Why Our Foundation Exists

The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding.
Psalms 119:130

 In 1964, 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 is known as planned or Legacy gifts. Legacy gifts are the basis for many an endowment organization across the United States.

Our Foundation founders recognized that Legacy gifts would provide a way to guarantee that many more generations of churchgoers 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 can 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, 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 buildings that were 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 protect against financial risk carefully, Foundation leadership has worked to make a percentage of the income generated by Foundation assets available to Church coffers. To date, over 63.9 million dollars has been released to 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, illuminate Foundation efforts. We write blogs and are always open to input. We welcome your questions or comments today!  You can send an email to us at fmc@fmcfoundation.org or call our offices at 817.336.5698.

The Foundation is honored to help First United Methodist Church thrive.

Sid Johnston
Executive Director of First Methodist Church Foundation, Inc.

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