Building an Endowment for Ministry Impact
Establishing Your Faith Legacy
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees
under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
R.S.V.P for Sunday, September 11 at Noon
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 (NRSV)
There are seasons of life in which we face a choice. Will we continue doing what we’ve always done or will we take a bold step forward toward a new future? I believe that as Manchester United Methodist Church prepares for Century 3 of our life together, we are in such a season. Since its founding in 1826, this congregation has been committed to its mission: “Making a difference for Christ by transforming church and community.” And because of that 200-year commitment, we find ourselves ready to begin our next century with great momentum and hopefulness.
None of us knows what Century 3 will have in store for Manchester UMC, but I think we can agree that it is filled with possibility. And frequently, possibilities require additional financial resources. That’s where endowment can play a vital role. Since the first modest gift was made to Manchester UMC’s endowment fund 30 years ago, nearly $1,000,000 has been contributed from former and current members. During that same 30-year period, over $700,000 has been disbursed from the earnings of the endowment to resource various ministries of the church. Today, as a result of thoughtful and strategic investing over the years, the MUMC endowment has grown to nearly $2,000,000, and every year over $50,000 is put to work from the endowment earnings. Imagine the possibilities. If we grow our endowment in this Century 3 season, what exciting and impactful ministries will be resourced by the endowment 30, 50, or even 100 years from now?
I hope you will find this information informative and that you will consider joining others who are making an impact both today and tomorrow by helping grow Manchester UMC’s endowment fund.
Pastor Andy Bryan
What is an endowment?
An endowment is a financial asset donated to a nonprofit organization that is designated by the donor to be invested over a long period of time, often in perpetuity. Most endowments are designed to maintain purchasing power, and provide income to the charitable organization for generations to come. If the donor specifies the purpose for which available funds may be spent, it is called a restricted endowment. If no purpose is stated, it is called an unrestricted endowment.
Which Manchester UMC ministries currently have endowment funds?
Manchester UMC currently has several separate restricted and unrestricted endowment funds. The graph below lists the current percentage of each funds value in relationship to the total endowment of nearly $2,000,000. on the links below for more information and download these documents:
- Unrestricted (38%)
- Property and facilities—improvement and maintenance (13%)
- Modern worship and drama (8%)
- Music (8%)
- Cemetery (7%)
- Children and Youth (7%)
- Missions (6%)
- Social Justice (4%)
- Discipleship (3%)
- Organ–future maintenance and improvements (2%)
- Seminary Scholarships (2%)
- Welcome and Hospitality (2%)
Why should I invest in the Manchester UMC endowment?
The Endowment Committee is committed to providing financial resources to support vital ministry and mission needs of Manchester UMC in the present—as well as in the future. However, giving to the MUMC endowment is not the same as giving to the operating fund that supports the annual expenses of the church. Instead, by giving to the endowment fund, donors are making a long-term investment in the future of the church. Even so, the Endowment Committee does make annual disbursements from the earnings of the endowment fund to support and enhance current church priorities. Historically, these annual disbursement rates have been between 3.5%-5.0%.
The Endowment Committee bases its determination for this rate on current returns on investments and other economic factors. The Committee’s long-term goal, however, is to continually grow the size of the endowment in order to ensure that annual disbursements increase each year and keep up with inflation.
Who approves expenditures from these funds?
In some cases, the donor’s instructions are specific regarding how annual endowment earning disbursements should be spent. For most endowment funds, church and ministry leaders submit ideas that would advance Manchester UMC’s mission and goals and select the priorities to propose for expenditures.
Ministry committees and church staff also provide input. Proposals require approval of the Lead Pastor. They are then submitted to the Endowment Committee which is responsible for ensuring that any proposed expenditures comply with the intent of the original donor of the endowment fund.
How are unrestricted endowment funds spent?
The Leadership Board is responsible for determining how best to use these unrestricted endowment funds consistent with the mission and goals of Manchester UMC. Currently, the Leadership Board allocates 50% of the available annual disbursements to maintain and repair church facilities as determined by the Trustees. The Leadership Board decides how to use the other 50% based on current ministry priorities and needs.
May I contribute to an existing endowment fund?
Yes, you may contribute any amount to any of the current endowment funds. Simply, designate your gift to the (specific) endowment fund you wish to support. Or, you may designate your donation to the unrestricted endowment fund. Make sure you are clear that you want your contribution to go to the endowment. Every gift is important and every gift establishes a faith legacy for the future of Manchester UMC.
May I create my own endowment fund?
Yes, you may create an endowment fund for a specific purpose other than one previously established. For administrative purposes, the minimum required amount to create a new fund is $20,000, but the Endowment Committee will work with a prospective donor(s) to fund the new endowment fund with contributions over a specified period of time if that is the donor’s preference.
How can I get started in establishing my faith legacy?
The Endowment Committee is committed to providing financial resources to support vital ministry and mission needs of Manchester UMC for generations to come. Perhaps you will consider including the Manchester United Methodist Church’s Endowment Fund in your Will or Trust. This gift is a visible witness to your family and friends that what was important to you in your lifetime is as important in the future.
By including the Manchester UMC Endowment in your estate plans, as well as in your current giving priorities, you are reaffirming your commitment to sustaining the church’s mission to: “Make a difference for Christ by transforming church and community”. The Endowment Committee Chair can suggest appropriate wording if you wish to include Manchester UMC in your Will or Trust.
R.S.V.P for Sunday, September 11 at Noon
If questions or to learn more, please contact the Director of Finance, Mary Pettit.
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