Endowment Fund Committee
Who can join your committee?
The Committee consists of five to seven members, with positions as Chair, Recording Secretary, and Financial Secretary. Terms are for two years and selections are staggered in order to provide necessary continuity.
Members of the Committee are appointed by the Board of Trustees. Anyone who is interested may make their interest known directly to the Board or to the Committee, which would submit their name to the Board. The Committee route may be preferable should the prospective member wish a briefing on typical duties and responsibilities and a recommendation based on their particular philosophy, knowledge, or skills.
What does your committee do?
The Endowment Fund Committee oversees the endowment funds of the UUCC, which are managed collectively through the Unitarian Universalist Common Endowment Fund, LLC [UU Common Fund], the UUA’s investment arm. Funds are managed professionally according to industry “best practices” and as dictated by the principles, bylaws, and operational criteria of the UUA.
According to the UU Congregation of Columbia Bylaws, the Endowment Fund Committee shall:
- Assist members and friends who wish to contribute to a common endowment fund or establish a named endowment fund;
- Keep a record of the terms and restrictions of all common and named funds;
- Review proposed gifts and make recommendations to the Board;
- Track the value of all Fund assets on a quarterly basis;
- Perform other duties as described in the Appendix to the Congregational Bylaws-Endowment Fund.
In order to fulfill its responsibilities, the UUCC Endowment Committee created a brochure in 2016 to publicize the UUCC’s current endowed funds and provide general information about contributing to an established fund or for starting a new fund.
The brochure briefly describes the history, purposes and allowed uses of endowed funds, their management and general procedures for release of funds. This brochure is available to members and friends in print form in the Social Hall (as of April 9) or a PDF can be emailed as requested. Other printed and electronic materials may be developed, as appropriate and needed, as our endowed funds program develops.
In addition, the Committee is working to sponsor small, informal gatherings to provide information about financial and estate planning, including ways to give to endowed funds and perhaps enjoy certain tax advantages. The Committee stands ready to assist members and friends in obtaining professional financial advice and developing personalized giving plans to suit their budgets and long-term goals for sustained support of the UUCC and Unitarian Universalism in general.
When and where do you usually meet?
In light of a recent Capital Campaign and our annual pledge drive and in order not to overlap with these crucial efforts to raise funds for operations and needed maintenance/capital improvement, the Committee has been meeting during the past year on an “as need” basis. Meetings have been held at the UUCC, but additional “meet ups”—by the whole committee or a sub-committee—may be suggested as deemed necessary to handle assignments or conduct business.
Members of the Endowment Committee recognize that the financial health of the UUCC depends on a steady source of income for its operational budget as well as a secure and sustaining source for future growth and development. Endowed funds make the latter possible.
Committee members are aware of the sensitivity necessary in approaching anyone about financial matters. We recognize that we have been entrusted by the Congregation to manage our endowment funds, with the best advice and guidance of the UU Common Fund directors, and with deep respect for the initial donors as well as the congregation as a whole. We are well aware of the responsibility to maintain transparency and accountability for the funds as well as for the process as a whole.
This being said, it is incumbent upon us to have access to knowledgeable experts and skilled financial managers, whether directly on the committee or “in the wings,” as might be needed. Thus, we would like to see a spectrum of skills on the committee to bring balance in our approach, in developing strategic plans and procedures, and in managing the UUCC Endowment Fund Committee responsibly.
At least one member of the Endowment Committee should be knowledgeable and skilled in analyzing and interpreting financial reports from the UUA Common Fund and—in a general sense—imparting that information to the Committee and to the congregation.