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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.”

Nelson Henderson

Since its founding in 1826, Manchester UMC 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 we can agree that it is filled with possibility. And frequently, possibilities require additional financial resources. That is where endowment can play a vital role. Since the first modest gift was made to Manchester UMC’s endowment fund 35 years ago, nearly $2,500,000 has been contributed from former and current members. During that same 35-year period, over $1,000,000 has been disbursed from the earnings of the endowment to support various ministries of the church.

As a result of thoughtful and strategic investing over the years, the MUMC endowment has grown to approximately $3,000.000 and every year nearly $100,000 is put to work from the endowment earnings. Imagine 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?

We hope you will find the following information enlightening and that you will consider establishing your faith legacy by helping grow MUMC’s endowment fund. By doing so, you can make an impact both today and in the future.


Andy Blacksher Headshot

Rev. Andy Blacksher
Executive Pastor of Operations, Manchester UMC

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.

Manchester UMC currently has the following separate restricted and unrestricted endowment funds:

  • Unrestricted
  • Property & facilities—improvement and maintenance
  • Modern worship and drama
  • Music
  • Cemetery
  • Children & Youth
  • Missions
  • Social Justice
  • Discipleship
  • Organ–future maintenance & improvements
  • Seminary Scholarships
  • Welcome & Hospitality

The Endowment Committee is focused on providing financial resources to support vital ministry and mission needs of Manchester UMC in the present—as well as in the future. 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.

That said, 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% of the total value of the endowment. 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 to ensure that annual disbursements increase each year and keep up with inflation.

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 suggest the priorities 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.

The Leadership Board is responsible for determining how best to use the unrestricted endowment fund earnings 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. The Leadership Board then decides how to use the other 50% based on current ministry priorities and needs.

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.

Yes, you may establish your own legacy endowment fund. Often these funds are established as memorials and/or designated for a specific purpose. Current accounting rules dictate that a new endowment be funded by a minimum of $20,000.  There is no minimum requirement for contributions to unrestricted endowment or to an existing restricted endowment fund.

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 Manchester UMCs Endowment Fund in your Will or Trust. This gift is a visible witness that not only shows what was important in your lifetime, but also establishes your faith legacy for the future.

By including Manchester UMC’s 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 several estate planning techniques you might consider when establishing your faith legacy with Manchester UMC.

Questions or to Learn More:  Please email the Director of Finance, Mary Pettit.

Fellowship Hall New Carpeting

New flooring project

Fellowship Hall Carpeting

New flooring was in stalled in May of 2023, This project was possible because of our Endowment Fund, so no budget dollars will be needed to fund this project. An excellent task force worked hard together to make this happen, so thank you to those of you who were a part of that process. Fellowship Hall is now a nice, multi-purpose space in which a whole lot of really wonderful ministry can happen!


Pastor's Note

Ascension Sunday

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