Monday, November 1, 2010

Generosity is giving freely

Some give freely, yet grow all the richer;
others withhold what is due,
and only suffer want. (Proverbs 11:24 – NRSV)

What would our church do if we were given a gift of $250,000 - $500,000 or more?

A) Laugh, and say, “It can’t be true!”
B) Keep it quiet so that we always have the money “just in case.”
C) Spend it almost as quickly as it came in. After all, we need a new roof, new carpet, new drapes, and handicap accessible rest rooms.
D) Dream of new ways God is calling us to be in ministry.
E) All of the above.

Believe it or not, we’ve recently received news of a number of gifts of this size made through wills and bequests from people who are faithful members and friends of churches of all sizes. In an effort to be true to the intentions of their generous donors, these congregations have not given in to the temptation to spend these large gifts outright. In some cases, the donor has requested that the gift be placed in an ENDOWMENT account. In other cases, the gift was totally undesignated, and the church decided to give a tithe to missions, another percentage to the church council to determine how best to use, and to invest the remaining amount (70-80%) in an endowment fund.

An endowment is a forever gift. It is an investment account which preserves the original principal of the gift, and uses all or a portion of the income and growth earned on the investment for mission and ministry. Scholarships, mission funds, youth ministry funds, capital improvement funds, and pastoral education funds are just a few of the needs that are met through the many endowment funds invested here at the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation.

Some people prefer to see how their gifts are being used right now. Others prefer to have their gifts invested and used over the course of time. Both are wonderful acts of generosity. If giving wholeheartedly in 2010 means you feel called to establish an Endowment Fund to benefit the ministry of a specific church or ministry in perpetuity, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.

--adapted from the WI Ann Conf newsletter

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Producer

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