From Bill Easum
The key to endowments is how they are set up. Don’t set them up where you are locked into a maintenance mentality
Use the Endowment to thrive instead of survive. Use it in a way that secures the future of the church’s ministry. It is not a matter of whether it is used for capital improvements or whether it is used for programs. It should be used so it doesn’t become a crutch. Place the endowment ministry under stewardship instead of trustees, so that it will be understood that the money is for a variety of ministries.
Establish an aggressive endowment ministry in which people are encouraged to give to a variety of long-term options such as: (1) Giving without any instruction as to how the money can be used; (2) Giving with only the interest to be used, designated or undesignated; (3) Giving with both the principal and interest to be used; (4) Giving where the money can be used only for building or maintenance; (5) Giving where the money can be used only to establish a new ministry or staff position or sustain a ministry or staff person.
Talk with the development officer at your local College.
Develop a brochure describing the various areas in which people can donate money. Send it to every member of the church and make it available. Keep in mind that endowments may not be the way to go if you are a growing church in need of capital fund drives for construction projects.
You may want to use some of the endowment money to fund the staff that you need at the moment. Do this only if the staff that you will add will reach more people and will make it easier to fund future ministries. Do not fund a staff person for more than 24 months. By the end of 24 months, they should pay for themselves.