Saint Margaret’s Endowment

” A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water.” – Proverbs 11:25

What is Saint Margaret’s Endowment?

The Endowment is a formal long-term savings account that financially supports our church to do God’s work by paying for special projects to improve our facilities, fund outreach projects, enrich our worship and music programs and other ways the vestry may approve. It has its roots in the 1990’s when several church families combined to donate $220,000 as seed money. They formally created St. Margaret’s Endowment in 2001, defined and managed by the by-laws and operating procedures they created and the Vestry approved. Endowment spending may not be used for ongoing expenses of operating the church.

Below are some more Frequently Asked Questions about Saint Margaret’s Endowment.

The Endowment is not funded by regular operating pledge or plate income. Anyone may donate to the Endowment by any means (cash, check, stocks, bonds or other assets) People have often made a gift in memory of a friend or family member who has died. Some folks make a bequest in their wills or estate plans to leave a gift to the Endowment, and they automatically become members of the Legacy Society. If they wish, donors may earmark their gift to benefit the church or greater community in specific ways they choose. Money received is divided into one of four sub-funds. Facilities, Outreach, Music/Worship, and special projects (Vestry-directed)

Every donation to the Endowment, big or small, becomes part of the “corpus” (=”body” = the principal money invested). The corpus is never spent and is carefully invested to grow over many years. Only a portion of the interest and earnings are spent for approved projects, and therefore all gifts given over the years continue growing along with earnings from generation to generation.

Saint Margaret’s Endowment committee is composed of six voting members approved by the rector and vestry. Members serve for a three-year term and may serve one additional term. The committee usually meets once per quarter to review donations and investment results, approve spending projects and plan promotional events.

Endowment money is tracked using the church’s financial reporting system, but the money is held in dedicated investment accounts, separate from the church’s regular bank accounts. The corpus and earnings not available for spending are held in the Diocesan Investment Fund (the DIF), that pools and invests money for many churches throughout our diocese. DIF money is managed by volunteer financial professionals who invest it to achieve steady low-risk growth. Each January, our Endowment committee reviews the investment results and, assuming things remain stable, votes to have a portion of the restricted earnings (calculated using a pre-defined formula) become available for spending. The newly released money is transferred to a money market account and held until needed to pay for projects (grants). Early each year the Endowment committee sends messages to each committee leader of Facilities, Faith in Action, Music, and the Vestry to let them know how much money is currently available for spending from their associated Endowment sub-fund. The available amounts are also included each month in the treasurer’s financial report (Summary of Restricted Accounts)

Requests for Endowment money are usually submitted in writing by heads of church committees to the Endowment committee with explanation of how the money is to be used. The committee reviews the proposals to ensure the money is available and that the nature of proposed spending meets requirements defined in the Endowment by-laws. A vote is taken, and if approved the request is forwarded to the Vestry for their approval. Spending status is monitored.

The committee hosts two educational events that rotate each year, and they include information for parishioners how to make gifts to the Endowment.

  • Wills and Estate Planning Workshop
  • Advanced Planning for Funeral Services and Burials

The committee also hosts an annual party for Saint Margaret’s members of the Legacy Society. In 2018, the committee published and distributed a color brochure explaining what the Endowment is and how people pay to participate in it. Additional copies are available around the church.