Endow-what??? In the spirit of stewardship and responsible use of resources here are a few things you should know about how we manage the gifts we have been given.
Facts You Should Know about First Presbyterian’s Endowment Fund
1. What is the First Presbyterian Church Endowment?
The First Presbyterian Church Endowment provides supplemental financial assistance for the church, its ministries and its outreach programs. Its assets are placed in long-term investments, selected by the Endowment Fund Management Task Force and approved by the Session. Currently its funds are invested in the New Covenant Balanced Growth Fund (NCBGX). New Covenant Funds is affiliated with the PCUSA. Annual distributions from the Endowment are based upon a spending formula and allocated in accordance with the stipulations governing each of the fund’s individual accounts. The withdrawal amount (typically 5%) is determined yearly by the Session in consultation with the Endowment Fund Management Task Force. The spending formula lessens the impact of fluctuating markets and produces a steadier revenue stream. Annual withdrawals are limited to a maximum of 8% of the fund balances. Amendments to exceed the 8% limit on annual withdrawals must be proposed by a majority of the members of the Session and submitted to the congregation at two congregational meetings called and conducted in accordance with Presbyterian polity and held at least three months apart. The said amendment must be approved by 2/3 of the members of the congregation present and voting at each congregational meeting.
2. What are the Endowment’s funding sources?
The Endowment is funded with bequests, memorial donations, and other special gifts to the church. Some donors have requested that their bequests be placed in the Endowment, generally in its Memorial Gifts account. Undesignated gifts and bequests may be added to the Endowment at the direction of the Session. All gifts or bequests placed in the Endowment adhere to the donor’s stipulations.
3. How are the distributions from the Endowment used?
The Endowment currently contains five accounts. They are the Memorial Gifts Fund, the W.A. and Margaret Long Scholarship Fund, the John T. and Deborah M. Dixon Memorial Fund, the Stevenson Music Fund, and the Warnick, Stumpff, Love Memorial Camp Scholarship and Youth Activities Fund.
The Memorial Gifts Fund, the largest in the Endowment, has been funded by bequests from the estates of Nellie Hart Sterling, John Haymaker, Wilda Creighton, Avis Green Tucker, Gertrude Sweeney, and Pauline Vance. Unless otherwise directed by the Session, 50% of the funds withdrawn from the Memorial Gifts Account are designated for Use Within the Church, 25% are designated for Local Outreach projects, and the remaining 25% for Outreach Beyond Warrensburg. In years past, Memorial Gifts distributions were used to help fund construction of the Culton Street Outreach Center, build a Habitat for Humanity home in Warrensburg, support Survival Adult Abuse Center, Warrensburg Food Center, Presbyterian Children’s Services, Gift Dube’s children’s library project in Malawi, special disaster and relief programs, and a host of other outreach projects. Memorial Gifts funds also provided assistance for the Centennial building renovation project, church maintenance, and congregational programing and projects.
Long Scholarship Fund
A bequest from W.A. and Margaret Long makes scholarships for post-secondary studies available to members of First Presbyterian. Since its inception the Long Scholarship grants have exceeded $200,000 (the orginal gift was only $150,000!).
Dixon Memorial Fund
In accordance with the wishes of its donor this fund honoring the memories of John T. and Deborah M. Dixon supports special projects within the church.
Warnick, Stumpff, Love Fund
Bequests in memory of Kim Warnick, H. Keith Stumpff, and Nancy Love established this fund, which is used to support camp scholarships and youth activities in the church.
Stevenson Music Fund
This fund honoring the memory of Dr. A. L. Stevenson is used to support the church’s music program.
4. Why is the Endowment important?
Funding from the Endowment accounts enables First Presbyterian to respond to unexpected needs not provided for in the annual budget and permits the church to initiate and support larger mission and outreach projects. In the six-year span between 2007 and 2012 the distributions from the Endowment have totaled $144,176.71. Of that amount $38,039.26 was awarded in the form of scholarships, and the remaining $106,137.45 was used for special needs of the church and for its outreach ministries in Warrensburg and beyond. Prudent investment strategies and distributions based on a spending formula have enabled the Endowment to provide significant and sustained supplemental support for First Presbyterian and its ministries.
5. Have you considered including a bequest for the First Presbyterian Endowment as a part of your estate planning?
Giving special gifts to the church may be accomplished in a number of ways. The donor can specify that they be used for specific purposes: mission and outreach, the local church, denominational programs, or placement in one of the existing Endowment accounts.
A Direct Bequest gives money now. It qualifies for a deduction on income tax. Future gifts can be made through the donor’s will. Bequests may be restricted or unrestricted. An unrestricted gift to First Presbyterian may be used at the discretion of the Session. A restricted gift may be used only as directed. A number of charitable giving instruments are available, including arrangements with special tax advantages allowing the donor to designate First Presbyterian as a beneficiary while retaining use of the income for life. Upon the donor’s death the unused principal goes to the designated beneficiaries. Everyone should have a will, and those who do not are urged to consult an attorney. We invite all who are able to consider including First Presbyterian as a beneficiary of your estate’s provisions for charitable giving.