Endowment funds for a congregation can be a very good thing, or a very bad thing. At the Foundation, we work with church leaders to make endowment and permanent funds a very good thing.
Endowment Funds provide a wonderful opportunity for a congregation to enhance its ministry and witness while also giving the individual Christian an avenue to express a personal faith stewardship statement. The donor wants to be sure the church will be a wise steward of these gifts, and in many cases, desires that the gift for ministry serve in perpetuity.
The process starts by forming a small group of leaders to develop a permanent fund policy. The Foundation development team provides resources to these leaders and coaches them on ways to make the policy reflective of the congregation while avoiding potholes that can hurt efforts.
When the policy has been approved by the leadership and the congregation, the Foundation can be called to assist in promoting legacy gifts to benefit the congregation’s endowment fund, including holding inheritance and gift-planning seminars.
Resources to assist leaders in developing a policy, the role of trustees, promoting legacy giving and recognizing gift intentions can be found here.