What We Do


The Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education encourages proposals for innovative programs that reflect new and creative thinking. We look to fund fresh ideas that will benefit students attending Catholic schools across the five-county Philadelphia archdiocese. Secondary schools will continue to be a priority preference for education funding.

Fund founder Matthew H. McCloskey, Jr. believed deeply in the value of Catholic education and in initiatives that promote a better understanding and stronger observance of the Catholic faith.

For more than 50 years, the charitable organization that he created in 1967 as the Archdiocesan Educational Fund, now known as the Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education, has supported the archdiocesan high schools by helping to defray expenses, reduce student tuitions in deserving cases, and alleviate school deficits. A major initiative in those years was providing more than $750,000 in seed funding that launched BLOCS (Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools).

Deeper examination of contemporary conditions led to additional funding that included support for the four archdiocesan special education schools; Independence Mission Schools; private Catholic schools, especially those located in distressed neighborhoods and serving a disadvantaged population; and several community educational organizations.

  • Because of an ongoing interest in the students enrolled in the four schools of special education, the Ambassador’s Fund continues to support these schools with an annual grant for operations.
  • Funding for the grantees who serve disadvantaged students, noted above, has spanned a variety of purposes, including technology infrastructure and improvements, learning disabilities programming, science lab and curriculum structuring, and social studies, language arts, writing, and math enrichment programs.

Overall grant distributions since 2015 have reflected the Fund’s interest in programmatic initiatives that upgrade, enhance, or otherwise bolster Catholic education throughout the five-county archdiocese.

These grant awards have responded to a number of contemporary issues or current educational trends, which include:

  • flexible student seating
  • inclusionary classrooms
  • STEM-STEAM-STREAM programming, pre-K through high school
  • design thinking
  • career and technical education
  • elementary-to-secondary school summer bridge programming
  • Catholic school management
  • school transformation and turnaround
  • social-emotional learning

… and more, including responses to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to our Catholic elementary schools and their families.

Funding beyond the pre-college level has also expanded in recent years, with either restarts or kick-starts to campus pastoral and fellowship services for Catholics attending Temple, Widener, West Chester, Penn, and Drexel. Support for Catholic colleges is one of the Fund’s newer actions, emphasizing initiatives that promote a greater understanding of the Church’s teachings, an appreciation of its intellectual heritage, and increased faith formation and expression.

The Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education continues to invite proposals for funding of innovative and creative programming that strengthens academic excellence in Catholic schools, colleges, parishes, and other Catholic organizations throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.



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The Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education encourages proposals for innovative, creative, and sustaining programs that will broaden and deepen an understanding of our Catholic faith and assist Catholics of all ages in the practice of its values and principles in their daily lives.


Ambassador’s Fund founder Matthew H. McCloskey, Jr. treasured his Catholic faith. The charitable organization that he created had two primary purposes: support Catholic secondary education administered by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; promote a greater knowledge, appreciation, and practice of our Catholic faith, particularly by teens and young adults.

Funding in the first 30 years supported archdiocesan communications, especially through the archdiocesan media center, and with subscriptions to the weekly newspaper for parishioners throughout the region. Funding also supported special communications on timely issues such as nuclear arms.

Grants since 2013-14 have focused on education, associated instructional resources, and community outreach surrounding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, the Vocation Office for Diocesan Priesthood, Kairos retreats for high school students, a one-day faith-based program for high school sophomores, Newman Center apostolates at public universities, initiatives promoting family-centered faith practices, parish leadership training, and other ministry outreach that helps Catholics live a better Catholic life by bringing them closer to God.

A number of these funded programs overlap with, and as, “education” grants noted in the preceding section. They are highlighted here as examples of Fund support for valuable work taking place in parishes, classrooms, and other organizations for programs concentrating on:

  • parish revitalization
  • strengthened catechetical training for religion teachers, pre-K through high school
  • human dignity and sexual integrity
  • outreach to Latino-Hispanic students, families, and parishes
  • vocation education, for both priests and women religious
  • outreach to African-American parishes