Endowments, Wills & Estate Planning
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
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.
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 and the 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 can even add 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.
Five Ways Endowment Programs Help Churches Grow
- The church receives increased gifts to fund its various ministries.
- Members begin including planned gifts as well as current gifts in their stewardship response.
- Members are educated as to many expanded gift opportunities for mission and ministry through their church.
- Current contributions given in support of the on-going annual budget are freed up to strengthen and even expand existing programs.
- 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.
Creating Your Own Endowment Fund
Attached below are tools for your church to utilize to create and market your own permanent endowment fund. Read the entire Planned Giving kit or find which area best suits where you are at in the process:
- Introduction to Planned Giving
- Roles & Responsibilites
- Establishing a Permanent Endowment Program
- Promoting Your Endowment Program
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
- 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.