Endowment Funds in Use: St. John Lutheran, Kendallville

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I can write until the cows come home about why to have to an endowment, how to give to an endowment, and how to spend that endowment, even created a video on endowments, but I thought I would share endowments in action- how some of our Partner schools are using their endowments.

Last year we highlighted Zion Lutheran School in Decatur and St. Peter’s Lutheran in Fort Wayne and some projects that were planned or made possible by donors in the past to their endowment funds.

Every third Wednesday of the month I have the opportunity of a 1-on-1 mentoring and coaching meeting with Tim Walz, principal at St. John Lutheran in Kendallville. Since they do not have a dedicated staff member responsible for fundraising efforts, Tim understands that he needs to add another hat to his rack and help lead the charge.

Tim explains that their first priority for their endowment fund proceeds includes scholarship awards for students in grades K-5. Why just K-5? The original donor of this particular endowment account at St. John’s designated the funds in this way, and it is the school’s responsibility to adhere to the original donor’s wishes.

The second priority for their other endowment proceeds is general operating support. Sometimes it is a line item, other times the endowment distribution may target a specific expense item. Thanks to donors in the past, St. John’s can augment their needs with these funds, forever!

Sure, they like to keep it simple, but just think: at some point, their endowment fund could be large enough to cover 25%, 50%, even 100% of the general costs to operate one of their largest ministries of St. John’s Lutheran Church, the school!

Thanks to donors every year to the matching challenge provided by The Lutheran Foundation, that day may come. Thanks for supporting the long-term goals of schools like St. John’s in Kendallville. Donors can remember the endowment in their estate plans or can give now before June 1 to participate in the double match.

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