Planned Giving at the First Congregational Church of Holliston
1 Chronicles 29:12-14
Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.
What is Endowment?
Endowment is money and other assets put into trust to be used for the ongoing maintenance of the church’s ministry, operations, missions and physical structure. Endowment, together with the annual stewardship appeal and capital campaigns, form the three main sources of church financing. Endowment is different from stewardship and capital campaigns in that a relatively small portion of the funds are distributed each year giving endowment a long-time horizon that benefits not only the current congregations but future generations as well.
What Funds Make Up Endowment?
The church’s endowment dates to 1829 when the Eames Ministerial Fund was established for the “maintenance of a minister”. The endowment has grown to include many funds. The largest group of funds is general endowment funds to be used as the church may request. The second largest group is for major repair. Other groups include charitable/mission funds and education funds. A complete listing of the funds is published annually and is available at the church office.
How has Endowment Benefited the Church Recently?
During over the last three years the Endowment Committee has disbursed funds for the following purposes.
At our May 29th meeting, the Endowment Committee voted for the disbursement of the entire amount available from the General Major Repair Fund of $18,065 toward the renovation, repair and repainting of the North (Right) Side of the Church.
The largest distribution from Endowment recently was in 2017 when $19,894 was disbursed from the General Major Repair fund to replace the boiler and $11,503 for repairs to the barn. Additional disbursements of $13,400 were made for a total of $44,797.
The Endowment Trustees determined that the distribution policy of the unrestricted funds was too conservative and outdated. At the 2006 annual meeting the Trustees proposed, and the membership approved a new Endowment Policy which allows for 4% of the 3-year average September 30 value of the unrestricted funds to be distributed. This will result in a larger and more predictable distribution to the church’s general fund. It is anticipated that the distribution for 2015 will be $10,000. This can increase as we receive more endowment gifts and the overall performance of the fund continues to increase.
How Are the Funds Managed?
Approximately 84% of the Endowment money is currently managed by Fidelity Investments as part of over $4 billion of Endowment money they manage. About 70% of the Fidelity managed money is invested in 17 stock funds and 30% is invested in 6 bond funds. The allocation is intended to let us benefit from an upswing in stock values while being protected from a downswing.
The 16% balance of funds is managed through the UCC. A little over one half is in a conservative bond fund large capitalization stock fund with the balance in large capitalization stock fund.
How Can I Give to Endowment?
There are many ways to give to Endowment. Here we’ve listed the general categories. We encourage you to please talk to an Endowment Trustee about the option that is best for you.
Give a gift – Gifts are money, stocks, bonds, other financial instruments or real property given during the lifetime of the donor.
Gift Annuities – Gift annuities allow the donor to receive income and tax advantages. Recent legislative changes allow charitable organization to receive distributions from IRA’s.
Bequest – Bequests are made through the will or trust of a deceased donor. Would you consider looking at your will or insurance policy, and allocating an amount to the UCC? This is a wonderful way to give. See “The 1728 Society” section below for more information.
Named Funds – These are gifts in honor of loved ones. See the “Named Funds” section below for more information.
The 1728 Society
The First Congregational Church of Holliston’s Endowment’s Fund has established the 1728 Society to celebrate those members, and friends who include the Church’s Endowment in their estate plans. When you name the Church’s Endowment as a beneficiary in your charitable gift planning, you will receive special recognition as a member of the 1728 Society.
The 1728 Society, established in 2019, was named in honor of the year the first “meeting house” which was built and opened on what is now Jordan Hall. It served the congregation, without heat and backless pews for over 100 years. In 1822, a new church was built on its present location, using lumber from the original meeting house. In 1823, a clock and bell were donated. The bell still remains and is rung every Sunday before service. The church was enlarged and expanded in 1849 and 1859.
You have the opportunity to allow the church to continue to expand in a very easy way. Click here to find out ways you can name the Endowment Fund in your estate and you will become a member of the 1728 Society, knowing that you are contributing to the long-term health of the church which had a town built around it. Click here to fill out the Donor Information Form.
Gifts in honor or memory of loved ones may be used to establish a Named Fund. A minimum of $1,000 is required for an Unrestricted Named Fund within the General Endowment Fund. Gifts of less than $1,000 in the aggregate will be placed in the General Endowment Fund.
A minimum of $5,000 is required for a Named Fund with a designated purpose and restrictions such that it would not be part of the General Endowment Fund.
Why Give to Endowment?
As Christians we are taught that all that we have comes from God as a blessing. We are commanded to share our blessings and give generously. Giving to Endowment allows us to give back to God a little of what God has given us and helps insure the continued ministry and missions of our church.
1 Timothy 6: 17-19
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
“Help build our church of tomorrow, by planning today.”
Endowment Trustees – Bruce Chapin, Jerry McCue, Garth Fondo, Matt Putvinski & Cathy Godfrey
To discuss a bequest or gift to the Endowment fund, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org