The Holston Foundation Endowment program continues to grow because more and more of our churches and individuals recognize the benefits of creating their own endowment funds. Some churches create the stewardship guidelines for targeted needs before any funds are in hand to attract designated and planned gifts from individuals in the future. Some individuals prefer to launch their own endowments to benefit a specific church program or ministry or to benefit several needs. Some individuals establish funds now so they can see them work, while others establish endowments through wills or charitable trusts. Why do these people choose to create or add to endowment funds for the church? Here are a number of reasons you may wish to consider:
The idea of creating a perpetual stream of financial support makes sense to people who see a similarity between retirement funds and endowment provisions. They like the concept of a fund that is guarded and invested separately from other assets so the principal of the fund will stay in tact. Only the income or a percentage of the value will be used to support the chosen ministry.
A Positive Legacy
When donors attach their names to an endowment fund or add funds to a church established endowment fund, they create an enduring legacy that will outlive them and influence succeeding generations. Other family members and friends will be reminded of the person’s values and commitments. Endowment funds can also be used to honor the lives of others who have made a significant impact on the donor and/or the church.
Many donors see an endowment fund as a means to underwrite their own regular giving. For example, an endowment fund of $20,000 could create an annual gift of $800 - $1,000 forever. It’s a great way to “leave your mark” and strengthen the church or a specific area of ministry.
A Firm Foundation
Endowments should be properly invested in a diversified long-term mix of socially responsible assets to provide maximum return and minimal risk. Written guidelines should be in place to provide appropriate stewardship. Annual payouts from endowment funds permit a church or ministry to plan more confidently for the future. A church or ministry with a strong endowment is simply more stable financially.
There is something wonderfully fulfilling about doing something good that lasts, something that really makes a difference. Other kinds of giving are important, but creating or adding to a fund that will benefit others for centuries is truly satisfying.
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