The Catholic Foundation of North Georgia was established in 1992 by Archbishop James P. Lyke, OFM as a corporation separate from the Archdiocese and accountable to a board of directors. In an article in the Georgia Bulletin in 1992, Archbishop Lyke said that, "We are acting as no more than good stewards by putting this Foundation in place."
In the first few years of its existence, a campaign was conducted to raise funds for the purposes of grant-giving in the Archdiocese, and those that contributed became members of the Founders Society. The members of the Founders Society had the foresight to see the potential of the Catholic Foundation in making a difference to Catholic nonprofits, schools, and ministries. The largest gift to the foundation at that time was the bequest of Roberto Goizueta, the former CEO of Coca-Cola, which created the Goizueta Fund, a significant source of the grants provided through the years by the Catholic Foundation. The largest gift received to date was from Jim and Jinny Conrads, members of the Founders Society, whose charitable remainder trust gave $7.6 million to the Catholic Foundation in 2010 to create the Conrads Family Education Fund for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Through the years, the Catholic Foundation has been quietly awarding grants, amounting to more than $4 million since its inception. Grant recipients have included local Catholic schools, parishes, Archdiocesan ministries, Catholic Charities, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and other local nonprofits.
Under the leadership of Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and a new board of directors, the role of the foundation was expanded beyond grant-giving to include a new focus on Catholic stewardship and the growth of endowments for our Archdiocesan parishes, schools, nonprofits, and ministries. The "new" Catholic Foundation of North Georgia began in 2008 with the hiring of an Executive Director and the addition of the Director of Gift Planning to the staff of the foundation. Now the Catholic Foundation provides gift planning services to parishioners throughout the Archdiocese, as well as endowment- building assistance to pastors and principals.
The Catholic Foundation of North Georgia has gone through a vital period of renewal and separation from the Archdiocese of Atlanta. The Catholic Foundation is here to help parishioners build on their Catholic heritage and ensure the long-term health of local Catholic institutions and ministries.