CANNON ENDOWMENT FUND
``One generation will praise your works to the next one, proclaiming your mighty acts.`` Psalm 145:4
WHAT IS THE CANNON ENDOWMENT FUND?
Our Endowment Fund is a ministry established to provide members and friends of Cannon United Methodist Church with the opportunity to make charitable gifts to the church that will become a permanent financial resource for supporting our ministries. The church receives the endowment gifts and invests them through the Georgia United Methodist Foundation. The income from the investments is then distributed for use at Cannon. For instance, if the church receives a $10,000 endowment gift this year, it will probably be worth $100,000 a century from now. Most importantly, the church will have been able to use about $250,000 of investment returns from that original $10,000 gift.
WHY SHOULD YOU GIVE TO AN ENDOWMENT
Giving to an endowment is our opportunity to truly leave a legacy. The Endowment Fund allows our gifts to live long after we do.
- Many of us may not have tithed on IRA/401k money. Our mindset was to tithe on such funds as we withdrew them to fund our retirements. When we do move onto a better world, the remaining funds will likely be taxed heavily unless they are donated to a charity.
- The Endowment Fund helps the church change people’s lives. We believe in making disciples of Jesus Christ.
WHEN DO YOU GIVE TO AN ENDOWMENT?
The largest gifts to an endowment often occur when someone passes away, when the church is either a beneficiary of the donor’s estate, retirement account, or charitable remainder trust. Gifts to the church in lieu of flowers for the funeral are another common donation method.
Even though the largest gifts often occur when someone dies, someone’s death is far from a requirement. Members do choose to donate funds at other times.
Donating cash is probably the most common method, but there are other methods that may have better tax advantages for the donor. Gifts of property (real estate or securities) can be advantageous as can charitable remainder trusts, where the donor establishes a trust during their lifetime, uses the trust as long as they live and then specifies that, upon their death, the remaining amount go to the church.
In addition to bequeaths through wills and charitable remainder trusts, naming the church as one of the beneficiaries of a retirement account or life insurance policy may be a good alternative for some donors.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE GIFTS?
- Cannon’s Endowment Trustees will invest the funds into a diversified portfolio of stocks and fixed income investments that is managed by the North Georgia United Methodist Foundation.
- The Trustees will spend a small amount of the investment earnings each year and reinvest enough to allow the value of the original gift to keep pace with inflation.
- The 3-5% per year that the Trustees spend will be aligned with the church’s Strategic Plan.
WHO ARE THE TRUSTEES THAT MANAGE THESE FUNDS?
The Endowment Trustees are appointed by Cannon’s Administrative Council and are chosen from Cannon’s members.
HOW ARE ENDOWMENT FUNDS USED?
Most recently, the Endowment Trustees chose to use some endowment proceeds for capital improvements, such as signs to direct visitors, and some long overdue landscaping needs.
In the future, the Trustees may use these funds for missions and other endeavors that are aligned with the church’s strategic plan.
During normal times, capital and mission projects are likely to be the primary beneficiaries of Cannon’s Endowment proceeds. Occasionally, perhaps once every other generation, a church will have to rely on its endowment to bridge some type of emergency and to continue to do God’s work after the emergency is over. These emergencies do not occur often, but they do occur. Building a healthy endowment during normal times assists the church in overcoming the hardships that such emergencies create.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR GIVING
There are many ways to give, and the best way for you to make a gift depends upon your personal goals and circumstances. Some common options include:
- Outright gifts, including cash, property, stocks and bonds
- Wills or Trusts: In your will or trust you may name the Endowment Fund as the direct beneficiary of specific assets, a portion of your estate, or your residual estate.
- Real Estate: Any form of real estate may be given, subject to acceptance by the church.
- Life insurance, Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k), 403(b), or other qualified plans: Naming the Cannon Endowment Fund as a beneficiary of part of all of the proceeds is a meaningful gift that doesn’t involve modifying your will or trust.
- Life Income Gifts such as charitable remainder trusts and gift annuities.