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What is an endowment?

Support the mission of your organization
Many churches and nonprofits recognize the need to establish long-term financial support of their mission. Through our flexible options to build an endowment fund, your organization can create an endowment fund for general purpose or for a special purpose, such as outreach efforts, building maintenance or education ministries. 

Once your organization's fund is established, it's available for your supporters to make outright gifts and gifts upon death. Your fund grows through sound stewardship and investments as assets are invested in a large, fully-diversified pool of low-cost institutional investments, providing perpetual income to support your organization. The minimum to establish an endowment fund is $25,000.

Endowment frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What does it cost to establish an endowment fund?
We assess an annual administrative fee of 1% of the endowment fund assets. Endowment fund assets in excess of $1,000,000 are assessed a reduced fee. All investment fees and other direct costs attributable to the endowment fund, such as brokerage costs, are passed directly to the endowment fund. There are no fees or costs billed to the organization.
How are the endowment fund's assets invested?
Your endowment fund's assets are invested in a large, fully-diversified pool of low-cost institutional investments, with advisement by one of the nation's leading investment advisors.

We offer four investment portfolio options. You may customize the allocation of your endowment fund’s investments or choose a specific portfolio. When choosing a portfolio for your endowment fund, consider these factors:

  • Short-term vs. long-term grantmaking plans;
  • Ability to tolerate short-term fluctuations in investment values for potentially greater growth over the long-term; and,
  • Commitment to investing for mission.
How much can the organization receive each year?
Organizations typically request a percentage of the endowment fund value as a grant distribution once a year. A 5% rate is recommended for endowment funds invested in the Core Growth Portfolio. Grants of $100 or more can be requested at any time, providing a minimum balance of $25,000 is maintained. 
How long does the endowment fund last?
The endowment fund continues to offer support to the organization on a permanent basis.
Who decides how grant distributions are used?
Your organization determines the purpose of the endowment fund and requests grant distributions for charitable purposes according to its wishes.
Must grant distributions be made each year?
Your endowment fund committee has the option to skip grant distributions in any given year.
Who promotes giving to the endowment fund?
Your endowment fund committee is responsible for encouraging giving among membership and we are here to support your efforts in a variety of ways. We provide a variety of marketing materials to help you promote your endowment fund. Our team is also available to work with members to help them set up a gift to support your endowment fund.
How can individuals make gifts to the endowment fund?
Cash gifts of $1,000 or more, and gifts of non-cash assets, can be made directly to Thrivent Charitable Impact & Investing. Checks may be payable to Thrivent Charitable Impact & Investing for the benefit of (insert endowment fund name) and sent to us. Cash gifts of less than $1,000 should be directed to your organization; you can hold these gifts and forward them to us when the total reaches $1,000 or more. Individuals who wish to give anonymously may contact us directly.