The question raised in the SYNOD STAFF MEETING ON-LINE was
this: As congregations 'close' they are required to make
decisions regarding the disbursement of assets. On occasion
I have read where this final decision has been made with
considerable thought and inspiration, that has then resulted
in the planting of seeds for or nurturing of ministry. I
think it would be helpful if we could "lift up" these
examples for the purpose of enlightening the members of
these congregations as to the possibilities.
The reply: One of
our congregations closed a few years ago and set up an
endowment in our synod that has been used extensively to
help rostered people with sabbaticals and other continuing
NORTHWEST WASHINGTON SYNOD
POLICIES and PROCEDURES
GLORIA DEI ENDOWMENT FUND
Adopted by Synod Council February 1, 1997
Revised July 19, 1997
I. PURPOSE OF THE FUND
The Northwest Washington Synod (the "Synod") of
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ("ELCA")
established the Gloria Dei Endowment Fund (the "Fund") in
April 1990 to preserve and invest the proceeds from the
sale of the property of the former Gloria Dei Lutheran
Church, Bellevue, Washington.
II. HISTORY OF THE FUND
The original contribution of $278,000 to this
fund is from the proceeds of the sale of property
formerly owned by Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. The
resolution of the Gloria Dei Council which authorized the
contribution specified that the principal of the
contribution is to be preserved and invested in the ELCA
Loan Fund and the income from the fund be used by the
Northwest Washington Synod.
The income from the fund is to be used (A) to
strengthen the parish ministry in the areas of
sabbaticals for parish pastors, evangelism and parish
outreach, parish education and support for mission
congregations and (B) to support social ministries of the
Synod and the ELCA in extraordinary situations. No less
than 60% of the annual income is to be used for the
purposes described under (A) above.
These policies and procedures are written to preserve
the intent of the governing board at the time of the
III. FUND MANAGEMENT
A. GLORIA DEI ENDOWMENT FUND COMMITTEE
Apart from the investment functions, the
management and oversight of the Fund shall be
responsibility of the Gloria Dei Endowment Fund
Committee (the "Committee").
The Committee shall consist of three members, who
shall be appointed by the Synod Council. One member
shall serve an initial term of one year, one member
shall serve an initial term of two years, and one
member shall serve an initial term of three years.
Thereafter each term shall be for three years.
Members of the Committee shall not serve more than two
consecutive three-year terms. After a lapse of one
year, former committee members may be reappointed. In
the event of a vacancy on the Committee, the Synod
Council shall appoint a member to fill the unexpired
The Synod Bishop and Synod Treasurer shall be
ex-officio members of the Committee.
Members of the Committee shall not receive any
compensation, but may be reimbursed from Fund income
or Synod budget for expenses reasonably incurred.
The Committee shall meet at least semi-annually,
and minutes of the meeting shall be maintained and
submitted to the Synod Council.
The Committee shall be responsible for the
promotion of the fund and the distribution of
The Committee shall periodically review these
Policies and Procedures and make recommendations for
revisions to the Synod Council.
B. PROMOTION OF THE FUND
The committee shall provide information about
the fund in the form of brochures, newsletters, and
other informational data to individuals and
congregations within the synod.
Promotion costs for the Fund shall be paid from
investment income of the Fund, except that such costs
may be paid from the operating budget of the Synod
upon Synod Council approval.
C. ACCEPTANCE OF ADDITIONAL GIFTS
In accordance with the Synod's Financial
policies, additional gifts may be added to the
principal of the fund, provided the donor agrees to
accept all policies and procedures of the Fund.
The Endowment Investment Committee shall have
the investment responsibility for this Fund, with the
advice and consent of the Treasurer.
All funds shall be invested and managed following the
general standards of conduct required under the Uniform
Prudent Investor Act, or such law as approved in the
State of Washington to direct the decisions of
The primary investment objectives shall be the
preservation of capital to maintain the current
purchasing power of income, and the accumulation of
In order to continue to enhance mission and ministry
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serious
consideration should be given to maintaining a portion of
the portfolio in the ELCA Mission Investment Fund or
other investment programs of the ELCA.
Non-monetary gifts which require an acceptable
administration effort and which produce net income
resulting in a reasonable rate of return to the Fund in
relation to the rates of return available from other
investments may be retained if they fit within the
investment guidelines established for this fund by the
Endowment Investment Committee.
The Fund shall not be a separate entity, but
shall be a restricted fund of the Synod.
The accounting for the Fund shall be maintained
centrally in the same manner as the other financial
records of the Synod.
The Fund shall be audited as part of the Synod's
Receipt of funds, disbursement, or any other activity
that would jeopardize or cause the loss of tax exempt
status of or violate any regulatory requirement for the
Synod is prohibited.
No portion of the principal or income
generated by the principal of the Fund shall be used
for the annual operating budget of the Synod.
Available income will be determined as 5% of the
Fund's three-year average annual principal balance
based on the end of the Synod's fiscal year. The
remainder of income and capital appreciation, after
administrative and promotion costs, is to be added to
the Fund's principal in order to preserve the
purchasing power of the Fund's earnings.
The available income shall be for the exclusive
purposes stated in Section II of this agreement.
Unexpended available income at the end of any
fiscal year of the Fund is to remain as income until
expended in a subsequent year. The total of
unexpended income shall not at any time exceed the
total available income of the Fund for the three prior
fiscal years of the Fund.
In the event that payment of available income as
determined above would reduce the principal sum below
$278,000, the amount available for distribution would
be reduced so that a minimum market value of $278,000
is maintained at all times.
B. EXPENDITURE PROCESS
The Committee, through the Synod office,
shall provide written criteria for grants and grant
application forms to all who request them.
At least semi-annually, the Committee shall meet to
review the grant applications and to authorize grants
for the expenditure of income for the following fiscal
year. The written grant authorization of the Committee
will be submitted to the Synod Council for its
The following guidelines are applicable in
considering grant applications:
a. Provide seed money for the development
of new Synodical ministries.
b. Not to sustain on-going ministries
c. Authorize grants for 1, 2 or 3 year terms,
reducing the amount of the grant for each
succeeding year in excess of 1.
Once approved by the Synod Council, funds shall be
distributed as specified in the approved grant.
VII. FUND DISSOLUTION
It is intended that the Fund shall be perpetual.
However, it is recognized that the passage of time and
changing circumstances may not make it possible to use
the Fund for purposes for which it was originally
intended. Should that situation develop, the Synod
Council may authorize other uses of the income and
principal consistent with the charitable and religious
purposes of the Synod, and consistent with federal and
state law while at the same time preserving the principal
of those gifts designated by the donors to be perpetual.
These Policies and Procedures may be amended by
vote of two-thirds of the members present at a duly
constituted meeting of the Synod Council.