayerfully considering and making an outright gift or planned gift to the Foundation. For endowment funds, your designated beneficiary can be any Catholic charitable organization(s) that you value deeply, organizations that provide spiritual meaning, organizations that you want to see sustained and thrive for many generations. Any individual or corporation who contributes toward achieving our $100 million goal will be recognized as a member of our Founder’s Circle.

The Foundation also supports the popular Pass-Through Donor-Advised funds where beneficiaries may include non-Catholic charitable organizations whose mission is consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. All of our investments follow the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Guidelines for Socially Responsible Investment Practices.

It is important for you to know that one of the Foundation’s core values is to be completely transparent and “donor-centric.” This means that we honor the intentions and directives of each donor in all grant distributions, today and forever. You will always have online access to the current history and status of your gifts to the Foundation. Our intent is provide complete peace of mind for our donors. They will always know the status of their funds held at the Foundation.

Why should you consider giving back to Catholic organizations and ministries supporting your Catholic faith? Reflecting on your faith development, what other institution has been with you throughout your lifetime, from the beginning of your Catholic faith at baptism, through your spiritual development as you faithfully received the sacraments, brought you into holy communion with Christ, provided the formation for your deep faith and trust in God, has been your rock in the good times and bad, and will continue to be with you until your eventual passing into Heaven? And, not only for you, but for your parents, grandparents and your children?

We hope that you will prayerfully consider creating your Legacy by expressing your Catholic identify and making an outright gift or a planned gift to the Foundation, designating those Catholic organizations and ministries that support your values. You have the ability to make an impact today, tomorrow and for many generations to come.

At the Catholic Community Foundation of San Diego, our belief is that funds received and distributed to your designated beneficiaries represent “Our Faith, Our Gratitude, Our Community and Our Future” as a faith-filled Catholic community. I hope that you will work with us to create your Legacy in our Catholic faith community.

“A man is justified by
works and not by
faith alone.”
– James 2:24