Foundation Helps Retain Gift Language for Investors

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Coming off a strong 2012 in which more than $29.4 million owned by congregations and other Disciples ministries was added to investments at the Christian Church Foundation, the Foundation’s Board of Directors recently learned of efforts to expand the services available to Disciples ministries.

“We are a financial ministry that has as one of our core competencies the long-term retention of records,” said Gary Kidwell, Foundation president. “The Foundation is now able to establish distinct accounts for endowment gifts owned by Disciples ministries that are invested with us. We can document restrictions, retain donor’s bequest language and any available history on the original gift, and pay out the annual income to the ministry – all while allowing that ministry to maintain ownership of the funds.”

Kidwell and Senior Vice President Ruth Weaver explained this service to the Board members during their spring meeting in Indianapolis. “We recognize that as committees and leaders of ministries change, it may be difficult to keep track of the legal documents regarding donor-restricted endowment gifts,” Weaver said. “Since we are in the forever ministry and are set up to retain documents, we can help our Disciples ministries keep track of restrictions on endowment gifts.”

The Foundation ended 2012 managing $325.6 million owned by Disciples congregations, regions, general ministries and other institutions affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ.) The Foundation’s investment program is designed for long-term institutional investing, seeking to provide dollars for current ministry and protecting the original buying power of the gift by keeping up with inflation through a variety of equity classes, fixed-income, real assets and flexible capital strategies.

More than 700 Disciples ministries use the Foundation’s investment services. More information about the Foundation’s institutional investment service is available by calling (800) 668-8016.

Board members, as part of their role in overseeing the investment program, voted to keep for 2014 the “income” designation for the four investment funds at 2013 levels:

  • Brown Income Fund, which seeks income from a conservative asset allocation: Income for 2014 will be 3%
  • Common Balanced Fund, which seeks a total return from a moderate asset allocation: Income for 2014 will be 4%
  • Beasley Growth Fund, which seeks total return from a moderately aggressive asset allocation: Income for 2014 will be 4.5%
  • Campbell Multi-Strategy Fund, which seeks equity-like returns with greater inflationary protection: Income for 2014 will be 5%.

In other business during the spring meeting in Indianapolis, Directors:

  • Celebrated a successful 2012 that saw new gifts to permanent funds top $8.2 million. Total gifts and investment account additions exceeded $39.6 million. While total assets under management topped $500 million for the first time in the Foundation’s history, Directors were reminded that the $7.2 million distributed for ministry and other charities in 2012 came only from the $135 million in distributable assets; the remaining assets are owned by Disciples ministries that invest with the Foundation, or are assets which by definition have no distributable income. Partner ministries use the income from their investment accounts to support their individual witnesses.
  • Celebrated the ministry of Clifford Chandler, assistant vice president, who oversaw the Foundation’s investment program from 2001 until retiring at the end of 2012.
  • Re-elected Rev. Joan Bell-Haynes of Reston, VA; Elizabeth Topliffe of Grand Rapids, MI; and Rodney Witte, Denver, CO; to three-year terms on the Board of Directors.
  • Elected, to three-year terms starting in 2014, M. Dean Buffington, a principal of Buffington Mohr McNeal, an investment advisory firm in Boise, ID, and a member of Red Rock Christian Church in Boise; the Rev. Teresa Dulyea-Parker, regional minister and president of the Christian Church in Illinois and Wisconsin, based in Bloomington, IL; Rick T. Ikeda, vice president of Western Tool Supply in Salem, OR, and a member of First Christian Church in Salem; and the Rev. Joanne VerBurg, senior minister of Covenant Christian Church in Cary, NC.

The Christian Church Foundation, based in Indianapolis, is a general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) devoted to helping Disciples undergird the witness of the church through planned gifts, permanent funds and prudent institutional investing. At the start of 2013, the Foundation was responsible for $501.6 million of the church’s money, including more than $127.8 million in permanent fund and donor-advised accounts. The Board of Directors’ next meeting will be Nov. 8-10 in St. Louis.

(Release date: May 2, 2013)