How to Set Up a Church Endowment Fund

An endowment fund is a traditional way for a nonprofit organization to support itself. Supporters of the organization provide money for the fund, which is invested with the proceeds going back to the organization. An endowment fund requires long-term planning, which is why it is a favorite investment vehicle of institutions such as colleges, museums and other organizations that expect to exist for many years into the future. Churches also are taking advantage of endowment funds, but they are finding that working with professionals is often the better way to create and manage the fund over a long period.


    • 1

      Discuss within the church the advantages and disadvantages of an endowment fund. Let both those who agree and those who disagree speak freely and frankly about their concerns.

    • 2

      Direct the governing body of the church to pass a resolution to start an endowment fund if an acceptable professional agency is found to work with the church.

    • 3

      Create a committee to interview agents from endowment fund companies. Analyze at least three companies and determine which policies and personnel seem the best for the church.

    • 4

      Pass a resolution by the governing body to commit the church to working with the recommended company. Review and sign any necessary paperwork to create a contractual relationship with the company and to create the endowment fund.

    • 5

      Revise the nature of the search committee to become an oversight committee that works with the professional company and the fund. It is important that the church leadership be a part of the committee and be answerable to the church.

    • 6

      Promote funding of the endowment fund throughout the church body. Provide literature to answer questions and give directions to the members as to how they can invest in the fund.

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