The Emmanuel Endowment Board is one of the ways that Emmanuel Church reaches out to the local community and beyond. Early each year the Endowment Board meets with mission partners, to help decide how to spend the income from our Endowment investments. In 2018, the Endowment gave $113,500 in grants to twenty-eight mission partners engaged in good works.
Jim Neligan, chair
How did the Endowment Board become established?
In March, 1975, the Vestry established the Memorial Endowments. It invited the members and friends of Emmanuel Church to create endowments honoring the departed and provided that these be combined in a single Fund to be used to support religious, charitable or educational purposes by three Trustees. The principal assets of the fund are not to be withdrawn and expended except in extraordinary necessity. The Trustees at the time were Francis P. Brawley, George Ellinger, and Langhorne Gibson.
The first memorial endowment was established in memory of Frederic William Scott and Elizabeth Strother Scott by their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Anderson. This was followed in 1976 by the Genevieve Peyton Harris endowment, by Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Peyton III. Later that year the Purcell Family endowment was established by descendants of Samuel Harwood Purcell and Elizabeth Ashton Garrett Purcell. In 1979, Margaret Elizabeth Woodson died and left the J.T. Morris and D.T. Woodson endowment. The Frederic W. Scott endowment was created by Mr. Scott’s estate in 1980. The Christian Education endowment was given in 1985 by Elizabeth Hobbs in memory of William Hobbs. The Lillian Fox Hines endowment was established by her estate in 1988. The Davis Family memorial endowment was begun in 1993 with gifts from Mary Davis McConnell, William Crump Davis, Jr., and other members of the Davis family, descendants of our first rector. It commemorates all generations of the family, especially William Crump Davis (died 1977), Dorothy Lovell Davis (died 1987), and William Crump Davis, Jr. (died 1994). A major endowment was established in 1998 by the estate of Patricia Stuart, a long-time member of Emmanuel.
Who oversees the Endowment?
All of these various Endowments are managed as one consolidated fund, currently invested with The Trustees of the Funds, and agency of The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The Endowment Board is elected by the vestry, and is currently composed of James Neligan (chairman), Beth Colmery and Barry Jones. The Rector and the Senior Warden also serve, ex officio, and Mrs. Sara Reynolds serves as Secretary to the Board. The Board meets annually to allocate income from the Endowment Fund to local and international mission partners. It is the Board’s custom to meet and talk with the organization’s representatives before an initial grant is made. The Endowment Board invites members and friends of Emmanuel to recommend additional mission partners that might benefit from our support and participation.
How do you make a contribution to the Endowment?
Creating a memorial endowment is easy. It takes only a gift of $500 or more, payable to Emmanuel Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, together with the name(s) of the person or persons to be honored and their relationship to the donor.
Another method involves the insertion of a paragraph to the following effect in your last will and testament:
I (we) give and bequeath to Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Greenwood, Virginia, the sum of $___________________ and/or the following objects of value _______________ to create a memorial endowment in the name(s) of the late __________________ and to be used for such charitable purposes as the Endowment Board deems appropriate.
WHAT IS THE EMMANUEL ENDOWMENT FUND?
A collection of investments dedicated to Christian outreach and good works.
WHY WAS IT ESTABLISHED?
To give members of the congregation the means and opportunity to establish memorial gifts in memory of their family members.
HOW WAS IT ESTABLISHED?
By resolution of the Vestry passed unanimously on March 11, 1975, Emmanuel made the decision to recognize memorial funds. The Trustees were given the duty to care for the funds received, which in the first six years totaled more than $146,000.
HOW DID WE GET AN ENDOWMENT BOARD?
Recognizing in 1981 that some special rules and procedures should be adopted to preserve the funds and to use the income, the Vestry on May 27, 1981, adopted additional unanimous resolutions:
Essentially it is. In the 1990s it was decided that the Trustees wouldn’t automatically serve as Board members, and that those members would be elected by the Vestry. In 2013 the Vestry adopted Church By-Laws for the first time—they are optional—and devoted Article VIII of those By-Laws to the Endowment Board.
WELL, WHAT DOES THAT ARTICLE VIII SAY?
To summarize: the Board still has sole authority to approve disbursements from the Fund; it may annually withdraw up to 5% of the Fund for Christian outreach; no additional amounts may be withdrawn for operating and recurring Parish expenses “except for special projects and in emergencies”; and that may happen only with the written concurrence of supermajorities of both the Vestry and the Board. There are other provisions about Board membership and Vestry oversight.
CAN THE DIOCESE TAKE THE MONEY? No.
HOW MUCH IS GIVEN OUT?
Our fund manager advises annually the percentage which may be prudently distributed without imperiling the invested principal. At the end of 2017 he advised we could safely distribute $113,500, which is in line with the amounts for prior years.
WHO RECEIVED THE MONEY?
Twenty eight mission partners applied for and received grants. The largest grants went to JABA to support Mountainside Senior Living, the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program to enable emergency home repairs for our indigent neighbors, The Haven in Charlottesville to contribute to care for the homeless, and Meals on Wheels. Substantial funds were allocated to Hospice of the Piedmont, the Women’s Initiative, Habitat for Humanity, Disciples’ Kitchen, and the Court Appointed Special Advocate program for abused children. The Brownsville Elementary School PTO’s Elective Education Program received funds for scholarships, and the Nelson Kid Care program received funds to put weekend food in children’s backpacks. The Bread Fund received a donation to remedy structural problems.
WHAT IS THE GRANT MAKING PROCESS?
Early in the calendar year announcements of the availability of funds are sent to prior years’ applicants and others known to be interested. The congregation is encouraged to propose worthy projects. An application deadline is established in the first two months of the year. When applications are received the Board reviews them and begins a prioritization process. About ten applicants are asked to present in person to the Board on one day. After that has occurred the Board meets another day and makes decisions. Mission partners are informed by letter, and a report is submitted to the Vestry.
HOW ARE THE BOARD MEMBERS SELECTED?
The four members are elected by the Vestry for staggered eight-year terms (and may serve for one additional term). The Senior Warden and the Clergy serve ex officio.
WHO ARE THE CURRENT ELECTED MEMBERS?
Jim Neligan (Chair), Beth Colmery, and Barry Jones.
WHAT DID THEY DO TO GET ELECTED?
Maintain a long relationship with the Emmanuel community, have some knowledge of both fiscal management and charitable work, and work well with others.