Grace Lutheran Church Foundation

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Have you ever wondered about the Grace Lutheran Church Foundation and how it works? Perhaps the questions and answers below will help you become more familiar with the Foundation who’s purpose is to encourage bequests and gifts which benefit Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church and which further its religious and benevolent purposes.

  1.   What is the Foundation's mission statement?

  2.   Who manages the money?

  3.   Since the Foundation’s funds are invested in the stock market, what happens when the stock market declines?

  4.   Does the Foundation have any non-monetary investments?

  5.   What do you mean by “fund”?

  6.   What is an endowment?

  7.   What happens to the principal of Endowed Funds when the stock market drops?

  8.   What are the various funds within the Foundation?

  9.   I made a donation in memory of a friend, what happens to that donation?

10.   Who controls what happens to memorial donations?

11.   How do I find out where the Foundation is spending money?

12.   What sorts of expenses does the Foundation have and how does it cover those expenses?

13.   What is the process for requesting funding for a project?

1.   What is the Foundation's mission statement?

The Mission Statement of Grace Lutheran Church Foundation is: To encourage the religious and benevolent mission of Grace Lutheran Church in our community and the world by providing funding for projects and groups: including medical missions, Lutheran Campus Ministry, youth trips and service projects, Grace Adult Day Services, and other services for the poor. We provide financial support for the needs of the congregation in enhancing our building and the mission of Grace Lutheran Church.

2.   Who manages the money?

The Foundation's Articles of Incorporation specify that Foundation cash assets must be invested through a bank trust department licensed to do business in Oregon. Initially, the Foundation selected Union Bank of California to manage the money in the Foundation. In 2007 the Foundation felt it was time to select a new financial institution. The Board selected the ELCA Endowment Fund Pool Fund "A" (EFPT-A). The transfer occurred in January 2008. The money is invested in a variety of mutual funds, bonds and cash to optimize growth. A small amount is kept in cash accounts at a local bank to facilitate distribution of money.

3.   Since the Foundation’s funds are invested in the stock market, what happens when the stock market declines?

As the market fluctuates, so does the market value of the Foundation’s investments.

4.   Does the Foundation have any non-monetary investments?

Not at this time.

5.   What do you mean by “fund”?

The Foundation’s money is divided up into various funds. These funds have specific programs they support. There are endowed funds and non-endowed funds.

6.   What is an endowment?

An endowment is a donation in which the donor’s instructions state that they wish their donation to remain intact, with only earnings (income and/or interest) to be available to fund projects. The donation is known as the irreducible principal of the fund.

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7.   What happens to the principal of Endowed Funds when the stock market drops?

The Foundation Board attempts to balance the expectations of donors. They assume that a donor would prefer that the Foundation continue in its purpose as opposed to shutting down grants. However, the Board also remembers the intent of the donor which was to maintain the principal of their donation(s). In 2007, the Oregon Legislature passed a law allowing organizations with Endowments to continue to operate even when the assets were below the endowed principal.

8.   What are the various funds within the Foundation?

Information on current funds within the Foundation and their specified programs, is available on the funds page.

9.   I made a donation in memory of a friend, what happens to that donation?

A donation made in memory of someone goes into the Memorial Fund. Family members are notified of all donations made in a loved one’s name.

10.   Who controls what happens to memorial donations?

Family members are encouraged to contact a member of the Foundation Board to communicate any wishes they might have for the use of memorial monies made in their loved one’s name. When a family member makes a specific request, the Board makes every effort to honor that request. If the family has no specific recommendations for memorial monies, the Board makes decisions on appropriate projects to support with memorial monies.

11.  How do I find out where the Foundation is spending money?

The quarterly report, included in our quarterly newsletter, includes a list of “projects approved” during the calendar year of the report. The Foundation's annual report to the congration includes a list of all projects for the year. The Foundation has a list of projects supported since 1994.

12.  What sorts of expenses does the Foundation have and how does it cover those expenses?

The quarterly report, included in our quarterly newsletter, includes the expenses incurred by the Foundation during the course of its operation. In 2003, the Board approved an administrative fee "up to 1%" of the market value of the Foundation investments at the beginning of the calendar year.

13.  What is the process for requesting funding for a project?

In an effort to enhance all aspects of the GELC ministry, the GLCF Board has established policies and procedures with respect to approving funding proposals and disbursing payments. GLCF grants are primarily intended to support the ministry of GELC; the GLCF does not support normal recurring expenditures that are traditionally paid by GELC, or any other supported entities, from general funds. The complete guidelines are available online. They are also available in the Church office.

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Last updated August 2017

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