The St. James Endowment Fund was created in 1989 for the express purpose of caring for the physical property of the church as well as ensuring opportunities for making Disciples for Jesus Christ.  Through the years, the General Endowment fund has grown to over $1.2 million dollars. 

Our goal is to continue caring for the physical property and providing opportunities for new ministries that will support the mission of the church, To Know Jesus Christ and to Make Him Known.

We encourage everyone to consider supporting the Endowment Fund as a second mile gift now or through your estate planning. 

 

To view the Leaving a Legacy brochure, HERE

To view or complete the online donor declaration form, HERE

To make a donation for the Endowment Circle, Birthday Club, or general donation, click here.

 

Building a Legacy for the Future – Supporting the Church Today

All gifts received for the St. James Endowment are deemed restricted gifts, meaning they are pooled with funds already given (the principal) and cannot be spent.  We have been blessed that in 2018 our Endowed Funds grew to be over $1.2 million dollars.  Reaching this threshold has allowed the Endowment Committee to begin distributing funds from the interest and earnings for special projects through a grant process.

The first grant was awarded in the spring of 2019.  The project receiving funding was for a church-wide study called The Story.  Through a $10,000 grant special Bibles for children, youth, and adults were purchased and given for free to everyone who desired a book.  For 31 weeks the entire congregation was immersed in God’s words through reading, worship, and small group discussions.  We could find no better way to help people come To Know Jesus.

Grants from the Endowment Fund are considered twice a year (Spring & Fall).  For more information about our grant process and guidelines, click here.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

How does my commitment to St. James annual giving differ from a gift to the St. James Endowment?

The St. James Endowment Fund, “Seeks to Secure the Future” of the church.  The vision of the Endowment is the same as the Church, To Know Jesus Christ and to Make Him Known.  What differs is the timeframe.  While annual giving supports the operational expenses of the Church and funds the annual budget, the Endowment offers a way for the church to address needs beyond the current year and current needs.  Your contributions to the endowment will allow the church to address needs of missions and ministries beyond what the annual giving will allow.  As the Endowment assets grow and are distributed, the Church’s mission and ministry can grow beyond annual giving and the physical property can be maintained and improved. 

How is the Endowment Fund Managed?

The Endowment Fund is managed by the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas.  They work in partnership with Wespath Benefits and Investments.  All funds received for the Endowment are considered restricted funds and cannot be used except for investment and future growth.  Each year, 3% of the interest and earnings from the invested funds is placed in a spending account.  It is through the spending accounts that the Endowment supports the mission and ministry of the church.

The Endowment Committee of St. James is composed of nine lay members of the church and selected staff members.  This committee meets quarterly to review the work of UMFA and financial status of the accounts; develop programs to grow the Endowment; and award grants.

How can I donate?

You will typically hear about giving to charity through your will or trust, but there are many ways to remember St. James Endowment in your planned giving that do not require changes to your will or trust.  Making St. James Endowment the designated beneficiary of your life insurance policies, 401(k), IRA, and brokerage accounts is a simple, quick and inexpensive to achieve your charitable goals.  Gift types vary and the St. James Endowment is equipped to accept certain types of gifts.  Please contact the Finance Office at St. James before donating personal property or real estate. 

The Endowment Circle is composed of individuals who give a minimum of $500 yearly to the St. James Endowment.  Members of the Endowment Circle know that they are supporting the long-term growth of the fund and enjoy the benefits of seeing their gifts benefit special projects now.

The Legacy Circle is composed of members who have declared that St. James Endowment is included in their final estate plans. 

The Birthday Club is a simple way to support the Endowment.  A $1 donation for each year of your life or someone you wish to honor/remember is given to the St. James Endowment.  Special envelopes for the Birthday Club gifts can be found at the Welcome Desk.  Those being honored or remembered by a Birthday gift will receive notification of the gift.

How do I include the St. James Endowment Fund in my plans?

You simply name St. James Endowment as a beneficiary.  The legal name of the church is, St. James United Methodist Church with a legal address of 321 Pleasant Valley Dr., Little Rock AR 72212.  Please contact our finance office at 217-6712 if federal tax-id is required.

Does the St. James Endowment accept gifts during the life of the donor?

The St. James Endowment provides donors the options for charitable giving during their life as well as the opportunity for planned giving at death.  Donors who give during life get to see the benefits of their gifts.  There are several convenient ways in which you can give now. 

I have already established a will.  How do I include the St. James Endowment in my future gift plans?

Regarding a will or trust, often times a small amendment can be made to your existing estate plan, but some circumstances require more.  If your current planned gifts include St. James Endowment, let us know so we can fully understand your intentions. 

Can I start a new fund with my own donor intent?

Yes.  The Endowment includes several named funds with specific purposes.  Each potential gift/ is subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees and the Endowment Committee. 

What is the minimum donation?

There is no minimum donation to our general endowed funds.  All gifts are welcome.  If a donor wishes to establish a named fund as referenced above, there is a minimum gift requirement of $25,000.  The Endowment Committee will work with the donor to craft a gift agreement which achieves the donor’s intent consistent with the St. James Endowment purpose.

What If I change my mind?

Until the gift is made (assets transferred), it is only a declaration of intent.  If your intent changes before the assets are transferred, you can modify the gift.  Once the assets are transferred, St. James is legally obligated to use the gift as determined by the estate documents or named endowed fund documents.

Are there any potential tax benefits to donating to the St. James Endowment or St. James United Methodist Church?

Yes.  Similar to the potential tax benefits from annual giving to St. James and other charities, you may realize a tax savings based on your giving.  St. James United Methodist Church is a tax exempt 501(c)3 entity qualifying for deductibility.  We encourage you to consult with your tax and legal advisors.