An endowment is an investment fund where the principal amount invested remains intact, and the earned income is used according to the instructions created by the local church or donor. The income can be designated for a specific purpose or undesignated. In most churches, the dividend and interest income from the investment, or a set percentage of the value of the fund, is available to spend on an annual basis. A healthy endowment can provide a source of funds – beyond the annual budget – for opportunities in operations, outreach, and a hedge against challenging economic times.
With an endowment and planned giving program, your church sends the optimistic message that they will be here tomorrow to reach new disciples, they will be here tomorrow to encourage those disciples to put their gifts to work, they will be here tomorrow to put God’s love into action, and they will be here tomorrow to do their part to heal a hurting world. Gifts to endowment programs literally do “keep on giving,” leaving a legacy to your family, your friends, and your church.