Annual meetings offer an easy opportunity to promote your endowment fund to members. Why just give a bare bones report when you could use your timeslot to increase visibility and ownership while planting seeds that could grow into gifts?
Here’s an example for a church endowment:
“The Christ Church Perpetual Endowment Fund, which has a current value of $647,000, was established by the Board with money that Mrs. Porter left us in her will. Now I never met Mrs. Porter but I’m told she always sat right over there so she could hear the choir. And she wanted to make a lasting difference by leaving money she’d accumulated over her lifetime to the church to create an endowment to help pay for our music program year after year after year. Forever.
“And to make sure that happens, we only spend a small portion each year so that it will be around forever. And we manage it very conservatively in accordance with state law and following policies adopted by the board. Which are all in this book I’m holding up, which is available for viewing by any member in the church office at any time. You shouldn’t even have to ask for it – it’s supposed to stay in the bookshelf right there when you come in the door. And you should find a recent statement in the back too.
“Friends, this is your endowment fund just like this building is yours. They were both provided for us by those who came before us but it’s up to us to nurture and grow them to provide for future ministries.
“That’s what Mrs. Porter did. She’s not with us but she’s still helping pay for the music we get to hear. This year, the earnings on her gift provided a little over $25,000 for our music program. Isn’t that a great thing to be remembered for? That’s her legacy. If you would like to create your own legacy, please consider the Christ Church Perpetual Endowment fund and see me or the Planned Giving Chair.
Note that the appeal is based upon legacy, ownership, duty, and then legacy again.