The UUCV Endowment Fund, your lasting legacy

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"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit." Nelson Henderson

The UUCV Endowment Fund (Fund) has two aims. The primary aim is to help provide financial security for the church of the future. The second aim is to finance the cost of extraordinary projects for the benefit of the congregation now. 

As a community, we grow the Fund actively and continuously with new contributions and bequests in the form of cash and stock. The Fund also grows by market appreciation and earnings. The principal of the Fund is intended for a secure legacy. Your donations to the Fund will only be spent when a majority of the congregation's members vote to spend it. A portion of the earnings are awarded for projects through a grant process. The remainder is retained to grow the Fund and cushion it in adverse economic times.

For more information, scroll down this page, or click on any of the topics listed below to jump ahead. If you have other questions, please contact Trustee, Ken Nitta or one of the other Trustees. All of the UUCV Endowment Fund Trustees are listed in the front of church directory.

How You Can Give

Direct Gift—You can contribute cash, check, appreciated stocks, or other property at any time.

Estate Plan Gift: Legacy Society—You can designate the UUCV Endowment Fund to receive money or property in your will. Another way to make a gift is to specify the Fund as the beneficiary of an IRA account. Every bequest is honored with a copper leaf when the bequest is declared. When the bequest is realized, the copper leaf is replaced with a silver one.

Memorial Gift—At the time of an individual's death, you may invite friends and family to give to the UUCV Endowment Fund in lieu of flowers or other remembrances. Gifts in memory of loved ones may be given at any time.

Birthday and Anniversary Club—Each month the fund Trustees offer refreshments after services to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and other celebrations. We invite you to contribute a dollar for each of the years being celebrated with a birthday or anniversary. Other gifts of thanksgiving may be made for special milestones: graduations, promotions and more.

Tax Benefits

Any gift to the UUCV Endowment Fund provides an income or estate tax benefit. Certain gifts will provide an immediate tax benefit, while others will reduce a taxable estate. Since these rules are complex, you should consult your tax advisor for details.

Designated gifts. 

When you make a gift to the Fund, you have three options for directing how the earnings from that gift are used. 1) You may designate that its earnings be used to benefit specific aspects of our congregational life: Arts, Music, and Humanities; Religious Education; and Social Action. 2) You may direct them to the general pool of grant monies. 3) You may specify that the earnings be administered by the UUCV Board of Trustees. Click here (link) for the form to use for specifying how you would like your portion of Fund earnings to be directed.

The first such grant was awarded to the music committee in 2006 to help produce a music CD. Next came a substantial remodel to the RE building. Since then, grants have been used for new, lighter folding tables for the library, to enhance the sound system in the sanctuary, and to build two small buildings, one for the groundskeeping equipment and another for our ongoing Beyond Curbside recycling project.

Fund History

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver Endowment Fund was started in December 2000 with a generous donation from John and Nancy Bonner. In 2005, a $50,000 challenge gift given by the late Frank Steffes, was matched by members of the congregation to significantly increase the Fund balance. In 2015, a $30,000 challenge gift given by Vern Swaim was also matched. Because of the generosity and vision of these devoted people, generations of our members will benefit.

Donors to the UUCV Endowment Fund who contribute a cumulative amount of $1000 or more are joined to the Bonner-Steffs Circle and will have their names placed on a plaque in the foyer, commemorating their generosity.

Since 2013, our Fund has been invested in the UUA Common Endowment Fund (CEF). The CEF is professionally managed, and invested in accordance with socially responsible criteria. Joining the CEF has freed our UUCV Endowment Trustees to focus on building the Fund through new gifts, and administering the grant process.

Endowment Trustees and Their Work 

The Endowment Trustees - seven in number - are elected by the congregation and serve three-year terms. They must be at least 18 years of age, and active in the life of the church. They may be elected to consecutive terms. Trustees are responsible for the Fund's accounting, for encouraging the congregation to grow the Fund, and administering the grant process. The Endowment Board meets nine to twelve times a year, as needed, and Trustees work on specific tasks and projects between meetings. Officers include the Chair, the Treasurer and the Secretary. 

For Further Information

For further information or questions, UUCV members may contact our current chair, Ken Nitta.