The Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education ( will gather the leaders of Philadelphia-area Catholic schools, colleges, parishes and organizations, and their board members, on Tuesday, Oct. 19 to examine issues that advance the mission and values of Catholic education and evangelization throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The “Conference on Funding Impact: 2016-2021: Peer-to-Peer Knowledge-Sharing Among Grantee and Grant Wannabes” welcomes panelists and leaders of four breakout session discussion groups to delve into the outcomes and implications of funded programs or projects carried out over the last six years.

The conference website features a program overview; the full listing of panels, speakers, breakout sessions and referenced grants; FAQs; plus articles, videos, commentaries and reports on subjects pertinent to the conference topics.

See the site for a registration form or go directly to this form. Registration closes Oct. 8.

Tom Riley, president of the Connelly Foundation, is featured as the luncheon speaker.

Key topics will probe how the STEM/STEAM/STREAM education framework is affecting academic outcomes; what initiatives are in place to advance the understanding, teaching and expression of the Catholic faith; how a school leader can create PreK and early learning excellence; and what can be done about reading and math proficiency.

One breakout session will look solely at the elementary school level and another the secondary, with reference to the educational preparation of entering freshmen and the proficiency of the graduating seniors.

The fourth concurrent breakout session zeroes in on product. Participants will explore the contemporary market forces that affect growth and vitality in the area’s Catholic schools, parishes and organizations.

Issues of program quality, development, differentiation, delivery, pricing and outcomes as driving public visibility and reputation, recruitment, retention and donor support are expected to spark lively debate.

Many of the same change-management elements at work in the schools will also be examined in that session for the parishes and Catholic organizations.

A final general session invites the participants to offer feedback and suggestions on the Ambassador Fund proposal and grant program as the fund prepares to accept the first cycle of proposals for funding in the 2022-23 academic/fiscal year.

The proposal portal will open soon for applications due on Nov. 8. Interested applicants are urged to follow the Guidelines tab of the fund website when designing their proposal.

Panelists and discussion group facilitators include high school and elementary school presidents, board members, academic leaders and advancement officers, as well as other primary managers of Ambassador Fund grants awarded to many local organizations.

The Ambassador’s Fund awarded $1,079,245 in grants to Catholic schools and organizations for the 2021-22 fiscal year. This second round of funding follows approximately $530,000 awarded in the first cycle last fall and in addition to approximately $115,500 previously designated for the second year of four multi-year grants.

Support for Catholic education and evangelization throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia totals more than $1.7 million in 29 grants for the year. Program funding ranges from $10,448 to $150,000.

Contact Patricia Canning, director of grants management at the Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education, at or at for more information on the Oct. 19 conference or with questions regarding the proposal application.