Endowment-Frequently Asked Questions

What is an endowment?
It is an asset held in permanent trust for the common purposes of a group; in this case, St. John. The principal usually remains intact while income from the asset is used for special projects or needs.

Why do we have an endowment fund?
The Ministry Endowment Fund of St. John supports special programs and projects. This example of Christian stewardship establishes a long term resource that is separate from the annual operating budget of the congregation.

How is the endowment fund different from our other funds?
The Ministry Endowment Fund provides resources for future generations of our congregation using gifts and bequests from members and friends. These may be in the form of bequests in wills, charitable remainder and other trusts, charitable gift annuities, assignments of life insurance, memorial gifts and transfers of property.

Should I consider a gift during my lifetime?
Estate tax, capital gains tax, and ordinary income tax savings are available when charitable contributions are made during your lifetime. Consult a trusted financial advisor to determine if these are beneficial for you.


Can I specify how my gift will be used?
A DESIGNATED GIFT may be given, where you specify the purpose, timing, and amounts of disbursements from your gift or bequest. Other conditions also may be designated by you. After acceptance by the council and Endowment Committee, your wishes will be honored as long as it is possible to do so.

Is the fund self-sustaining?
Disbursements of UNDESIGNATED gifts consist only of net income and not principal, allowing your gift or bequest to be a resource for many future generations. DESIGNATED gifts are generally invested in extremely low risk instruments and disbursed according to your wishes..

Who administers the fund?
It is administered by an Endowment Committee elected by the congregation. Meetings are open to all, and quarterly minutes are furnished to the council. The committee submits a full report to the  congregation annually.
Who determines how assets of the Ministry Endowment Fund will be dispersed?
The Congregation or the Church Council will consider disbursements at least annually. All requests for disbursement must be approved by the Council, and money is then dispensed by the Endowment Committee.


Can assets of the fund be spent on regular expenses of the congregation?
Disbursements are made to special, not routine, ministries of the church. Endowments support projects and needs such as individuals and programs not funded in the annual budget. These may include missions and benevolence, as well as unique renovations and/or capital improvements. Assets of the fund are kept in a special account that is controlled by the Endowment Committee, and are never combined with any other assets of the congregation.


How are gifts and bequests invested?
Investments of assets by the Endowment Committee have objectives of liquidity, safety, and net return, in that order of priority. Assets are normally invested in well diversified mutual funds that are approved only after careful investigation by the Endowment Committee. Investments are carefully monitored by the Endowment Committee. The congregation and council  receive reports monthly.

Are endowments revocable?
Endowments are gifts and are not returnable to the donor due to IRS regulations. Any revocation clause may significantly limit your tax savings. Consult a trusted financial advisor to learn about sophisticated methods that conform to the present tax code.

 

Endowment Committee


The Endowment Fund provides a way in which members or friends of St. John can contribute to the ongoing and future missions of our church.  This form of Christian stewardship provides a long term resource for projects and programs that is separate from the operating budget of the congregation. Gifts to the Fund may be designated for specific projects determined by the donor. However,when gifts to the Fund are not designated for a specific purpose they become part of a very special opportunity for continuing support of work at St. John, In this case the Fund, according to the by-laws of the congregation, carefully invests these gifts so that earnings become available for support of non-budgeted mission needs,while the principal remains intact to continue to be invested for future mission needs. 
 

You owe it to yourself to learn more about how the Endowment Fund operates and how to give in perpetuity to the missions of St. John through this special vehicle, Talk to any of the committee members (see council contact menu for current ministry chair contact information), come to an Endowment Committee meeting or read the FAQ page for answers to most frequently asked questions. We all know the importance of mission programs at St. John and it is nice to know that there is a way to give them lasting  support through bequests and gifts in our lifetime.

 

 

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