An endowment is a bottomless piggy bank for charity, a pool of invested money designed to produce income that can be used for future needs. At best an endowment is an extra source of money, a research and development fund, venture capital for local, regional and international ministries. The first endowment in the history of our country was an investment in the future. It was begun in 1638 by a Puritan Minister who gave half of his estate to help establish the nation’s first college. His name was John Harvard.
By creating a personal endowment fund bearing your name or someone special, you continue to permanently practice generosity to the Christian causes you choose. The principal of the fund is never spent and the income from the fund is distributed to Christian causes most important to you, each year.
The idea behind a church endowment is to create income a church can use for its mission without spending principal. It is a method of generosity that guarantees a church will have money to carry out its God-given tasks in perpetuity.
If current giving patterns persist into the 21st century, churches will find it difficult to fund their ministries solely on regular undesignated offerings. In order for churches to be fully funded, they may need to create endowments and solicit designated contributions for special ministries or events.
With a modified endowment fund, you may select the term of years (five minimum or greater) that the endowment is to last. For example, on a 15 year term endowment, 1/15th of the fund will be distributed in the first year, 1/14th in the 2nd year, 1/13th in the 3rd year, etc. Contributions are fully tax-deductible when made, and the fund may be added to at any time.
If you need assistance creating or managing an endowment (personal, church or modified), contact the North Carolina Baptist Foundation. We can provide you with legal documents and encouragement that will help you state a purpose for your fund, outline how it will be administered and how income generated by the fund is to be used. Since our founding 100 years ago we have been partners with North Carolina Baptist churches to advance their efforts, honor their generosity, and promote Kingdom growth.