The endowment is a protected pool of money that is invested to produce income without invading principal. It makes money from its socially conscious investments, and some of the money it makes comes back to the church. It is designed to grow year after year, so that it becomes a significant source of financial security for this congregation in the future. An endowment can help a congregation weather lean or even dangerous times, such as a recession, and in healthy times it can help us launch new projects.
How Can I Support Our Endowment Fund or Become a Keeper of the Flame?
The Endowment at First Unitarian relies primarily on planned giving. Gifts to the Fund are tax deductible (TIN 85-0134789) and can take many forms:
- Cash or securities
- Insurance policies or retirement plans
- Real Estate
A gift of $10,000 or more can be used to set up a Charitable Gift Annuity, a vehicle that allows a donor to realize income. This is an excellent way to roll over tax-free bonds.
Gifts of $50,000 or more may be restricted by the donor as to the purpose for which income is used. Currently there are two such funds, the Banks-Curtis Fund supports youth educational programs, recommended by the RE Committee. The Music Fund supports special projects in the church’s music program.
All gifts to the endowment need to be capable of easy liquidation; i.e. not difficult to convert to cash in a reasonable period of time.
How Do I Become a Keeper of the Flame?
Download this form and mail it or drop it off in the church office.
Members of the congregation are encouraged to remember the church in their estate plans, once their loved ones are taken care of. When the church receives a bequest it goes directly to the endowment fund. Individuals who have informed the Endowment Committee that the church has been named in their estate plans are celebrated as Keepers of the Flame. Periodic events are held to celebrate these individuals, a plaque honoring these members is mounted in the foyer of the social hall, and their stories are documented here.
How is Income From the Endowment Used?
Four percent of the Endowment Fund’s unrestricted assets is contributed to the church’s operating budget annually, based on a formula that preserves the buying power of the its assets.
Who Manages the Fund and How Is It Invested?
The Endowment Committee is an elected committee of the board which provides oversight of the Fund and promotes its growth. First Unitarian’s Endowment Fund is pooled with the endowments of other UU churches in the Unitarian Universalist Common Endowment Fund, which allows greater return and lower management fees than would be the case if it were invested by itself. The Common Fund investment strategy is one that is generally described as socially responsible, i.e. no munitions, alcohol, abusive labor practices, etc.
In the event the church should dissolve, assets of the Endowment Fund will be distributed to the Unitarian Universalist Association or its successor.
Please request your attorney to specify that the gift is to the Endowment Fund of the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque in an amount specific or a percentage of the estate or asset.