1. What is the Endowment Fund? Hope for the Future endowment fund was established in 1994 and expanded in 2011 when a large gift was received from the Nippoldt family. An endowment fund pools contributions from its donors and invests those contributions so that they will grow. The portfolio is managed professionally, and then a portion of the investment fund is withdrawn each year and used for the specific purposes intended by the donors (see designated needs above). Currently the policy is to use 3% of the growing asset base each year for the designated gifts. As such, donations made today are truly lasting gifts, which will continue to support our church for many years into the future.
2. How would a gift to the Endowment Fund differ from my annual gift to the church and its missions? A gift to the endowment fund is invested with the objective of protecting and growing the principal. The annual earnings are able to provide gifts to the specific areas you have designated into the future. This is different than your regular, annual giving which supports the yearly operating budget.
3. How is the Endowment Fund invested? We know investing these gifts prudently is important to you. For that reason, we have chosen to invest the portfolio through the United Methodist Foundation, which has a long, successful track record in managing endowment assets for over 80 United Methodist churches in Minnesota. In addition to good performance, the Foundation invests with a focus on the social principles of the United Methodist Church. Since the Endowment has a long-time horizon, it is invested for growth with an allocation of 65% stocks and 35% bonds.
4. What is an appropriate amount for me to give? Is there a minimum? This is a personal decision to be made within your family. One way to think about it would be to consider leaving 10% of your estate to the Endowment, similar to the Biblical concept of tithing. Or you may wish to make a donation of a specific dollar amount, either in the present or as a part of your estate plan. If you are willing to pledge that you have included the Endowment in your estate plan you will become a member of our "Being the Hope Legacy Society."
5. What if I change my mind? We recognize that your intent may change over time. Until the gift is made (assets transferred), it is only a declaration of intent. If your intent changes at any time, you can modify the gift. We only ask that you advise us of that change.
6. How will these legacy gifts be used? Each donor may currently choose among five categories: Missions, Scholarships, Worship & Music, Capital Needs, or General Purpose/Unrestricted. Each year, the Endowment Committee votes to transfer up to 3% of assets in each category to be used for the designated purpose. Each of these categories has an established process for selecting the gift recipients during the year.
7. What is the greatest need for Endowment gifts? It is impossible to know what the greatest needs of the church may be in the future. You should consider your gift in light of what is most important to you. The "General Purpose/Unrestricted" category allows your gift to be used for whatever are the most pressing needs of the church at any point in time. However, you may find you have particular areas where your heart leads you to give.
8. What's example language to include the endowment in my will? "I give The Grove United Methodist Church [or Woodbury Peaceful Grove United Methodist Church] Hope for the Future Endowment Fund the sum of $___ or ___% of my estate to be used by the church for the designated need(s) I have indicated below: ____ [selected one or more of the designated needs]."
9. What if I would like to give to a new category or for some specific need for the church? There is a distinct difference between giving to the Endowment Fund and giving to the church for a specific need. Gifts for specific needs or projects should be discussed with the pastors to determine the best way to proceed. If you give a gift during your lifetime you have the benefit of seeing your gift put to work. Gifts to the Endowment, on the other hand, are intended to exist over time so that your gift may be of benefit both in the present and in the years to come. If you see a need category that is not being met, please bring it to the attention of the Endowment Committee. If you want to establish a new category within the Endowment Fund, a minimum gift is required.
10. What if I don’t have a will or an attorney? Can you help with this? If you don’t have your own attorney, we would be happy to provide you with a list of attorneys that others in our church have used to complete or update their wills. Other ways to give to the Endowment would include making the Endowment a designated beneficiary of your life insurance policy, 401(k), IRA, or brokerage account.
11. May I donate something other than cash or investments? We are appreciative of all gifts, as we know they come from grateful hearts. Some gifts may be very illiquid or costly to manage. In such cases, the Endowment Committee has the final determination regarding whether to accept any individual gift, should such gift be determined not to be in the best interest of the Fund or the Church. If you are contemplating such a gift, please speak with the pastor or to a member of the Endowment Committee so that we may understand the circumstances and make a decision that will be best for all.