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I was asked to help set up Grace’s Endowment Fund many years ago when a generous parishioner left us a gift in her estate and requested that it go into a permanent endowment. She wanted it to be used for future church needs. We didn’t have an endowment at the time, so we got one set up with that donation.

Since that time, several other generous parishioners have named Grace’s Endowment Fund as beneficiaries in their estate and that has allowed the Fund to grow.

Today, the parish take an annual draw from the Fund to help support the mission of the parish, especially helping towards Outreach and extraordinary capital expenses. After that initial gift, the Stewardship Committee realized that we needed a formal policy for our endowment and so a small committee was pulled together to write that policy. The Fund has an Endowment Board that meets to oversee the fund and to keep an eye on how the money is invested. It is invested with the Episcopal Church Foundation in a diversified portfolio of stocks funds and bond funds.

As a financial adviser, I have seen through the years how a healthy endowment can help support the mission of an organization and provide funds for projects or needs that may be beyond the normal budget.

At Grace, we actually have two ways to leave a legacy:

  1. The Endowment Fund, which is a permanent fund where income is distributed and the principal is invested in perpetuity.
  2. The Benefactor’s Trust Fund, which supports specific purposes and may be used completely. It is invested until disbursed for a particular purpose.

It is easy to give to either of these funds:

  1. Name the fund as a beneficiary on your IRA, 401K, annuity contract, or life insurance policy. All you need to do is request a Change of Beneficiary Form from your investment provider.
  2. List the fund as a beneficiary in your will or trust. This may require the help of an attorney to make this change.
  3. Donate cash or securities directly to the fund while you are alive, possibly is honor of or in memory of someone.

Gifts of any size are welcome.

The church benefits greatly from these long-term gifts as they give stability to our finances and allow us to tackle projects that we might only have dreamed of doing! The church’s financial secretary, the Endowment Board, or the stewardship chair can answer questions on how to contribute to our Grace Church Endowment.

Submitted by: Barbara Griffin