The Finance and Stewardship Committee is responsible for, and has oversight and direction of all church corporate and financial matters, including, the Annual Stewardship Campaign, Endowment Fund operations, and any Capital Campaigns. The committee is also responsible for the coordination and encouragement of the time, talent and financial involvement of members. Finance and Stewardship is led by Virginia Walter, Chair, and Steve Lumm, Vice Chair.
 
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We continue our new opportunities for giving with the theme: Let’s Gather a Feast and 12 Baskets More— Enough to Live, Grow and Thrive. To Live: through our annual stewardship giving. To Grow: through our future capital campaign needed for property improvements. To Thrive: through our endowment and planned giving opportunities. Christian stewardship helps us understand what Christ taught His believers. In Matthew 25: 14–30, Christ encourages us to use the gifts and talents which He has given us to the best of our abilities. 

Endowment: Enough To Thrive

One priority of the Endowment Committee is to educate First Presbyterian Church members about the variety of planned giving opportunities available to help provide for the present and future financial stability and enrichment of our church. The Endowment Fund is charged with expanding the work of Christ in the church.

ENDOWMENT FUND Q & A

Q: WHAT EXACTLY IS THE FPCSLO ENDOWMENT FUND?         

A: Put simply, the Endowment Fund is a “pool” of money received by the church from members in the form of bequests, memorials, trusts, assignments of life insurance, transfers of property (e.g.: cash, stocks, bonds, and real estate) and other gifts.  The total amount (or principal) of these gifts is carefully invested with the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation.  Most years, a pre-determined percentage of the Fund’s value is withdrawn.  The money we pull out is made available for special needs of our church that fall outside of the ordinary operating budget and regular expenses.  In for 2014, 4.0% or $17,907 and for 2015, 3.8% or $19,454 has been distributed from the ENDOWMENT FUND for the benefit of various Church programs, in accordance with the purposes of the original gifts.

Q: WHY DOES OUR CHURCH HAVE AN ENDOWMENT FUND?    

A: Our Church’s Session established the Endowment Fund in 1998 as a vehicle for receiving and administering gifts to the Church. By allowing a way to “pool” many individual gifts, the Endowment Fund assists Christian stewards in not only achieving, but also enhancing their Planned giving objectives and personal wishes with regards to the present and future activities of our Church. Whether designated for a specific purpose or for general use, each new contribution to the Fund adds to our protected, long-term Endowment ”reservoir” which will help ensure our church’s financial stability, and provide additional resources to continue expanding Christ’s work in and through the church.

Q: WHO MANAGES OUR ENDOWMENT FUND?

A: We invest all money in the FPCSLO Endowment Fund with the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation which professionally manages our assets. This allows our church to take full advantage of the Foundation’s low operating costs, consistent professional financial management, complete diversification, and responsible and sustainable investments, with the added security of local control of investments. The Foundation has been serving the church for over 200 years through the cultivation and management of gifts, and currently manages in excess of $1.2 billion in assets, entrusted to them from Presbyterians around the world.

Q: HOW ARE FPCSLO ENDOWMENT FUND ASSETS USED?

A: There are five major categories that receive, usually annually, allotments from our Endowment Fund. These include CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, YOUTH-RELATED Programs, MUSIC & WORSHIP activities MISSIONS and GENERAL FUND.  While giving a gift to benefit one of these generic categories allows maximum flexibility to support our pre-determined needs, it’s also possible to designate a very specific purpose, such as the McQuaid fund specified for choir related activities, or the Jennie & Oliver Hill Memorial Fund dedicated to social injustice projects. Unspecified gifts are used as needed to fulfill other needs as decided by the Session.

Q: WHY SHOULD I GIVE TO THE FPCSLO ENDOWMENT FUND?

A: As Presbyterians, we celebrate our faith in many ways— through worship, mission and sharing. Sharing our wealth, both spiritually and materially, is one of the cornerstone principles of our Presbyterian heritage. Reaching out and extending our blessings beyond our own lives is an intrinsic part of our stewardship. As we embrace our material blessings, we must also accept the responsibility of God’s gifts to us by using them wisely. That’s where the Endowment Fund can be of help. You can extend your stewardship, and accomplish your hopes and goals for the Church during and/or beyond your lifetime with a gift to the FPCSLO Endowment Fund. It can be as simple as just naming the Church as a beneficiary in your will, or you can make use of a variety of long term planned-giving options that may also allow financial and tax-related advantages for you or your loved ones.  But fundamentally, the joy of giving is not based in “how,” or even “how much.” Choosing to contribute to the Endowment Fund is simply about sharing from the abundance we receive from God, and working together to achieve a common goal – carrying forward the mission of Christ in and through our Church

Q: IN WHAT WAYS CAN I GIVE TO THE FPCSLO ENDOWMENT FUND?

A: Gifts to the First Presbyterian Church through the Endowment Fund can be made in a variety of ways – from simple cash bequests and memorials, to permanent funds or life income plans, depending on your goals and individual situation.

  • CASH is the most common form of charitable giving due to the simplicity and ease of delivery.
  • TRANSFER of securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) and ASSIGNMENT of Life insurance Policies and lRAs are also attractive ways to give, often providing greater tax benefits to the donor than a simple gift of cash. REAL ESTATE provides a unique gift opportunity. (Do you know you can make a gift of your home and still retain the use of it during your lifetime?)
  • DESIGNATE a bank account, the simplest way to give, and you retain control.
  • There are also a variety of LIFE INCOME PLANNING tools that enable you to provide for the present and future of our church while allowing income for you or your loved ones. These include (but are not limited to) Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Gift Annuities, Pooled Income Funds, Permanent Funds and Family Foundations.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to contribute to the Fund. Some of our current endowments were started with gifts of modest sums that have grown over the years. As with all financial decisions, anyone considering stewardship using one of the above methods should seek appropriate tax, legal or financial counsel. If you don’t currently have an advisor, the Endowment Committee or Church office can suggest professionals in this area who can provide these services.

Q: How can I give to the future work of the Church and assure my financial security at the same time?

A: Life Income Plans can provide income to the donors, tax benefits, as well as professional management of funds together with a new way to support the Church’s work.

Q:  WHO MAKES THE DECISION on how my gift will be used?   

A: You do! And what better time to further your desires and goals for our Church than December, as we celebrate the birth of Christ our Lord. Your tax deductible, year-end Endowment gift can be designated for broad areas of mission or ministry, you can specify a particular need or cause that you support, or you can leave your gift undesignated. If you desire, the FPCSLO Endowment Committee can make suggestions on appropriate allocations on your behalf, under the oversight and discretion of the Church Session.

THESE planned giving pathways can provide maximum personal benefit for you and your family and can minimize taxes, while creating a lasting gift – through the First Presbyterian Church’s Endowment Fund – for expanding the work of Christ in our Church. briefly covers a number of the options available has been created by the Endowment Committee, and will mailed to all members this month for consideration during your year-end tax planning.

Q:  WHERE CAN I OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION?   

A:  lf you are currently doing tax or estate planning and/or feel led to include a gift to the First Presbyterian Church of San Luis Obispo in your financial or estate planning, please contact any member of the Endowment Committee listed below.  Members of the Endowment/Planned Giving Committee (2016):  John Eichler, Jane Maxwell, Bert Townsend, Dorothy Truesdale, Roger Verity, Virginia Walter 

You may also go to the Presbyterian Foundation website: presbyterianfoundation.org/resources

These articles were adapted from the work of Robin Dudley, first published in the Kirk in 2003 and 2014.