The HOW of Endowments

Posted on May 23, 2014 by Jon Dize - Funding the Mission

In February, I wrote about endowments, The Lutheran Foundation's ongoing efforts to match endowment funds for our area Lutheran schools, and why every school and every school board should be focused on raising these needed funds.Now that I have convinced you why to support an endowment, I suppose you would like to know how to move forward...First and foremost, you need a plan. I love plans. You can't get where you want to go without a plan to get there. Below are some basic pieces we suggest for your plan:Begin with a GOAL. Below are some useful guidelines: Start with The Lutheran Foundation's goal for your school. Their match is $1-to-$1, so your minimum goal should be their challenge match amount in order to maximize the potential return. If you do not know the Foundation's goal for your school, shoot me an email. Start with a program's funding as your goal. Want to provide for $50,000 in scholarships every year? $1,000,000 is your goal (rule of 5%). Want to pay for that new Enrollment Coordinator position that The Lutheran Schools Partnership is talking about? Maybe $250,000 is right. Want to make sure $5,000 goes to Costa Rica missions every year? $100,000 will do it. Start with a minimum in mind. Maximum? The skys the limit with this fundraising system! Do not limit yourself.Next, you must PROMOTE the endowment: Promote the endowment in general. Previous eNewsletters have highlighted the "why" of endowments. Promote the impact that endowments can provide. Promote what you will use the funds for. Talk about your goals. Promote past gifts to your endowment, who made the gift, the impact it made, etc. Promote how to give to the endowment. Add it to the offering envelope, have brochures in the narthex, list it on your website, etc. Need more promotional ideas? Ask away!Last, (arguably, first!), you need MANAGEMENT of the process: Management should come from an endowment committee. Manage the process with an Endowment Policy. I love helping creating policies for endowments, gift acceptance, distribution, investing, and segregated funds. Manage the investment. We suggest partnering with the The Lutheran Foundation. Can't beat their expertise and economies of scale. Manage the promotion as listed above. Fundraising staff, fundraising committees, board members, called staff, etc. Keep it in front of everyone.As always, I am here to help with any and all of these areas. Contact me or 260-203-4510.