MISSION ENDOWMENT FUND BOARD

There are two funds that the Mission Endowment Board administers - the Mission Endowment Fund and the Ethel L. Verney Fund. The board makes grants and reports them to synod council. Both the Mission Endowment Fund and the Verney Fund were established by synod council and are governed by policies and procedures approved by synod council.

The Mission Endowment Fund has been around for a couple decades. It grows through unrestricted bequests and gifts specifically given to it. The amount that can be given away each February is 3% to 8% of the fund's market value. Application for grants may be made by synod congregations, agencies or institutions. Grants typically range from $500 to $1000. The grants, in no specific order, are for 1) outreach to the local community, 2) SWPA synod ministry/project, or 3) extraordinary initiative within the organization. Food programs, educational events, and outreach through worship or youth programming were the type of programs/needs that have received grants in past years. Applications are due by January 31 each year, and grants are awarded by mid-March.

The Verney Fund was established in 2014 as a result of a $4 million bequest from Ethel L. Verney for “relief and support of people living in poverty” on the territuory of the SWPA Synod. The ELCA Pooled Trust Fund sets the distribution rate at a level that will allow the fund to continue to grow. In 20154 that rate was 4.25% of the fund’s market value. In 2016 it is 4%. Because the rate is based on the last 5 years, the funds available for distribution do not fluctuate much year to year. This provides a fairly constant amount of money for distribution each year, about $160,000 a year right now. The synod council asked the Mission Endowment Fund Board to administer the Verney fund, since it is an endowment, though restricted. For the most part, the Verney fund is intended for larger grants, with the Mission Endowment Fund used for smaller grants. Though both new and established programs are considered, the preference is for programs that have a good track record, strong leadership, and are collaborative, ecumenical, and/or involve the community. The board also looks at other funding streams that are in place, and the difference that a large grant might make in moving the program to the "next level." Grants must be for synod programs. The board understands the ministry of all congregations, agencies, and institutions to be the synod's ministry, so the understanding of "synod program" is broad.

Application information for both of these funds goes out each year through the ECHO and is available for download (below).

MEF Grant Application:

MEF Grant Application MEF Grant Application (26 KB)

Verney Fund Application:

Verney Fund Application Verney Fund Application (21 KB)

Verney Fund Report Format:

Ethel Verney Fund Report Format Ethel Verney Fund Report Format (15 KB)