Establishing Endowments

Why an Endowment?

Church endowments provide the income to maintain church buildings, generate funds for mission work, or enhance other ministries. A properly structured endowment program can help you secure the financial future of your church. Endowments have provided a major source of funding for many institutions in our society for years.

Potential Benefits

The difference between endowment funds and other types of funds, such as operating or capital funds, is that assets are invested in perpetuity. The whole point of an endowment is to provide a steady, predictable source of income over time. Endowment funds can be fundamental to the financial stability of an organization. Endowment income can provide a cushion against unforeseen expenses or economic downturns. An endowment fund can be established for anything which serves the mission and ministry needs of a church.

How It Affects Giving

When members are given opportunities to give from accumulated assets as well as from current income, it can lead to increased generosity. It adds a completely separate income stream. An endowment’s existence will encourage deferred gifts to the church that might otherwise have gone to an alternate charity. Endowments also provide opportunities for donors to give gifts in honor and in memory of family and friends.

Personal Finance

Personal Finance Seminar

This seminar focuses on the personal stewardship in day-to-day life. Topics presented by the Foundation include:

  • basic budgeting skills
  • debt
  • credit cards
  • faithful stewardship of resources

Participants receive a booklet covering all of these topics and more including additional helpful websites.

Training Budget Course Facilitators

Using the Good$ense Ministries’ Freed-Up Financial Living curriculum, the Foundation offers this three to four times a year for those wishing to serve as facilitators for the course in their church or community. This resource will equip individuals in offering their congregation and community a Biblical approach to earning, giving, spending, and debt.

Participants are trained to lead this six-week course through personal involvement with the process and walking through the DVD and coursebook lessons.

Wills & Estate Planning

Wills & Estates Seminar

This seminar is designed to assist individuals in guiding the stewardship of their assets. Some of the topics presented by the Foundation include:

  • Asset Inventory
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Directives
  • Federal Estate Tax
  • Estate Planning in Iowa
  • The Stewardship of Assets
  • Ways of Giving through Wills & Estates

Participants also receive practical sample documents and planning forms. All are offered from a spiritual perspective of taking care of all that has been entrusted to us by God.

Simply by having an endowment program, a church can signal that it is doing a good job of long-range planning. At the same time, the church is affording its members an opportunity to practice life-long giving, and to include their church in their present and future financial plans.

Five Ways Endowment Programs Help Churches Grow

  1. The church receives increased gifts to fund its various ministries.
  2. Members begin including planned gifts as well as current gifts in their stewardship response.
  3. Members are educated as to many expanded gift opportunities for mission and ministry through their church.
  4. Current contributions given in support of the on-going annual budget are freed up to strengthen and even expand existing programs.
  5. The church and its various ministries and institutions begin to receive major planned. gifts that have previously been directed to other causes where endowments are already in place.

Our Services

The Foundation’s central mission is to provide Iowa United Methodist Churches with long-term stewardship services. We provide, at no cost, on-site and printed resources that can help by:

  • guiding churches through the process of establishing an endowment
  • training endowment board members on ways of giving through estates and planned gifts
  • establishing planned giving program to attract gifts for churches
  • conducting wills and estate planning seminars

Church Investments

Advantages of Investing Through the Foundation

  • All investments are made in accordance with the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church.
  • Competitive historical performance record.
  • Consistent accounting of invested funds, with office staff available to help new church or organization officers understand the investment and the accounting.
  • Low cost for complete services Governed by Iowa United Methodists.
  • Choice of timing for interest payments and no penalties for timely withdrawals.
  • No brokerage costs for depositing stocks or gifts of stocks.
  • Support of the Iowa United Methodist Foundation’s work with churches and affiliated organizations in long-term stewardship.


Long-term investments may be deposited 100% in individual funds (Bond, Balanced & Equity) or in a “Mixed Fund Account” with allocations among the fund options designated by the investor.

The Foundation also offers two short-term investment options through the Short-Term Income Fund and The Building Fund Trust.

Contact the Foundation office to discuss the funds or to schedule an onsite visit.

Capital Campaigns

The Foundation offers three programs for Iowa United Methodist Churches exploring or entering into capital campaigns:


Education on the basics of capital campaigns covering topics such as how much can be raised, when to consider a consultant, steps leading up to campaigns, and campaign stages (no fee);

General Campaign Planning

Two to three evenings of general campaign planning assistance for churches conducting campaigns on their own (no fee);

On-Site Consulting

Traditional consultant services, typically with the consultant being on site approximately 15 different dates. This is fee-based, though generally at a lower cost than for profit consultants;

Staff Experience

The Foundation Staff providing on-site consulting services have 16+ years of capital campaign experience with United Methodist Churches in Iowa and the upper Midwest.

Contact Us: [email protected]