The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding. — Psalms 119:130
In 1974, when a group of selfless leaders gathered to create the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation, their idea was to design a mechanism that would encourage what are known as Legacy gifts. Legacy gifts are the basis for many an endowment organization across the United States.
Our Foundation founders recognized Legacy gifts would provide a way to guarantee that many more generations of church goers would find inspiration, guidance, and comfort in our Church. Legacy gifts to the Foundation are left untouched in their original form, often called the corpus. The money remains perennially intact and ‘works’ to generate income, an ongoing stream that ranges from modest in a slow economy to more robust when economic conditions are healthier.
Using an intricate formula, Foundation leaders are able to have a sense of security about that income stream over time, assuring that money can continue its path from Foundation investments into the Church’s accounts year after year, to be used as Church leaders see fit. The formula was created to balance growth and income and to mitigate risk, thus keeping the corpus intact (and growing) and annual amounts that go to the Church as level as possible.
Legacy gifts to the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation at the outset had a primary focus: to preserve the magnificent building that was and is the spiritual home for the First United Methodist community. But there was more. They envisioned, too, that the endowment could also support the Church’s mission. In addition to maintaining the physical plant and amenities, the income stream could:
- augment children’s ministries that would instill and nurture lifelong faith
- bolster youth ministries so they could creatively help young people connect with God and each other
- fund choral and instrumental music ministries
- help the poor and feed the hungry
Since 1964, using a formula to carefully protect against financial risk, Foundation leadership has worked to make a percentage of the income generated by Foundation assets available to Church coffers: in fact, to date, over $46 million has gone the Church from the Foundation.
The income from Foundation assets has only one destination: our Church. On the journey, we know that it’s best to keep our fellow travelers informed and knowledgeable and to remind everyone about why the Foundation exists.
So, the Board of Directors strives to communicate openly about how the Foundation works, how they make decisions, what certain investments provide and where are the points of vulnerability may be (so weaknesses can be strengthened and hurdles overcome). We want all Church members and friends to be aware of the Foundation’s functions. So, we have informational meetings among Foundation leadership and Church leadership. We present talks and print materials to help educate new members and illuminate Foundation efforts. We print informational materials to have available in the church Welcome Center (info card shown here, click on the image to enlarge). We maintain an active website that has a video review of our history (the third decade, 1984 – 1994, has recently been posted to share with you), write blogs, and are always open to input. We welcome your questions or comments today! You can send an email to us at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Foundation is honored to help First United Methodist Church thrive.