University United Methodist Church Endowment

The Church Endowment Fund, For Now & For The Future

The University United Methodist Church Endowment Fund was created in November 2006 when the Charge Conference (the congregation) voted its approval of the concept and also of the Charter that provides for the structures and commitments that will impact the church ministries and programs for many generations to come.

It is important to know that the financial resources that make up the accounts of the Endowment Fund are not spent. They are invested and the earnings re-invested in each respective account. This form of management is the definition of an endowed fund. A percentage of the balance of an account in the Fund is normally expended each year on the work of UUMC that benefits its members, its children, and its missions and outreach projects.

The money that makes up the accounts of the Endowment Fund come from charitable contributions. The donors are those who care about the mission of the church. Most resources for the Endowment Fund come from gifts of assets and from bequests as well as from memorials established by families of deceased loved ones.

Twice annually, proposals are sought from work areas, staff, and committees of UUMC. The funded projects then make immediate impacts on the church mission. Examples of such projects include:

  • Engineers Without Borders/MSU, El Salvador sanitary project
  • Defilbrillator Training Program for ushers and staff
  • Haiti disaster relief project
  • Green roof project, demonstrating energy conservation at the roof level
  • Support of the School of Christian Missions (UMW)
  • Southside Lansing Community Kitchen support
  • Wesley Foundation internship funding
  • Scholarship to Katie Doyal to the World Methodist Youth Conference in Berlin
  • Adult Education Retreat at Lake Louise

All grants from the Endowment Fund are intended to be for opportunities and needs that cannot reasonably be expected to be funded by the church annual operating budget. Funding of any particular church project is limited to no more than three consecutive years.

To read or download the grant application form and instructions for completing the application form, click here: Endowment Grant Application.

The Charter approved by the congregation in 2006 provides for the appointment of a nine-person committee that has these responsibilities:

  • Manage existing Endowment Fund financial resources, encourage gifts of additional resources, expend earnings appropriately, and report on its activities.
  • Manage all memorial gifts received by UUMC to assure careful application of those donations, report to families of those so honored, and remember those who are honored.

The Endowment Fund Committee works carefully with the pastors and with committees and work areas to carry out its assignments. The members of the committee and the pastors welcome inquiries about how you can help the Endowment Fund grow. Gifts can be as cash, or in such forms as trust distributions, retirement fund distributions, gifts of land or other valuable property, insurance policy gifts, charitable gift annuities, stock and other securities, or other forms.

The Existing Endowed Accounts

The first resources that initiated the Endowment Fund consisted of $172,000 which was a portion of bequests from the estates of Ted and Ruby Hedrick. This money began the Undesignated Account of the Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund Committee (EFC) uses those earnings for any purposes that support UUMC ministries and needs. Anyone can donate any amount of additional resources to this Undesignated Account.

Some members, former members, and friends of UUMC have estate plans that include commitments to this account. Other accounts can also receive additional gifts.

The generosity of the UUMC family has already resulted in the creation of these additional accounts:

The Memorial Garden of UUMC account
A family long associated with UUMC and the Wesley Foundation donated the first funds to begin this account. Others are invited to add resources to this account.

The Good Samaritan account
Gifts in memory of Glen Waxler initiated this fund and other gifts have been added to it. The EFC provides grants from the account for UUMC pastors to use to assist persons and families in temporary financial crisis. A utility bill, a car repair, a dental procedure, and other such practical problems can be relieved in part from this money.

The Campus Ministry account
Additional gifts in memory of Glen Waxler began this fund. The EFC provides its earnings to the Wesley Foundation of MSU. The Wesley Foundation applies for the earnings and reports on the benefits derived. In the future, and with the addition of more resources to it, the account is envisioned to underwrite UUMC’s tradition of ministries to college students.

The Joan Kelsey Memorial account
Many members of UUMC, the Kelsey family, and friends of Joan from far and wide made gifts in her memory. The family and the EFC jointly created the account and the written agreement that governs use of the earnings. All earnings support lay leadership development purposes within UUMC.

The Missions / Outreach account
This account was created to help pay for church member mission work projects, locally or beyond, and to provide funds for outreach to help projects, such as local food banks. Funds contributed in celebration of UUMC’s Golden Anniversary were the spark to this fund. The account became an endowment upon reaching the minimum $10,000 level when gifts in memory of Ruth Tennant McLean were transferred to it in 2011.

Christian Education account
Earnings from this account are used to support Christian lifelong informal learning, whether it be camperships and Sunday schools, leadership experiences and special workshops, or other forms of education.

Future Accounts and Future Donors

The Endowment Fund Committee (EFC) is particularly interested in encouraging estate gifts and other planned contributions of assets to the Undesignated Account.

The EFC also encourages additions to the other existing accounts.

The Charter provides for the creation of additional accounts that, when created, will be devoted respectively to evangelism/outreach work, youth and young adult programs, educational projects, post-secondary scholarships, equipment and other facility needs, social issues advocacy and training, and worship experience. The EFC welcomes gifts that will begin these accounts.

The Endowment Fund Committee has designated three persons as especially being able to confidentially work with prospective donors. These are Pastor William Bills and church members Marilyn Rothert and Donald Jost.

It is strongly encouraged that the advice of legal counsel and/or a trusted financial advisor be received when contemplating a gift of any assets.

A fund managed by the Endowment Fund Committee becomes endowed upon reaching the $10,000 plateau.

The Endowment Fund Committee will be pleased to name special accounts in memory of or in tribute to loved ones. A minimum $20,000 must be committed to the account for the privilege of permanently naming an account.

The fund custodian of the endowed accounts is the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan. It is foreseen that its services will continue into the future in this regard. Donors can make gifts of assets directly to this Foundation for assignment to the UUMC accounts. Examples of such gifts are charitable gift annuities and life insurance policy gifts.

The Endowment Fund Committee, the Pastors, and the congregation hope you will consider how you can impact the church’s work now and into the distant future by using the vehicle of endowed accounts. 

UUMC Endowment Application





Instructions:  Submit your proposal no later than ____________ for consideration in the next round of funding decisions.  Use the general format suggested by this application form.  You may adapt the form but please provide all the requested information.  Some projects can be explained briefly, while others take more words; use the length appropriate for your proposed project.  Contact Pastor William Bills or Endowment Chair Nancy Craig if you have questions about this application.  Please submit the completed responses to this application via email to  If you do not have access to email, then please submit a completed application to the Church office.


Project name:


Author or contact person name and name of committee/work area chair:








Explain the proposed project, dates, and the outcome(s) that this project is designed to achieve:



Indicate the names of persons who you know are committed to providing time, material, money or other resources to the project:



Amount of money requested from the Endowment Funds:



Will other funds be used for the project as well and if so, explain.  Provide a line item budget plan showing all money needed from all sources:



Do you anticipate the project will continue to need funding after the grant period, and what are your anticipated sources of these funds?

With what committee or work area of UUMC is this project associated?  Has this group already approved that it will either manage or provide oversight to this project?  This is a requirement for all endowment grants.



A follow-up report will be required for all endowment grants awarded.

Worship with Us

Sunday Morning Worship
In-person Traditional worship at 9:30AM and REACH Band-Led worship at 11AM. Both services are livestreamed to YouTube


Tower Alert Newsletter

Tower Alert is the weekly newsletter of University United Methodist Church.  It is published on Wednesday evenings.