February 29, 2024 by Aline Sun
February 8, 2024 by Demi Prentiss

In this new blog series on “Reframing Assets”, we hear how four churches adjusted their thinking about their finances after Covid – reimagining assets, uncovering riches beyond the balance sheet, and charting a new course for ministry. In 2019 these churches shared plans to repurpose assets for ministry. Now, they update us on the critical four years since then, sharing lessons learned, insightful examples, and practical strategies for financial adaptation, asset realignment, and visionary stewardship. Learn how they seek to breathe new life into their community and thrive amidst change.

Continue reading...

January 11, 2024 by Demi Prentiss

In September 2019, churches were just beginning to recognize the shifts in demographics and culture that became indelibly apparent to, literally, the entire world once the Covid pandemic struck. Nearly four years ago, in a “Vestry Papers” article, ECF featured the innovative strategies some church leaders were discovering to assist in funding ministry and their endowments.

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments, Finance
November 29, 2023 by Aline Sun

What are active and passive investing?

The question of active or passive investing – which to use, which is better? – may have begun decades ago but remains a hotly debated topic today. What is active investing? It is an investment method that relies on skilled managers to research and select investments that are expected to generate higher returns than the broader market. By contrast, passive investing seeks simply to replicate a market index, often at low cost, gaining returns comparable to that of the broader market.

Continue reading...

Topics: Finance, Endowments
October 5, 2023 by Juliette Acker

A sustainable endowment depends on wise spending. Do you need to take a fresh look at how you make spending decisions at your church? In the following infographic, we clarify five common misconceptions that may affect your endowment spending decisions.

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments, Finance
September 21, 2023 by Aline Sun

Endowment funds are long-term funds, and they are appropriately invested in diversified portfolios of varying asset classes based on expectations about how each asset class will perform over the long term – typically, 10 years or more. Asset classes in an endowment portfolio will likely include equities and fixed income, US and international, large caps and small caps, and so on.

Continue reading...

Topics: Finance, Endowments
June 29, 2023 by Juliette Acker

An endowment is a powerful tool for churches to use to achieve long-term financial stability. An endowment is money designated for the long term to serve both current and future needs. A portion of the endowment can be used each year to support the church’s mission while the remaining amount helps ensure its long-term sustainability. In this post, we will discuss three critical aspects of structuring an effective endowment fund: organizing, investing, and growing.

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments
June 15, 2023 by Aline Sun

More than 15 years ago when my mom passed away, I started a small endowment to fund the upkeep of her plot. This endowment is invested for the long-term to preserve its purchasing power and provide a stable income stream that will ensure my mom’s grave is well taken care of in my lifetime, in her grandchildren’s lifetime, and even beyond. Knowing this brings me great comfort each and every night before I go to sleep.

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments
June 1, 2023 by Anne Richardson

A new energy is springing up in churches looking to inspire new gifts to endowment. We’ve recently talked to several churches who are making plans for an endowment campaign, whether to grow an existing endowment or start a new one. While there are several steps to success, in this blog post we’ll focus on one: engaging parishioners by telling the impact story of your church so far and linking that to a future vision.

Continue reading...

May 17, 2023 by Josh Anderson

In Investing in the Future, Josh Anderson, Associate Program Director, ECF Endowment Management, outlines five things prospective donors want to know about your endowment.

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments, Finance
March 30, 2023 by Juliette Acker

Success doesn’t just happen; we must plan for it. Many churches have an endowment fund, but not all have the markers of success. At ECF, we encourage churches to act intentionally and proactively to build a successful and sustainable endowment that engages the vestry, the endowment committee, and the whole church community. It’s important to continually assess your endowment strategy especially if an endowment lacks organization, if it is not growing with new gifts, or if many church members are unaware of the endowment’s existence or purpose.

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments, Finance
November 4, 2022 by Juliette Acker

The importance of legacy is firmly rooted in the minds and hearts of the parishioners of All Saints Episcopal Church in Tarpon Springs, FL. I interviewed The Reverend Janet Tunnell, the rector, James Rissler, chair of the Funding our Future committee, and Ellen Lightner, chair of the Perpetual Light Legacy Society, to learn how creating a legacy society helped and is continuing to help All Saints grow the church’s endowment for the future.

Continue reading...

July 11, 2022 by Carsten Sierck

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29: 18

Would you give money to a cause not knowing how it would be spent? Most people give to causes that affirm their cherished values, but donors are more likely to give when they know an organization will use their gift wisely … and believe the gift will make a difference. Churches face increasing competition for the time, attention, and money of their parishioners. Donors who care will give when they are moved by your mission, understand your plans, and trust you.

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments, Finance
May 13, 2022 by Carsten Sierck

Do you believe in the mission and work of your church? Would you like to help your church ensure that it can serve people for years to come? If you answered yes, then you believe in the benefits of an endowment. An endowment provides financial support that can impact your community far into the future. It can build the vitality of your church and create stronger bonds with your surrounding community through the ministries your church creates and supports.

Continue reading...

March 1, 2022 by Josh Anderson

I’m not sure about you, but I struggle with this stretch of the winter. This part of the year recalls images of Narnia prior to the fulfillment of the Golden Age Prophecy which saw the return of spring to a world suffering in a state of constant winter, never Christmas.

Continue reading...

March 20, 2019 by Melissa Rau

This month, we are highlighting five resources that can help your faith community invest in and maintain an endowment. Who else do you know who might appreciate these articles? Please share and extend an invitation to subscribe to ECF Vital Practices to receive Vestry Papers and the monthly digest.

1. In Four Steps to Maintain and Increase Your Endowment, Jerry Keucher shares the Dos and Don’ts of how to use your church’s endowment. If your church in considering establishing an endowment or wondering how an endowment might be beneficial, this is a very helpful read.

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments, Finance
April 25, 2018 by Melissa Rau

This month we are highlighting five resources to help your vestry or other church groups learn more about effective endowment management. Please share this digest with new members of your vestry, and extend an invitation to subscribe to ECF Vital Practices to receive Vestry Papers and the monthly digest.

1. An "Endow your Pledge" Campaign
In order for most traditional churches to function, they depend on the generosity of their parishioners in the form of pledges. What would it look like if some were to guarantee their annual pledge in perpetuity? In An "Endow your Pledge" Campaign, Deborah Kelly shares how her church educated and invited parishioners to think about endowing their pledge.

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments, Finance
November 17, 2016 by Brendon Hunter

In the November Vital Practices Digest, we offer 5 resources for creating and growing endowments, practicing good oversight, and establishing year-round stewardship in your congregation.

It’s easy and free to receive more great resources for your congregation. Subscribe to ECF Vital Practices to receive Vestry Papers and this Vital Practices Digest in your inbox each month.

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments, Finance
August 19, 2015 by Brendon Hunter

Building a Legacy for Future Ministry

In the August Vital Practices Digest, we offer five resources related to planned giving. As always, our fifth resource suggests a way to strengthen your practice of year-round stewardship.

It’s easy and free to connect with these resources for your congregation. Subscribe to ECF Vital Practices and receive Vestry Papers and this Vital Practices Digest in your inbox each month.

Continue reading...

March 18, 2014 by Erin Weber-Johnson
How an invitation or gift is received can be a telling indicator….
I live in small city. The other night I was coming out of a restaurant with some girl friends and found a wallet on the ground near my car. I looked inside and found a cell phone and credit cards. 
Wallet in hand, I got in my car and headed home, intending to call the owner. I got as far as Grand Avenue, the main street in St. Paul. There I saw a police car parked on the side of the road. “Wonderful timing!” I thought and pulled over. 
I got out of my car and motioned to the police officer to do the same. Explaining my situation, I handed the officer the wallet and asked if he would take care of it. The officer declined, saying he worked in the narcotics division and that his protocol required that he file it as evidence rather then call the owner.
After thanking the policeman, I got back in my car and drove home. Using the owner’s phone, I was able to look through the stored contacts until I found the wallet’s owner. Within a couple hours, the wallet had been returned to its owner. 

Continue reading...

Topics: Endowments