Frequently Asked Questions

Securing Our Future Campaign

We are asking our parish families, school families, alumni, and even our local businesses to help “Secure Our Future” and surpass our goal of $5.5 million. Equal sacrifice will help us increase the assets of the Educational Trust, in turn providing more support to St. Anthony School families for years to come.

With the Invest in Kids Act ending on December 31, 2023, school families are losing over $430,000 in scholarships annually. That’s over $2,000,000 in the next 5 years.

The Diocese of Springfield has also started a Centennial Campaign to support diocesan needs as well as the needs of individual parishes. Our parish goal for the Centennial Campaign would be around $2,500,000.

Since the parish and schools do not have deferred maintenance, outstanding debt, or gaps in ministry, the parish is able to channel campaign efforts towards the Educational Trust, creating a unified mission to support our schools and school families.

The Educational Trust is one of a number of sources that St. Anthony Schools have to keep tuition low for families. St. Anthony Schools rely on parish support, scholarships and tuition assistance for families, the St. Anthony Schools Annual Fund, fundraisers, and volunteerism in addition to the Educational Trust.

The St. Anthony Schools Annual Fund supports the operating budget of the schools each year. For 2023-2024, the schools’ operating budget is $4,600,000. The 2023-2024 goal for the Annual Fund is $450,000, right at 10% of the schools’ budget. Donating to the Annual Fund puts money right into the schools and supports all school families because it keeps tuition low for everyone.

The St. Anthony Catholic Church Educational Trust supports the long-term affordability of St. Anthony Schools. The Educational Trust distributes monies annually to supplement the St. Anthony Parish Scholarship Fund for school families in need of financial assistance. The Educational Trust also supports technology, classroom equipment, and other special projects as requested by the parish for the schools.

Why donate? Donating to the Educational Trust Campaign will help build the Trust’s assets, which in turn increases the annual distribution to St. Anthony Schools each year. An increased distribution from the Educational Trust will not only support scholarships, but can also supplement the school’s income as a whole. By doing this, it allows St. Anthony to maintain reasonable tuition for all school families.

We are asking donors to make their first gift between April 2024 and September 2024. Gifts for years two through five can be made in the same timeframe each year.

The St. Anthony Educational Trust will accept gifts of cash, appreciated stock, estate gifts, in kind donations, or company matching programs. Our advisors and parish staff will assist you to ensure that your gift receives the most favorable tax treatment.

Yes, in addition to cash gifts, gifts of stocks, bonds, artwork, IRA distributions, tangible assets, real estate property, life insurance policies, or company matching gifts are viable ways to support the Educational Trust.

To make a gift of appreciated securities, including IRA distributions, provide the following information to your investment advisor:
Contact:  Kent Schmidt with Smith Moore
DTC #: 0235
RBC Capital Markets LLC
St. Anthony Catholic Church Educational Trust Account: 891-04999

A contribution out of a 529 plan would have a penalty. You would be better served donating appreciated securities or making a direct donation.

Donations can be made in person or mailed to the St. Anthony Parish Office at
101 E. Virginia Ave
PO Box 764
Effingham, IL 62401

Online gifts by card or electronic funds transfer are also welcome.

To make a gift of appreciated securities, including IRA distributions, provide the following information to your investment advisor:
Contact:  Kent Schmidt with Smith Moore
DTC #: 0235
RBC Capital Markets LLC
St. Anthony Catholic Church Educational Trust Account: 891-04999

At this time, there are no other major fundraising projects or capital campaigns planned.

No! We are asking that your five-year gift be over and above your regular giving. We do not want to undermine the parish and schools’ present ministries with reduced giving.

St. Anthony Parish relies on the support of the St. Anthony Educational Trust as a source of income for St. Anthony Schools. This support from the Educational Trust keeps tuition affordable for all families and also supports scholarships for families in financial need.

If the campaign does not reach its goal, tuition may jump in the coming years for all school families. St. Anthony Schools may also experience a drop in enrollment for families that are unable to receive tuition assistance through scholarships.

You will be asked from the pulpit, but we will not share your level of commitment publicly. Your commitment is confidential.

Yes, by all means if this suits your situation better.

We are asking that your commitment be made by September 30, 2024, which will allow the Educational Trust trustees to plan for donations.

Your pledge may extend over five years or you may make a one-time gift, at which time your commitment will be completed.

Yes, whatever is best for you and your family.

The answer is between you and God. We are asking you to be open to the journey of prayer, faith, and sacrifice when it comes to your gift.

Proverb 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all you produce.”  Indeed, the first fruits are not the left-overs.  Giving of our “first fruits” is an expression of gratitude to God for all He has given for our use.  Just as we cheerfully present a gift or ‘thank you’ card to someone who has been kind to us, so too it is with our gift of the first fruits, an acknowledgement of God’s kindness.

A gift should always be a sacrifice. St. Anthony Schools exist because of the sacrifice of our ancestors.

Prayerfully consider your gift and see where God leads.

There is probably no single issue that has become more challenging in our day. Depending on how you use money, it can be a blessing or a curse to the one who possesses it. The Bible teaches that with the proper use of money, one can be content, generous, and blessed. The provision of God is a spiritual matter because how we use it affects our relationship with our Lord.

Educational Trust

The St. Anthony Catholic Church Educational Trust exists to ensure tuition is affordable for all and to provide scholarships for those in need.

The development efforts for St. Anthony Schools are divided into 3 levels. The Educational Trust falls in the third tier or level of funding for St. Anthony Schools.
1st Level = Fundraisers
2nd Level = St. Anthony Schools Annual Fund
3rd Level = Planned Giving

The two key fundraisers for St. Anthony Schools are the St. Anthony Parish Picnic and the St. Anthony High School Corvette Raffle, currently in its 27th year. Each event raises over $100,000 annually. The monies raised are applied towards the annual upkeep of the parish and schools. These fundraisers help with raising money while providing opportunities for fellowship.

St. Anthony Schools Annual Fund
The Annual Fund was established in 2012-2013 to support the schools directly and keep tuition low for school families. The annual fund reaches out to parishioners, school families, alumni, and area businesses on a yearly basis with the emphasis of supporting Catholic education and formation. In the Annual Fund’s first year, over $100,000 in contributions were made to the schools. In 2023-2024, the Annual Fund will generate more than $500,000 in funding for the schools.

Planned Giving
Planned giving is intended for those looking to make a substantial gift or to leave a legacy gift to St. Anthony Parish and Schools. Planned gifts include will or estate gifts, real estate gifts, charitable annuities or trusts, or naming St. Anthony Parish or Schools as a beneficiary in a retirement account or life insurance policy. Currently, St. Anthony Parish and Schools receive annual distributions from the following trusts.
St. Anthony Catholic Church Educational Trust

  • Tonelli Trust
  • Henry Grunloh Trust
  • George Bauer Trust

The St. Anthony Catholic Church Educational Trust was established by a passionate parishioner in 1995 for the long-term benefit of St. Anthony Schools.

The Educational Trust has received over $3,509,787 in contributions from our gracious donors since its inception in 1995.

The current value of the trust is over $4,760,940.

The gain on trust assets is over $2,739,537.

In the last ten years, the trust has averaged an 8% return.

Expenses for the trust to date are $5,000.

Since 1995, the trust has distributed more than $1,483,382 directly to St. Anthony Schools.

Our goal is to continue to grow the trust to hold more than $15 million in assets in the next ten years. We will continue to contribute up to 5% of assets to help offset the costs of Catholic education at St. Anthony Schools.

The trustees of the Educational Trust include:
Paul Hartke, Chairman
Ed Deters
Todd Kabbes
Paul Koerner
Jennifer Roewe
Todd Wegman
Bob Willenborg
Fr. Peter Harman as Pastor of St. Anthony Parish

The Educational Trust includes a separate board for oversight of investments. The board members include:
Paul Hartke, Chairman
Jeff Richards
Kent Schmidt
Art Willenborg

The trustees meet quarterly with the pastor of St. Anthony Parish and other parish administrators to review investment activity, contributions received, and expenses incurred. It’s at these quarterly meetings that the pastor requests distributions from the Educational Trust. The amount of the distribution and the purpose of those funds are discussed. The trustees vote to accept or deny the request, and a date is set for making the distribution.

When the Educational Trust was first established, distributions from the trust were used to fill the gap in areas where extra funding was needed. The trust has helped the schools purchase equipment for science labs, technology for classrooms, and even supplemented teachers’ salaries.

In the past ten years, the Educational Trust has been a significant support towards the parish scholarship program. Parish scholarships offer tuition assistance to school families that demonstrate financial need. Without parish scholarships, families may not have the opportunity for the quality, Catholic education offered by St. Anthony Schools. Now that the scholarship opportunities from the Invest in Kids Act have ended, the demand for parish scholarships is that much greater.

Direct benefits from the Educational Trust are received by school families that receive tuition assistance through the St. Anthony parish scholarship program. These families are able to attend St. Anthony Schools at a reduced tuition rate.

Benefits from the Educational Trust are also felt by every family choosing St. Anthony Schools. The distributions from the Educational Trust offset the costs of operating St. Anthony Schools, and, in turn, keep tuition affordable for all families.

A trust is a legal arrangement to ensure assets go to specific beneficiaries. Assets are put into the trust account, and trustees administer those assets. Beneficiaries are those who eventually receive some or all of the assets in the trust.

For the St. Anthony Catholic Church Educational Trust, gifts of cash, stock, or tangible assets are donated into the Educational Trust by donors, such as yourself. The trustees of the Educational Trust manage those gifts. Most of the time, managing gifts means investing in stocks, bonds, or securities. For real estate or tangible assets, the trustees determine the best means for holding those assets.

St. Anthony Schools are the beneficiaries of the Educational Trust. The schools receive a distribution from the Educational Trust each year. This distribution is a percentage of the value of the trust and intended to be less than what the trust makes off of its investments each year. The Educational Trust bylaws state that up to 5% of the trust assets can be distributed to the St. Anthony Schools each year. By setting this threshold, it allows the trust to continue to grow and offer distributions to the schools into the future.

The Educational Trust bylaws state that up to 5% of the trust assets can be distributed to the St. Anthony Schools each year. By setting this threshold, it allows the trust to continue to grow and offer distributions to the schools into the future. With the current value of the Educational Trust, 5% of assets equals more than $160,000.

The St. Anthony Parish Finance Council along with the Pastor set the budget for the schools each fiscal year and, in doing so, determines how much support is needed from the Educational Trust. The finance council asks for funds from the Trust if the parish cannot cover parish scholarships or other needs of the schools.

In years where the fundraisers or the schools’ Annual Fund are strong and exceed their goals, the finance council may not ask for the customary $55,000 from the Educational Trust. In years where these sources of income are not as strong, or when there are unexpected or extraordinary expenses for the school, the finance council may ask for help above and beyond the $55,000 from the Educational Trust.

This campaign will ensure that more can be given.

The Educational Trust distribution will not replace the parish’s subsidy to the school. The Trust’s distribution compliments the parish subsidy. Both are integral in keeping tuition affordable for school families.

The increased distribution from the Educational Trust is intended to replace scholarship monies that are lost with the sunset of the Invest in Kids Act.

No.  The Educational Trust is operated under its own federal tax identification number and is tax exempt under IRS section 501(c)(3) making the Educational Trust a separate and distinct entity from St. Anthony Parish and the Diocese of Springfield.

Should St. Anthony Schools ever be in a position to close or cease to exist, Article IV entitled Distributions to Charity under the St. Anthony Catholic Church Educational Trust By-Laws states that distributions may be made to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church of Effingham, IL (the “Church”), educational facilities otherwise affiliated with the Church, or such other educational facilities furthering or benefitting Catholic education and which qualify as a donee of charitable contributions under Code Section 170(c) or the corresponding provision of the Code.

The intention of the Educational Trust is that St. Anthony Schools should never have to consider a closure.

St. Anthony Parish and Schools

Tuition for the 2024-2025 school year is as follows:

Tuition: The annual cost to run St. Anthony Grade School and High School is just over $4.6 million. Tuition and resource fees pay for 50% of the cost to run our schools. The remainder is supplemented by the parishioners of St. Anthony through their Sunday contributions and by those that donate to our fundraisers and to the St. Anthony Schools Annual Fund.

Resource Fees: Grade School $300  and High School $500 per student

Resource Fees are assessed for each student to cover expenses including textbooks, e-books, technology fees, special materials needed for particular classes or courses, guidance and counseling, photo ids, retreats, class dues, testing fees, etc.

St. Anthony Schools offer an opportunity for all families to contribute a gift above tuition to help cover the actual cost of education. Any amount contributed over tuition is voluntary, considered a tax-deductible gift, and applied to the St. Anthony Schools Annual Fund to support the yearly operations of St. Anthony Schools.

Families of other faiths and Catholic families from other parishes are encouraged to make donations to the St. Anthony Schools Annual Fund in order to narrow the difference between the standard tuition rate and the actual cost of educating each child.

We want to make tuition approachable for school families now and well into the future.  Just as home budgets go up each year, so do the operational costs for St. Anthony Schools.  The goal of the Educational Trust is to make a significant impact on the schools with our annual distribution.  We not only want to provide scholarships for families in need but make a substantial impact on the schools’ budget, keeping tuition approachable and affordable for all families. Tuition increases will still occur, but with the support of the Educational Trust, those increases will be as small as possible.

Scholarship criteria for a St. Anthony Parish scholarship are based on financial need. Families with students in kindergarten through 12th grade apply for scholarships through a third-party company called FACTS. Families complete an application which includes questions about household income as well as expenses. Supporting documentation such as tax forms are uploaded. Families have the opportunity to explain extraordinary circumstances they are facing, such as loss of a job, major medical expenses, etc. FACTS evaluates each application and provides a suggested scholarship amount, ranging anywhere from 10% scholarship to 100% scholarship. The FACTS recommendations are reviewed individually by our pastor at St. Anthony before final determinations are made. St. Anthony parish families are given first opportunity, followed by other Catholics, then other faiths. Traditionally, if a family qualifies for financial assistance, some level of scholarship is awarded to ensure all families have an opportunity for Catholic education.

2023-2024 Enrollment
Pups’ Patch Preschool: PreK-3yr = 29 and PreK-4yr = 44
St. Anthony Grade School K-8 = 447
St. Anthony High School = 219

Yes! Our mission is “To form lifelong intentional disciples of Jesus Christ within His Church” and our vision is “Becoming fully alive for the glory of God, leading all to heaven.”

St. Anthony Schools are a Catholic, co-educational school that provide a learning environment steeped in tradition and committed to excellence in education. Our schools provide an environment where students and staff learn to grow spiritually, morally, academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. St. Anthony Schools offer a comprehensive curriculum where students are encouraged to discover and develop their individual talents and potential in a Christian-based, disciplined, safe environment. Our faculty strives to positively contribute to each student’s desire and ability to be responsible, contributing members of our constantly changing society.

Take a look at our stats… St. Anthony Grade School stats followed by St. Anthony High School.

St. Anthony is in a strong position to move into the future. We wish to maintain our growth by enabling families to choose St. Anthony Schools for their children. Our goal is that costs are not a disqualifying factor for families choosing St. Anthony Schools.

Led by our pastor, Fr. Peter Harman, and St. Anthony Grade School principal, Mr. Cody Rincker, an enrollment growth task force has been meeting to address enrollment trends, especially at the grade school. The task force includes members of the St. Anthony finance council, school board members, members of the parish advisory council, and school parents.

Currently at the grade school, three grade levels use three classrooms for homeroom. The remaining grade levels are using two homerooms each. While the extra homerooms have created a cozy environment in the grade school, the building accommodates the needs of all grade levels – preschool through 8th grade. There are no waitlists.

Each year, the births, baptisms, and parish registrations are reviewed to identify upcoming trends for preschool and kindergarten. The enrollment growth task force has created strategies for short-term growth and long-term growth. Should the need to grow or expand our campus arise, it is possible that the Educational Trust would be asked to support those efforts.

Invest in Kids Act

School families received more than $415,000 in scholarships from the Invest in Kids Act (Empower Illinois) for the 2023-2024 school year. Our goal is to supplement as many of these scholarships as we can through the Educational Trust.

For the 2023-2024 school year, the Invest in Kids Act had the following impact on St. Anthony students:
St. Anthony Grade School
95 students received scholarships totaling $234, 648

St. Anthony High School
45 students received scholarships totaling $182,786

Overall, 140 students received scholarships totaling $417,434.

For the past six years that Invest in Kids scholarships were available, St. Anthony school families received similar support each year.

Diocese of Springfield / Centennial Campaign

The Higher Calling / Higher Standards document released by Bishop Paprocki in 2023 supports the efforts already in place at St. Anthony Grade School and High School. Catholic education and formation are a priority for our parish and schools. St. Anthony Schools accept only students who desire both religious and academic formation, and does so in accordance with all policies established by the Diocese of Springfield as outlined in the “Handbook of Catholic Education Policies,” found on the diocesan website.

When interviewing prospective school families, our Catholic identity leads the conversation, whether the prospective family is Catholic or of another faith. If we can meet the needs of a prospective student and if the student is able to meet the expectations of the school, the prospective student is welcomed into St. Anthony Schools.

Admissions policy uses the following preference for enrolling:

  1. Catholic families in St. Anthony parish; Siblings of children already enrolled in the schools
  2. Catholic families in neighboring parishes without a parish school to attend
  3. Waitlisted Families
  4. Non-Catholic families interested in enrolling

The St. Anthony Schools Educational Trust was established in 1995 by a group of parishioners. The trust is a separate & distinct entity from the parish, diocese, and other trusts and foundations of St. Anthony parish and schools. The trust is operated under its own federal tax identification number and is tax exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3). Gifts to the trust are tax deductible. St. Anthony schools are the beneficiary of the Educational Trust and receive annual distributions from the Trust.

All other committees, organizations, and clubs for St. Anthony parish and schools operate under the umbrella of the St. Anthony of Padua Church, including St. Anthony Schools themselves. St. Anthony of Padua Church is considered non-profit as a religious entity and holds its own tax identification number as a 501(c)(3). The committees, clubs, and organizations of the parish and schools exist only because St. Anthony Parish and Schools exist. All committees, clubs, and organizations would cease to exist if the schools or the parish cease to exist.

The Diocese of Springfield’s Centennial Campaign is a project that engages all the parishes in the diocese in an effort to revitalize parish communities through mission support, resource renewal, campus refurbishment, and sustainable financial planning. Parishes are asked to complete a parish vitality study, identifying areas of growth or need for their parish and/or school. Of the monetary goal set for each parish, 90% of funds raised stay within the parish, with the other 10% forwarded to the diocese for their campus refurbishment needs. The campaign runs from 2023-2028.

More information can be found at

St. Anthony sits in a particularly good position in that we have no outstanding debt, no deferred maintenance, and no expected building projects. We also have active ministries within the parish and a vibrant school system.

With the permission of Bishop Thomas Paprocki, St. Anthony can fully support the Educational Trust’s campaign efforts and forego running a parish Centennial Campaign. St. Anthony has submitted a donation to the Springfield Diocese towards the Centennial Campaign as a lead gift for the needs of the diocesan campus repairs. By doing so, St. Anthony Parish can focus 100% of our efforts going forward on supporting the Educational Trust Campaign.

For more information on Planned Giving, contact our Development Office at 217-347-7129.

If you have questions or need advice about charitable giving, please consult your financial advisor. This is not tax or financial advice.