Church & Organization Services
The goal of the Foundation is to protect our depositors’ funds and make them grow. The investment strategy reflects that goal.
The process we follow includes oversight, diversification of investments, long-term focus, and industry best practices.
The Foundation’s Investment Service is for churches, agencies, or boards of the Annual Conference that have long-term funds to invest. Our Investment Service does incur a small service fee. It involves an all-inclusive management fee based on the total funds a depositor has under our management. For 2022, the annual fee remained the same at 1.0%. Your fee is further reduced for each additional million dollars you have invested up to $5 million. At the end of 2021, the Foundation had over $53 million in assets under management.
Historically, all investment customers are invested in our pooled “multiple-asset fund”. This fund consists of 45% US equities, 25% fixed income, 20% international equities, and 10% inflation protection fund. As of May 1, 2022, the Foundation is offering two additional funds in which churches and organizations can invest. The first is a “Fixed Income Fund” (more conservative) which consists of 80% fixed income and 20% inflation protection and the second is an “Equity Growth Fund” (more aggressive) which consists of 70% US equities and 30% international equities. This expansion of options allows customers more freedom and choice when it comes to investing their funds. All investments should continue to be thought of as ‘long term’, but we hope these new options will give our customers the desired flexibility some seek. Feel free to contact Anne Green at email@example.com for more information on these exciting new funds.
The investments of the Foundation are guided by its Investment Oversight Committee, whose members are appointed by the Board of Directors. These committee members sit in on quarterly webinars hosted by Wespath Institutional Investments, explaining the quarter’s earnings. While they cover the funds’ earnings, they also report on the economy and other important factors that directly relate to those changes. It brings great solace to know that Wespath Institutional Investments has our United Methodist mindset and, thus, our best interests in mind.
These investments are included in the Foundation’s annual audit, thus enabling church endowment fund committees and church foundations using our Investment Service to comply with the Desert Southwest Conference rule that all UM entities must have an annual audit.
The Foundation deposits are made up of more than 200 different sub-accounts, which fall into four main categories:
- Endowment Accounts
- Charitable Gift Annuity Accounts
- Charitable Trust Accounts
- Church and Agency Depositor Accounts
We partner with Wespath Institutional Investments which is a branch of Wespath Benefits and Investments, the UM general agency responsible for the pension and health benefits for clergy and lay members within the denomination. They continue to support the Foundation in many ways and can always be relied upon for top-notch service.
Workshops & Training
The Educational Service Program has traditionally provided educational materials and presentations in three areas: 1) Estate Planning, 2) Stewardship and Charitable Giving, and 3) Creating Endowment Funds. Estate Planning Seminars are designed to teach members the importance of becoming good stewards of their own assets. In turn, it is known that members will transfer their new stewardship knowledge to work for the benefit of their church. Since 1995, we estimate that thousands of our members have created new estate plans and have committed millions of dollars in deferred bequests to their home churches.
The Charitable Giving, aka Planned Giving Seminar is designed to teach members about the charitable giving vehicles available, their tax implications, and how the Foundation can assist the local church in promoting a charitable gifting culture for the benefit of the local church. Since 1995, the DSUMF has assisted in the creation of almost 375 deferred gifts designed to support their churches’ ministries with gift values over $3 million.
The Permanent Endowment Fund presentation is conducted for a small committee at a local church that wishes to establish a formal Permanent Endowment Fund Program.
The Estate Planning presentation is designed to educate members of the importance of leaving their affairs in order and the importance of remembering their church in their will. This should be of great importance to your church. Keep in mind, if someone else is asking for those charitable dollars and you are not, there is an opportunity missed! We work with local attorneys who are happy to discuss wills, trusts and estate preparation at your church. In addition, Judi Smith, our Gift Planning Officer, can give presentations to include estate planning, as well as her standard planned giving presentations.
The Foundation is here to serve the churches, boards, and agencies of the Desert Southwest Conference. Therefore, all seminars and handouts are provided free of charge. We encourage all churches to participate in these free presentations. To schedule a presentation, contact the Foundation at 602-798-8202 or email your request directly to Anne Green at firstname.lastname@example.org or Judi Smith at email@example.com.
The Desert Southwest United Methodist Foundation offers grants to churches and non-profit organizations to enrich and support ministry in the community. Please feel free to contact Executive Director Anne Green to learn more about the grant opportunities available.
Are you a member of the clergy in need of a grant? Please contact Anne Green.
We have partnered with Wesleyan Investive – formerly the United Methodist Development Fund (UMDF), to facilitate and partner with churches and organizations that may be seeking a loan. While loans would be made directly by Wesleyan Investive, our Foundation would act as a liaison between the church and the Investive to give/gather information, do local site tours, and walk by the organization’s side through the loan process. For more information, please contact the Foundation at 602-798-8202.
Building a local church endowment fund today is one of the best stewardship decisions your church can make.
The Foundation provides seminars and educational materials to educating church members on how they can effectively give to their Church and better provide for their families.
Creating an endowment and planned giving program is helpful to those who want to live out their faith and have a long term vision for their church. Endowments make a statement that your church is of God and is here to the end of time. It says that you care about ministry today and into the future. Often members do not give simply because we do not ask. There are many creative ways to give to an endowment such as current planned gifts and those gifts designated in a bequest.
Building a local church endowment fund today is one of the best stewardship decisions your church can make. Endowment Funds benefit churches by offering members opportunities to provide a future legacy for the church and their families.
An endowment fund is a permanent fund. It is like a savings account where only the interest and/or earnings can be spent. A Permanent Endowment Fund serves churches into perpetuity. While the original gifts grow through prudent investments, the church can use the earnings each year to enhance church ministries, outreach and care of facilities.
We provide churches with the resources to establish and promote a local church endowment committee and fund. We are available to consult with your committee any time. Contact us.
Together, we can work towards securing the future through responsible stewardship and excellent service marked by grace.
Call Anytime: 602-798-8202