Is Your Church Ready to Start an endowment?

With fall Charge Conferences just around the corner, now is a great time to consider starting an endowment. 

Here are some scenarios in which many churches make the decision:

  • When your church has accumulated assets that aren’t “working” (earning money) for your church, and there is no immediate need to utilize the majority of the funds for capital needs or ministry support
  • When your church sells a parsonage
  • When your church receives a large bequest

These are all excellent opportunities to consider starting an endowment.

“Endowment” simply means that your money will be invested in a pool with other funds in order to maximize your returns. Your church can access the funds whenever needed or allow them to grow and use them for a specific purpose in the future. The best things about letting the Foundation help is that your church receives great returns for low rates and we take all the hassle out of managing your money and monitoring how it is invested.

There are some things you need to do to prepare to start an endowment that are specified in The Book of Discipline. Primarily, you will need to:

  • Speak to your District Superintendent about your desire to start an endowment.
  • Form an ad hoc Endowment Committee to draft a resolution for your Charge Conference. This document outlines how your endowment will be set up, used, and invested.
  • Draft your proposal and take it to Charge Conference for approval.

This process can take a couple of months to complete, so be sure to get started right away.

Once your proposal is approved, contact the United Methodist Foundation of West Ohio to complete your Endowment Agreement paperwork, then transfer your funds to the UMFWO once your new account is established.

Your church probably has lots of questions about how endowments work, how you can access your funds, what happens to your money if your church closes, and many others. Please reach out to sblack [at]" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Susan or momalley [at]" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Maddy at the UMFWO to get answers, or check out our website at for more details or to download your forms. We look forward to serving you!