FADICA Launches Multi-Year “Commitment to Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection” Initiative

Tuesday February 23, 2021

New initiative aims to bring philanthropic community together to build safer cultures

(Washington, DC) – Today, Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA) announces the formal launch of its “Commitment to Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection” initiative. This multi-year program seeks to protect vulnerable persons by building safer organizational cultures through specific steps outlined in its Funder Safeguarding Pledge. Inspired by the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, this initiative affirms the inherent dignity of the human person, as well as philanthropy’s role in promoting safeguarding best practices.

“Safeguarding is a public value and a priority for us as a Catholic philanthropic network,” said Alexia Kelley, President & CEO, FADICA. “Funders can play a critical role in making safeguarding a standard organizational best practice.”

The Safeguarding Initiative is funded by four FADICA members.

Safeguarding Funder Pledge

A key component of this new initiative is a pledge, which communicates a funder’s commitment to safeguarding. By taking the pledge, FADICA members can focus on their own internal safeguarding capacity, and all of their grantee partners receive access to safeguarding capacity-building.  Capacity-building resources include sample policies, trainings, and expert consultations at no cost.

“We launched the Funder Safeguarding Pledge as one of our first steps in promoting a culture of safety through philanthropy,” said Maria Robinson, MD, FADICA board chair. “Funders are uniquely positioned to accompany and support grantee partners in our common safeguarding journey.”

While FADICA’s member pledge is influenced by its Catholic identity, the action steps of the pledge are accessible to any funder. FADICA recognizes the leadership of a number of funders in this area and sees an opportunity for faith-based and secular funders to adapt action steps to fit their grantmaking environments. Asking vital questions of partners, especially groups that serve youth and vulnerable adults, is an important steppingstone for building a culture of safety. “Safeguarding can be a shared value between funder and grantee,” Robinson added. “By normalizing this conversation, by tackling this issue together as a community, we can contribute to overall culture change.”

“FADICA recognizes the substantial efforts made by Catholic Church leaders to protect children and vulnerable adults over a number of years now,” Kelley continued. “FADICA’s new Safeguarding Initiative complements those efforts.”

Safeguarding Panel on Thursday, February 25, 2021

In addition to a community seminar, FADICA will host a one-hour, virtual panel on Thursday, February 25, 2021, at 11am EST. The panel will focus on the role of funders in promoting safeguarding alongside other leaders and partners. Featured panelists Peter Laugharn, President and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation; Maria Robinson, MD, FADICA’s Board Chair and a member of the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities; Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse in Chile and an activist; and Teresa Kettelkamp, a lay member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. For more information about the panel, please contact Sean O’Leary at soleary@susandavis.com.   

Free Community Seminar Offered

To highlight the public value of safeguarding, FADICA will share a free community seminar on its website in March, led by expert partners in abuse prevention. This seminar will explore practical steps for any nonprofit to introduce or recommit to safeguarding best practices. FADICA has also allocated a limited number of free consultation hours for non-profits interested in expert feedback.



FADICA is the leading philanthropic peer network serving as a catalyst for a vital Catholic Church, Catholic ministries, and the common good. We promote the growth and effectiveness of Catholic philanthropy inspired by the joy of the Gospel and the Catholic social tradition. FADICA supports its members through education, exchange, fellowship and faith, research, joint funding opportunities, and interaction with Catholic leadership.  For more information on FADICA, visit https://www.fadica.org/

Media Contact:

Sean O’Leary, Susan Davis International