Perhaps the 7 Lean Years are Here

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Endowment Definitions:

  • A fund subject to a requirement that the principal is maintained intact and invested to create an ongoing source of income for an organization.
  • Current donations keep the doors open, but endowments build long-term foundations.
  • If you want shade today, plant a tree 20 years ago.
  • Proverbs 30:25: “Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.”

The Lutheran Schools Partnership has been a long-time advocate of amassing Endowment Funds for several reasons:

  • to cover costs for a building expansion.
  • to cover the costs for a need that wasn’t anticipated or in the budget, like a teacher’s aide or a boiler on the fritz.
  • Just think if you had endowment funds to cover your costs or fund all scholarship needs… you wouldn’t need School Choice scholarships!
  • For nearly a decade The Lutheran Foundation has provided a matching endowment challenge to help our 19 schools encourage endowment gifts and build their endowments faster.
  • See past articles here, here, here, and here (or go to here and search for “endowment.”)

In Genesis 41, we read of Pharaoh’s dream of seven cows sleek and fat, and seven cows ugly and gaunt who eventually ate up the sleek, fat cows. Joseph (through God’s handiwork) was able to provide the interpretation of those dreams, created a system that kept 20% of their abundance aside for the upcoming famine, and rose the ranks of authority.

Save 20% a year now to ensure you have what you need when you will have nothing to get you by until times are better.

With uncertainty surrounding the continuing impact of COVID, requirements for building cleansing and new security measures (screens, continuous cleaning of surfaces, etc.), tech upgrades for non-building instruction, and lower enrollment if families choose to remove students from our schools, now seems like a great time for school leadership to consider how best to use the funds raised during the good times and matches to help us get past these current, and hopefully temporary, times!

Just as Jesus outstretched his hand to Peter (Matthew 14:31) and told the waters to “Be still!” after his followers awoke him (Mark 4:40), we need to have faith that God has used the forethought of donors and leaders in the past to provide what we need now and will provide for what we need to continue into the future.

Have faith, go ahead and use those endowment funds, take care of your needs, and plan for a time when things are back to normal.

Remember, the donors that directed funds from their estate to your endowment or gave to the endowment match wanted you to have those funds to spend when you needed them, so do so.


Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay