Christian Church of Northern California-Nevada
9260 Alcosta Blvd, C-22
San Ramon CA 94583

(510) 556-9900
(510) 556-9904 Fax

A Congregational Endowment Fund

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Northern California-Nevada suggests that each congregation use this "Model Policy" as a starting point for the discussion, writing, approval, and implementation of a congregational endowment fund. Every congregation’s situation is different, of course. Use this "Model Policy" as a "template" for your own. A copy of this policy can also be had on disk for use with IBM compatible computers.

For further information, or for consultation, please feel free to contact Regional Minister-President Chuck Blaisdell.

I. PREAMBLE: In scripture there is a clear affirmation that "all things belong to God." In the firm belief that our accumulating resources are a part of that affirmation, we are under the conviction that it is necessary to provide a means whereby each person’s faith may find expression in the stewardship of accumulating resources.

Throughout the Old Testament, emphasis is placed upon the "passing on of land and possessions" to succeeding generations. In the New Testament, Jesus emphasized money and possessions as a means of fulfilling one’s citizenship in the kingdom of God. The Apostle Paul, in several of his letters, affirms that love always expresses itself in joyful generosity. This endowment fund program is established to provide for the stewardship of accumulating resources in the light of these scriptural affirmations and admonitions.

II. PURPOSE: The primary purpose of the Endowment Fund of [your church name here] Christian Church is to expand the witness and mission of Jesus Christ in the world, serving human needs in our community and around the world. It is not intended to compete with the regular annual giving of members or to diminish the opportunities for responsible stewardship by present or future members.

All assets received by the Endowment Fund shall be considered permanent and, therefore, cannot be spent. Earnings from the Endowment Fund will be spent for ministry, except that the Endowment Fund Committee members may return an appropriate portion of the earnings to the fund corpus in order to keep pace with inflation.

All bequests and gifts received in any form other than cash will be converted to cash at its fair market value as soon as the Committee deems it advisable.

III. ENDOWMENT FUND COMMITTEE: The Endowment Fund of [your church name here] Christian Church shall be managed by a Committee of at least five (5) and no more than seven (7) members, elected by the congregation. Terms of office shall be for three (3) years. They may be re-elected one time, but cannot serve for more than six (6) consecutive years. The senior minister and chair of the board of the congregation will be ex-officio members without vote.


A. The Committee shall meet at least twice a year. They shall elect their officers each year as needed from among the Committee.

B. The Committee shall annually provide a written report to the church board and congregation which shall include a list of new gifts received, income produced by the fund and total value of the Endowment Fund.

C. The Committee shall not have the responsibility for the expenditure of earnings from the Endowment Fund. The Committee will annually provide the earnings from the fund to the Stewardship and Finance Committee of the congregation for expenditure according to item IV. "INCOME DISTRIBUTION."

D. The Committee shall publicize the fund to the congregation, sponsor "wills emphasis seminars," contact prospective donors in consultation with the pastor, and promote other activities which will bring about growth in the Endowment Fund corpus.

E. The Committee shall have responsibility for investing the corpus of the Endowment Fund, subject to the confirmation of the church board. It is recommended that a unit of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) such as the Christian Church Foundation or the Board of Church Extension be considered to manage all or part of the Endowment Fund.

F. Although it is not required, Committee members are encouraged to make provision in their own financial planning to provide a gift to the Endowment Fund of [your church name here]


A. Earnings from Endowment Fund which are funded through designated gifts will be distributed according to the donor’s instructions.

B. Other earnings will be distributed as follows: [The percentages in each category are only examples and they may be changed to fit the needs and goals of the congregation. We advise that a congregation spend no more than 10-20% of permanent fund earnings to meet local operating expenses.]

1. Ten (10) percent will be spent according to the recommendation of the Stewardship and Finance Committee with the confirmation of the church board, including support to the regular operational budget of the congregation. However, support to the operational budget may never represent an amount greater than 20% of the total operational budget.

2. At least 40% will be designated for outreach causes and transferred to the outreach committee for expenditure subject to confirmation by the church board. These monies will not be considered as part of the regular budget expenditure for outreach causes. It is suggested that this 40% be comprised of:

One-half to local outreach.

One-fourth to regional ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Northern California-Nevada.

One-fourth to Basic Mission Finance to support the wider mission of the church.

3. Up to 50% will be designated for retirement of outstanding debt(s) on congregational properties, capital projects and expanded ministry and service, and appropriate additions to the principal of the fund. If the congregation has no debt, then this 50% will be distributed according to items 1 and 2 above, or directed to a "reserve fund" to meet future capital needs, or added to the fund principal.

V. AMENDING PROCEDURES: The policy may be amended by a 2/3 majority vote of the church board at two consecutive board meetings upon published written notice of proposed changes to the board members at least two (2) weeks prior to the first meeting, AND by a 2/3 majority vote of the congregation voting at a called meeting.

VI. TERMINATION: In the event that [your church name here] Christian Church should terminate its ministry, the assets of the Endowment Fund shall be transferred to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Northern California-Nevada or to the Christian Church Foundation with instructions concerning distribution of future income. In the event that the congregation terminates its ministry without providing instructions for disposition of the Fund, or in the event that the congregation ceases to be related to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the assets shall be transferred to Christian Church of Northern California-Nevada.

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This Model Policy was developed for use by Northern California-Nevada congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Charles R. Blaisdell