An endowment is a permanent fund that has been established by a donor or by the church to provide a perpetual stream of income designated for a general or specific purpose. In most cases the principal of the endowment cannot be distributed except under very dire circumstances.
Arguments have been made that endowments detract from current giving. In reality, a well-established endowment policy will provide funds for ministry over and beyond the current-expense budget. Therefore the church or agency will be able to engage in outreach ministries that would otherwise go unfunded.
To the church or agency
The first step in establishing an endowment is to create a committee of interested individuals to explore various opportunities that can be empowered by an endowment. In some cases, the bequest of an individual causes the church or agency to consider establishing a permanent fund.
The United Methodist Book of Discipline provides for the manner in which a Permanent
Endowment Fund Committee is to be established and the duties that it should encompass.
Book of Discipline ¶ 2534
Staff members of the United Methodist Foundation are available to provide personalized service at your church or agency to assist with the establishment of an endowment fund. This service is provided at no cost to your church or agency.
The following is a partial list of the services we can provide.
If there are any other questions or comments about endowments that you would like to discuss, please send us an email.
United Methodist Foundation
of Western Pennsylvania
223 Fourth Avenue, Suite 707
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
The Foundation is a ministry established to provide United Methodists with the resources to accomplish collectively more than can be accomplished alone. We act in accordance with our mission statement and a funds management approach that is based on a Biblical, theologically sound form of Christian stewardship.