ZION ENDOWMENT FUND
Zion’s Endowment Fund was established in 1985 for the purpose of enhancing the mission outreach of Zion Lutheran Church apart from the general operations of the congregation. The Fund welcomes gifts from Zion and Utica community members. Gifts can consist of memorials, bequests in wills, charitable remainder and other trusts, charitable gift annuities, assignment of life insurance and transfer of property, such as cash, stocks, bonds, or real estate. To-date, most gifts have been from bequests in wills. Planned giving is one method of providing end of life gifting of one’s wealth to the Zion Endowment Fund.
The Endowment Fund by-laws require that yearly distributions be made from the Fund. The distributions are divided among the following: one-quarter each to; community outreach, missions of the ELCA, special ministries of Zion Lutheran Church and Zion capital projects. The Endowment Fund Committee makes recommendations to the Church Council and Zion’s congregation concerning the charitable distributions. Some past recipients include; Community Food Bank, Your Neighbors, Family Nurturing Center, Canstruction, Lutheran Homes Foundation, and Vanderkamp.
HISTORY OF GIFTS RECEIVED AND DISTRIBUTIONS
In the nearly thirty years of its existence, the Endowment Fund has received gifts and bequests of about $160,000. Over this same period, distributions from the Fund now exceed $215,000. The Endowment Fund expects to distribute approximately $10,000 this year.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO FUND ARE WELCOME
Contributions to the Zion Endowment Fund need not be just in the form of bequests in wills or trusts. Cash or checks, in any amount, in memory of a loved one or in honor of someone special, would be appropriate and welcomed. Our hopes and expectations are that additional gifts, coupled with Fund earnings, will cause the Fund value to increase so that Zion may play an ever-larger part in fulfilling its mission in the world. Your endowment gift would be a part of that process.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A DISTRIBUTION FROM ZION’S ENDOWMENT FUND
During the month of October, Zion’s Endowment Fund Committee announces in the weekly church bulletin at Sunday worship services and in its monthly congregational newsletter that it has funds available for its annual distribution to charitable organizations. To be considered for a distribution, charitable organizations are required to submit a Grant Application Form to Zion Lutheran Church (Endowment Fund), 630 French Rd, New Hartford, NY 13413 or E-mail (with Subject Endowment Fund) to Office@ZionLuth.com, describing your organization and a brief explanation of what the funds will be used for. Please follow the format and guidelines specified on the Zion Grant Application Form. Deadline for receipt of the Grant Application Form is November 1.
The Endowment Fund Committee meets in early November to prayerfully decide on the recipients of a distribution from the Endowment Fund. The recipients are notified by letter, in late November, and checks are distributed late November – early December.
As stated in the INTRODUCTION, the Zion Lutheran Church Endowment fund welcomes gifts from Zion and Utica community members. Gifts can consist of memorials, bequests in wills, charitable remainder and other trusts, charitable gift annuities, assignment of life insurance and transfer of property, such as cash, stocks, bonds, or real estate. To-date, most gifts have been from bequests in wills. Planned giving is another method of providing end of life gifting of one’s wealth to the Zion Endowment Fund.
To assist members and friends of the Congregation in thinking about and planning for gifts to the Endowment Fund or other Zion activities, members and friends may discuss opportunities with the Pastor or other Church Council members. To gain added perspective and information, the ELCA Foundation (http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organizations/ELCA-Foundation/Gift-Planning.aspx) maintains a staff for free consultation regarding planned giving. The website, maintained by the ELCA Foundation, is quite informative regarding options and the benefits and intricacies of planned giving. Local attorneys and accountants are also available to assist members in carrying out their wishes.
A special planned giving opportunity exists for members of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. The Giving Plus Program provides matching funds for member giving to Zion activities and funds. For detail and plan specifics, please go to Thrivent’s web site at http://www.thrivent.com/fraternal/churchcommunity/givingplus.html.
Another source for information on planned giving is the Society for Nonprofit Organizations (SNPO). This society has assembled a variety of resources to support the activities, including fund-raising, of nonprofit organizations. Their website is quite rich with general information concerning planned giving. To obtain information of a generic nature, please visit the following: http://www.snpo.org/resources/links2.php?lid=15.