Foundation Off to Strong Start in 2015

The Christian Church Foundation is positioning itself for another excellent year, thanks to new gifts to permanent funds and deposits to partner investment accounts.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors, at its spring meeting in Indianapolis, learned that new permanent gifts through April 2015 are already approaching half of the five-year average annual amount for such gifts. President Gary Kidwell said the number of new gift agreements written during the first quarter of 2015 is almost half of those written during 2014.

The Foundation ended 2014 managing $618 million of the church’s money, including both gifts administered by the Foundation and partner investment accounts owned by ministries and institutions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

“The church is blessed with people who spiritually grew beyond token-giving and their commitment is reflected in our record-breaking 2014,” Kidwell said.

Reflecting on the four years ended December 31, 2014, Kidwell reported:

•  The ministry dollars held in trust as Permanent Funds at the Foundation have grown by 34%. The number of Permanent Funds has grown by 31% over the same period.

•  Partner Investment dollars have jumped 46% and the number of partner investors has increased 9%. In the first three months of 2015, $8.8 million was added to partner investor accounts, nearly half of the comparable number for all of 2014.

•  The Foundation has 52 ministry partners with investments of more than $1 million at the Foundation, a jump of 43% since the end of 2010.

•  With market growth and new deposits, Disciples congregations have increased their investments through the Foundation by 45%.

The strength of the Foundation blesses the whole church. The Foundation distributed $8.4 million for ministry from gifts managed by the Foundation – 96% of which went to Disciples ministries chosen by donors, said Ruth Weaver, senior vice president and treasurer.  “Regular, scheduled ministry distributions of $9.2 million were also distributed from investments owned by our ministry partners.”

The Board of Directors also approved the 2016 “Income Rates” for the Foundation’s investment program, called the Joint Investment Trust -- Campbell Multi-Strategy Fund, 5%; Beasley Growth Fund, 4.5%; Common Balanced Fund, 4%; and Brown Income Fund, 3.0%. The rates are unchanged from 2015.

In other business, Directors:

  • Approved the nomination of Virginia Spradlin as treasurer emeritus (click here for story)
  • Approved the nomination of Washington Avenue Christian Church of Elyria, OH, as the 2015 recipient of the James P. Johnson Stewardship Award that will be presented July 21 at the General Assembly in Columbus, OH. (click here for story)
  • Re-elected to three-year terms starting in 2016 -- Debra Clayton, Topeka, KS; John May, Wilmington, NC; Bob Williams, Dallas, TX; the Rev. Bob Bock, Canyon Country, CA: and Ted Waggoner, Rochester, IN.
  • Elected to the Board -- Angela McDonald-Fisher, a corporate attorney and member of Light of the World Christian Church in Indianapolis, IN; the Rev. Larry Thomas, senior minister of University Christian Church in Fort Worth, TX; Gita Hendessi Gardner, architect and member of Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta GA; and Marty Askins, owner of Stephens County Abstract Company and member of First Christian Church, Duncan, OK.

The Board of Directors next meeting will be Nov. 6-8 in Pittsburgh, PA.

(Posted 5-5-15)