Called to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World
Leominster United Methodist Church
Friday, March 22, 2019
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.

Commonly Asked Questions

Commonly Asked Questions


Q:  Why was Permanent Endowment Fund Committee established?

A:  Over the years, the Leominster United Methodist Church has been blessed with a number of gifts.  In many churches, including ours, the Board of Trustees has discovered that once it fulfilled its responsibilities relative to church property, little time or energy remained to take care of these gifts..


In the fall of 2006, the Charge Conference endorsed the recommendation to establish the Leominster United Methodist Church Permanent Endowment Fund.  As part of this process, an Endowment Fund Committee (herein referred to as the Committee) has been put in place to manage this Fund.  This enables the Board of Trustees to be freed up to pursue other duties and ensure that the gifts received by the church are managed with the utmost care.


Q:  How long did it take the Committee to write the procedures?

A:  The Committee has been in place since December 2006.  They have been working on the procedures since that time.  Close to 100 man hours have been invested to complete this work.


Q:  Can I be part of this Committee moving forward?

A:  Yes, you can!  Due to the amount of work to get the program in place, a temporary Committee was put in place to complete the preliminary work..  Beginning early next year, a permanent Committee, made up of existing members and new members, will be put in place.  This team will be responsible for the management of our current Funds as well as the acceptance and investment of new gifts received by the Church.   This Committee will have similar time requirements as other church committees. It is expected that they will meet on a quarterly basis. If you are interested in participating, please contact Pastor Jo or James Stephen.


Q:  Did Church Members, the Church Council and Board of Trustees have an opportunity to give input before the procedures came to the Charge Conference for a vote?

A:  Yes.  Part of creating a good procedure is to get as much input as possible.  Team progress reports were given to both the Church Council and Board of Trustees on a regular basis.  During September, all Church Council and Board of Trustees members were given copies of the procedures to review and an opportunity to provide input and ask questions.  The procedures were also made available for review by any church member 3 weeks prior to the Charge Conference.


Q:  Will we be investing in funds that are socially responsible?

A:   All funds will be invested as outlined in the Social Principals of the United Methodist Church.   In order to meet this objective, the Committee is recommending that the bulk of the Fund is invested through the United Methodist Foundation of New England.  This Foundation oversees, and is in regular communication with professional money managers - (currently State Street Global Advisors - who have designed and implemented Funds that meet all of the Social Principals.  A portion of the Fund is already invested through the Foundation.


Q:  If there is an emergency, is there a way we can access the funds if needed?

A:  Yes.  An emergency procedure has been outlined as part of the Endowment and Investment Policy.   If an emergency were to occur, the Board of Trustees, LUMC Permanent Endowment Fund Committee and Pastor shall call an emergency meeting to determine the course of action.  A majority vote of those in attendance is needed to approve the course of action.  These extra expenditures will be reported to the Church Council at the next regular meeting.


Q:  How often will the Committee review our investments?  How will we know how much money will be available from the Fund?

A:  The committee will be reviewing our investment returns on a quarterly basis.  On a yearly basis (October), the Committee will report the estimated funds available and if they must be used for a specific purpose to the Finance Committee along with any other committees that may need this information to formulate their budget for the coming year.


Q:  We’ve heard you need to have a lot of money to donate to the Fund.  Can I donate, let’s say, $5?

A:   Donations of all sizes are graciously accepted.   For smaller donations, it is encouraged that the donations be made to one of 4 funds including the Create a Legacy Fund (General Endowment Fund), Building and Capital Projects Fund, Missions and Ministries Funds or Education and Grants Fund. 


Although all funds are invested with the intent to maintain the original gift in real dollars (the original gift plus inflation), this may not always be possible.   If you would like to restrict your gift to the use of income only, it is suggested, but not required, that a minimum donation of $25,000 is made. A gift of this size gives us enough income every year to complete the mission of the donation and have enough left over to keep the funds growing.


Q:  Can a gift be refused?

A:  Yes, a gift can be refused if it does not meet the objectives and management abilities of the Leominster United Methodist Church.  For example, if we received a gift of land that was a site heavily contaminated and designated a superfund site, the Committee would more than likely reject this gift.