Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of the following is to provide general information in response to potential questions from Saint Luke’s members and friends. It is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. We suggest that donors consult with their attorney, accountant or tax advisor with regard to their personal situation.

1. What is an Endowment? A financial endowment is a donation of money or property to a nonprofit organization for the ongoing support of the organization. The Saint Luke’s Endowment Fund is conceived to last forever, expanding by gifts, donations, and investment income.

2. How is it different from giving to the annual commitment pledge? A donation to the Saint Luke’s Endowment Fund is fundamentally different from other contributions to our church and its ministries. A donation toward your annual commitment pledge helps to fund Saint Luke’s ongoing operations. Your donation to our Endowment Fund however, is not immediately spent. It is left to grow to make possible annual distributions from the investment income. These annual distributions from Endowment Fund income will help to support operations many years out and serve as a source of stability in our funding sources. The Endowment Fund Committee, members of this congregation, is obliged to safeguard those original donations through wise investments. Endowment donations are over and above the annual commitment pledge, so it is critically important to pledge to the annual commitment campaign to continue support for our staff, programs, and missions.

3. How does the Endowment Fund help Saint Luke’s? Proceeds from investment income can be granted to Saint Luke’s from the Endowment Fund. Annually, the Endowment Committee will grant up to 5% of the total value of the fund to Saint Luke’s (never touching the original principal). The actual amount granted will depend on fund performance for the prior year. Use of the grant is determined by the Finance Committee. As the fund grows, so will the annual grants to Saint Luke’s, helping to ensure the financial future of Saint Luke’s.

4. What is the mission/objective of the Saint Luke’s Endowment Fund? The following statements are taken directly from The Endowment Fund Charter as approved by the Session of Saint Luke’s Presbyterian Church:

  • The objective of the St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church Endowment (“the Plan”) is to encourage devises, bequests, and gifts to St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church (“the Church”) and to provide a mechanism for the use of such gifts to further the mission of the Church and the work of Jesus Christ.
  • The task of all organizational personnel shall be to inform, serve, guide, or otherwise assist the donor in fulfilling his/her philanthropic wishes, but never, under any circumstances, to pressure or unduly persuade, or use any unethical techniques in solicitation of donations or contributions to the Endowment.
  • All information concerning donors or prospective donors, including their names, the names of their beneficiaries, the amounts of gifs, size of estates, and related matters shall be kept strictly confidential by the Endowment Committee and its authorized personnel, unless permission is obtained from the donor to release such information.

5. Why should I donate to Saint Luke’s Endowment Fund? There are several ways that giving to the Saint Luke’s Endowment Fund benefits both you and Saint Luke’s:

  1. An endowment gift is tax deductible to the donor (consult your tax advisor).
  2. It benefits Saint Luke’s by providing income in-perpetuity.
  3. It is a good way to honor someone or remember a loved one.
  4. A bequeath to the Saint Luke’s Endowment fund in your will provides an everlasting memory, and it can benefit your estate as an estate tax deduction (consult your tax advisor).
  5. It can be structured so that you receive investment income through retirement while receiving an immediate tax deduction by placing the funds in a charitable remainder trust or charitable gift annuity.

6. What if I don’t have a large sum to donate now; can I still participate? Yes, the donations are aggregated so that any gift adds to the value of the endowment fund. Ten gifts of $1,000 generate the same value as one gift of $10,000. All gifts are welcome.

7. Who manages the Endowment Fund, and how do I know that my donation is being properly used?  The Endowment Fund Committee, members of this congregation, is responsible for the management of and investment of the funds donated to Saint Luke’s Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund is invested through Investment and Resource Advisory Group. The Endowment Committee meets quarterly to review fund performance, and to conduct other business associated with the Endowment Fund. The Committee reports the results to the Finance Committee quarterly, and to the Session annually. The Session also appoints members to the Endowment Committee for three year terms. To learn more, please contact the church office, or a member of the Endowment Committee.

8. Can I designate how my gift to the Endowment Fund will be used?  No, gifts to the Saint Luke’s Endowment Fund are aggregated, and when grants are made, the Finance Committee, with advice from the pastors and the Session, will determine how the grants are spent.

9. How do I make a gift to the Endowment Fund?  Write a check to Saint Luke’s Presbyterian Church, and write “Endowment Fund” on the “For” line of the check. Or, you may contact one of the pastors, the church treasurer, or a member of the Endowment Committee to discuss the best way to for you to give.

10. How do I find out more information about the Endowment Fund? Information is available in the church office, or you may contact the church office at 770-393-1424 and they will connect you with a member of the Endowment Committee.

11. How will my gift be recognized?  First of all, no information about your gift will be divulged without your expressed permission. If permission is given, the following vehicles will be used to recognize Endowment gifts:

  1. A thank you letter will be sent from the church expressing gratitude for your generosity, and can be used as proof of charitable giving for tax deduction purposes.
  2. For all donations of $1,000 or above, the donor’s name or the name of the one designated will be permanently displayed on the Endowment Fund Donor Recognition Plaque located in the narthex of the church.
  3. The names of all donors or the name of the one designated will be permanently displayed along with other donors on the Saint Luke’s Web-site Endowment Fund Donor Page.
  4. Each year, the names of new donors for that year will be published in the church bulletin, and in the Saint Luke’s Highlights.