Summary of Proposal to Establish

 

the Atonement Endowment Program

 

Voters Assembly ~ June 7, 2015

I. Introduction

                God has generously blessed Atonement Lutheran Church (ALC) for 50 years. The Stewardship Committee with Council support is proposing the establishment of the Atonement Endowment Fund in thanksgiving. The Program will be a commitment to the congregation’s future through earnings on principal held into perpetuity and owned by ALC.

                An eleven-page statement of policies and procedures approved by Church Council will guide the Stewardship Committee’s leadership and administration of the Program.

II. Statement of Purpose

                The overarching purpose of the Endowment Program is to build up the Kingdom. Specific goals are to:

  1. Support Atonement’s mission.
  2. Provide opportunity for members and friends of Atonement to impact the congregation and its mission long-term.
  3. Encourage and receive gifts and bequests.
  4. Prudently manage the Endowment's principal including preservation of its purchasing power.  
  5. Help Atonement’s pastor, teachers, staff and members to think effectively about mission and program opportunities and to put forth proposals for action on these visions.
  6. Annually fund one or more proposals that are supplementary to the church budget.

                This statement of purpose intentionally imposes no particular order or set of priorities on what the Endowment Program will support. The following list is illustrative and in no particular order: educational ministries, missions, human care needs, music, pilot projects, worship, general capital improvements, building maintenance, and building and grounds renovation.

III. Leadership and Administrative Structure for Atonement Endowment Program

                A five person subcommittee of the Stewardship Committee (Cheryl Arnold, Paul Dunker, Bernie Erven, Debbie Luttrell and Erika Senk) developed the endowment proposal.

                The Stewardship Committee will be responsible for the overall leadership and administration of the Endowment Program. This will include:

  1. Promoting the Endowment Program and growing the endowment principal.
  2. Developing and administering gift acceptance guidelines.
  3. Managing all assets received as gifts or earnings from the Program's funds.
  4. Selecting and working closely with a fund manager.
  5. Determining when awards from the endowment will be made.
  6. Determining the total amount of awards to be granted each year.
  7. Reporting annually to Council and Voters' Assembly on the functioning and progress of the Program.
  8. Proposing to Council any needed changes in guiding principles, procedures and organizational structure.

          A five-person Awards Committee appointed by Council will publicize the availability of endowment monies to be awarded in the coming year, receive project proposals from staff and members and select proposals to be funded following guidelines included in the proposal.

 

IV. Options for Giving to the Endowment Fund

                Donors to the Endowment Program principal will have the option of making restricted or unrestricted gifts.   Unrestricted gifts will be added to the Fund's principal and earnings will be used to support selected projects. Earnings from restricted funds will be used only for the purposes specified when the funds were established. Three restricted funds will be available: Temporarily Restricted, e.g., a building fund, Permanently Restricted by a Donor of $50,000 or more, e.g., donor designated Pre-School Scholarship Fund, and Permanently Restricted, e.g., Building and Grounds Maintenance Fund.

                This table summarizes how designated and various endowed options differ from each other:

 

Category of Gift

Both Principal and Earnings Used Up?

Principal Held In:

Who Decides How to Use?

1

Designated gift

Yes

ALC Savings Account

Council and Treasurer

2

Endowment Permanently Unrestricted

No

Endowment Fund

Awards Committee from proposals received

3

Endowment Temporarily Restricted

Yes

Endowment Fund

Stewardship Committee and Council

4

Endowment Permanently Restricted

by Donor

No

Endowment Fund

Donor of $50,000 or More and Stewardship Committee

5

Endowment Permanently Restricted by Voters Assembly

No

Endowment Fund

Voters Assembly

                The Stewardship Committee will accept gifts and bequests on behalf of ALC and the Endowment Program. There will be no minimum required monetary value for gifts, limitation on frequency of gifts or number of donors that can together give a single gift. Gifts with proposed restrictions inconsistent with the Endowment Program guidelines will be reviewed by the Stewardship Committee.

V. Administration of the Endowment Fund

                The Stewardship Committee will propose an investment policy to be approved by Church Council. The investment policy will explicitly address the need for limitations on the type and manner of investments. The investment policy will also provide guidelines for preservation of the Endowment Principal's buying power. The investment policy will be reviewed and updated as needed every three years.

                The Stewardship Committee is required by the asset management procedures to contract with an outside, experienced and proven organization to manage the financial assets of the Endowment Program. This contracted financial manager cannot be a person within the congregation. The contracted external custodian firm, financial institution or investment management company will professionally manage the deposited funds of the Program. The Stewardship Committee will formally audit and review the contracted professional entity's performance every three years or more often if thought appropriate by the Stewardship Committee.   Results of audits and reviews will be reported to Church Council and the Voters Assembly.

 

VI. Fund Distribution Procedures

                Support of Atonement's mission is the defined purpose of the Endowment Program. The Awards Committee will make its choices for funding primarily on the basis of the proposals' demonstrated grace, creativity and passion for the proposed uses of awards funds. Merit of proposals will drive awards; there is no goal of taking turns for rewards among various Atonement ministry programs. More than project start up or single year funding is allowed. Nevertheless, no project or ministry should become dependent on Endowment funding long term.    

                The following are explicitly excluded from possible use of the Endowment Fund Principal: (a) Support of the church operating budget, (b) Cover of operating deficits previously accumulated and (c) Help in addressing financial crises stemming from dire circumstances.

                Traditionally, new endowment programs specify a minimum principal balance that must be reached before any awards are made. For the Atonement Endowment Program, at least one project award starting the first year of the Endowment Program will be made. This award will establish immediately that the storing up of treasure here on earth is never to become the Program's goal. Instead, the Stewardship Committee will seek special gifts totaling $300 designated for distribution starting within one year of Program approval by Voters Assembly.

VII. Other Policies and Procedures

                The Endowment Program's intended duration is for as long as there is an Atonement Lutheran Church.

                The Stewardship Committee is authorized to make occasional minor changes in operational details of the Endowment Program. To make major changes in the Endowment Program , a super-majority of 75% of the eligible voters must vote in favor in two consecutive Voters Meetings that are separated by at least 30 days.