Papal Foundation’s new executive director hopes to expand philanthropic giving

Autumn Jones   By Autumn Jones for CNA

David Savage, who became executive director of the Papal Foundation July 12, 2021. / The Papal Foundation

Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 4, 2021 / 06:00 am (CNA).

The Papal Foundation recently named David Savage to the role of executive director. Savage, who has a background in marketing and nonprofit leadership, will be responsible for addressing Pope Francis’ priorities for relief, education, and services for vulnerable and underserved communities around the world.

“As Catholics we’re called to love our neighbor, and that means all people, whether they are Catholic or not, and whether they are next door, or half-way around the world,” said Savage, who has 25 years of executive experience in direct-to-consumer marketing. “What I love about our Church is that we are universal.  And what I love about The Papal Foundation is that its reach is global. So we are united with those on every continent.”

The Papal Foundation, founded in 1988, awards grants and scholarships for initiatives such as shelter for homeless adults and children; support for hospitals and health facilities; seminaries and scholarships to prepare future leaders; relief for victims of natural disasters; services for refugees and immigrants; pro-life programs and education; and care for aging priests and religious. Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the organization has awarded more than $190 million in 121 countries.

“As Americans, we are some of the most financially blessed humans on the planet, we have a special responsibility to help those in need and to help build up the Church all around the world,” Savage said.

Savage’s previous experience will “greatly benefit our organization,” said Sean Cardinal O’Malley of Boston, chairman of The Papal Foundation Board of Trustees, in a release. Cardinal O’Malley also said he is happy to have Savage at the helm to “build the resources that the Foundation deploys to care for the needy in developing nations around the globe.”

Savage said, “The Foundation serves the universal Church and those without resources by building and renovating churches, hospitals and schools. Monies to build these environments are so impactful, because they help deliver more of Christ’s love and more hope in those places, where it can be shared and spread as much as possible.”

President of The Papal Foundation’s Board of Directors, Eustace Mita, said Savage has the “business acumen we searched for” and that he is “passionate about his Catholic faith,” in the release.

“To be able to wake up every morning and work to help impact so many around the world – what a gift and opportunity!” said Savage, who became executive director July 12.

Donors to The Papal Foundation become Stewards to St. Peter with a pledge to give $1 million dollars over the course of 10 years, with a minimum contribution of $100,000 per year.

“My top goals are to exponentially grow the Foundation’s financial resources so that more monies can be put to work around the world to build the Church and our Faith, educating, feeding, housing, and helping heal people,” Savage said. “In order to grow the Foundation’s resources, we need to raise the profile of the Foundation here in the U.S. to attract more Catholic philanthropists to our mission.”

Previously, Savage worked for Content Watch Holdings, Inc. He also served on the board of directors for the Catholic Leadership Institute and the Theology of the Body Institute. He is a longtime supporter of FOCUS, the Sisters of Life, Generation Life, and St. Norbert Catholic Church and School in Paoli, Pennsylvania.


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