Gratitude in the workplace can help build and maintain positive relationships with employees, resulting in satisfaction and more productive behaviors. Showing gratitude toward those who show loyalty and commitment can happen in several ways. Parents of school students can help their school show their gratitude for the impact teachers make by making special investments.

In the spring of 2023, a group of faithful, committed donors from Hartington, Nebraska approached the Catholic Futures Foundation of Northeast Nebraska (CFF) to learn more about what the CFF could do to help them start a fund that would benefit the dedicated teachers of the Catholic Schools located in Cedar County.

The group of donors recognized the challenges that the state of Nebraska, the Archdiocese of Omaha and their own community were facing amid a statewide teacher shortage. According to the Nebraska Department of Education, the shortage is over 900 educators. Of the statewide openings, it includes 40 openings in within the Archdiocese of Omaha for the 2024-2025 school year, according to the Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese of Omaha.

Now more than ever, securing funds for teacher retention and recruitment is vital. With the support of Fr. Own Korte, the donors started the permanently endowed Cedar County Catholic Schools Teacher Salary Fund in March, 2023. The purpose is to assist Cedar County Catholic Schools in Cedar County, Nebraska in aiding with certified teachers’ pay. “We believe Catholic education is more important now the any other time in recent history. Our children are learning from the teachings of Jesus Christ and are seeking to find the common good together. We believe with excellent faith filled teachers, our school systems can shape our youth for generations to come,” said Jesse Hochstein of Hartington, NE.

Over the past 12 months, donors from all over northeast Nebraska have come together to build the fund from $20,000 to now more than $81,880 as of April 15, 2024. The fund will follow the distribution policy of the CFF which is currently set at 5%. To provide a meaningful enhancement to certified teacher salaries the fund must reach a value of $300,000 or more.

The table below outlines the projected distribution and impact for each teacher as the principal value of the fund grows over time.

Principle Value $300,000 $500,000 $1,000,000 $5,000,000
Distribution Rate 5% $15,000 $25,000 $50,000 $250,000
Estimated Certified Teacher Bonus 25 $600 $1,000 $2,000 $10,000

The average annual return for funds managed by the CFF is about 7%, which allows the remaining return to be reinvested into the fund each year.

The Catholic Futures Foundation of Northeast Nebraska is pleased to select the Cedar County Catholic School Teacher Salary Fund as their featured fund on the Nebraska Catholic Day of Giving website.

We are proud to be part of the first-ever Nebraska Catholic Day of Giving to be held on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Omaha, and the Dioceses of Lincoln and Grand Island. NCDG is a 24-hour event intended to inspire generosity that will benefit Catholic parishes, schools, ministries, and organizations throughout the state.

As disciples of Christ and faithful stewards, we are called to seek opportunities to share out blessings willingly and lovingly. During the NCDG, you are invited to united with those in communities throughout the state to give back in support of the organizations that have helped to shape our lives of faith.