VATICAN CITY (CNS) –- The U.S.-based Papal Foundation donated $10 million to support Pope Francis’ numerous global charity efforts.

During the group’s annual pilgrimage to Rome, the pope thanked members during a special audience at the Vatican April 8.

Pope Francis told them that mercy was at the heart of the foundation’s mission. “Through your generous support of diocesan, parish and community projects, as well as through providing scholarships, you assist many people to further respond to the local needs of their communities and to undertake ever more fruitfully their own works of mercy,” he said.

It is through such support, the pope said, that “your charity reverberates throughout the world.”

Established by U.S. Catholics in 1988, the Papal Foundation was an effort to support the pope’s charitable efforts, Vatican Radio said April 8. The $215-million fund creates revenue for the pope’s causes, and the foundation does not invest in any companies that “engage in activities inconsistent with the Catholic faith,” the radio reported.

More than $15 million was distributed by the foundation in 2015, Vatican Radio said. The funds aided “housing, hospitals, educational institutions, and pro-life programs around the world.”