Disciples News Service

Blessing or burden: Endowment funds

by the Christian Church Foundation

Endowment funds for a congregation can be a blessing or a burden. At the Christian Church Foundation, we work with church leaders to make endowment and permanent funds a blessing. A good endowment process begins with a permanent fund policy. Our development team provides resources to your leaders for the development of a permanent fund policy. We then guide you through the path of developing a policy that reflects the specific mission and ministry of your congregation, avoids pitfalls, and helps your congregation protect your endowment for the future. A model permanent fund policy can be found here.

Once your leadership and congregation approve the policy, we continue to assist in the promotion of your endowment fund. Endowments allow congregations to expand their ministry and witness, while empowering individuals with an opportunity to live out their faithfulness and generosity even after their lives have ended. Donors want the church to wisely steward their gifts to serve ministries for years to come. Throughout our years of experience, we have found that a church having a permanent fund policy in place actually encourages members of the congregation to give legacy gifts because a policy gives donors confidence that their gifts will be managed well and will make a difference in the world.

In addition to the model permanent fund policy, we provide resources for the theological and practical implications of creating an endowment for your congregation, a step-by-step guide to creating an endowment fund in your congregation, and a guide to the role of permanent fund trustees. If you have any questions about getting started in this process or encouraging gifts in your congregation, please contact your Foundation Zone Representative.