In 1989, a group of forward-thinking, committed, and generous ERUUF members believed so strongly in the mission of ERUUF that they established an endowment to help ensure that ERUUF would continue to thrive well beyond their lifetimes. The Eno River Fellowship Foundation (The Foundation) develops and manages this endowment which operates solely for the financial support of ERUUF and its mission.
The Foundation is a separate nonprofit organization (501[c]3), with its own board of directors. The Directors oversee growth of the endowment’s assets and regular distributions of earnings on those assets. Contributions to the endowment are invested and only a portion of the interest earned from the endowment’s assets is spent so that the endowment can continue to grow and maintain its purchasing power over time. This provides enduring financial support to ERUUF, helping to ensure the future of our shared Unitarian Universalist values and beliefs. Giving to The Foundation provides individuals an opportunity to support the mission of ERUUF for generations to come.
The Foundation serves as part of the larger package of generosity at ERUUF, and partners with the Legacy and Planned Giving Program.
How does the Foundation support ERUUF?
The Foundation supports ERUUF through the annual disbursement of earnings and by overseeing the growth of the endowment’s funds. A variety of fund options are available to donors, each supporting a different area of ERUUF’s ministry. Earnings from the Initiatives and Enhancements Fund are disbursed in the form of annual grants that support impactful projects, such as infrastructure enhancements and the initial phase of innovative programs at the leading edge of our vision. Funding priorities and decisions are made by The Foundation Board of Directors. Earnings from the Mission and Vision Funds (see below for more detail) are disbursed from the endowment into ERUUF’s operating funds and used to support priorities in four different ministry areas. Funding decisions are decided by the Coordinating Team according to the strategic plan and the ERUUF Board’s annual vision of ministry. The recently established Legacy and Planned Giving Program is playing a vital role in growing the endowment and building assets in each of the funds.
Why Create a Foundation?
Early members of ERUUF wanted to provide a steady underpinning of support for ERUUF into the future, to ensure the continuation of our fellowship and UU mission. The Foundation was created to manage a permanent endowment, where gifts could be invested, with the principal protected in perpetuity, and the interest earnings available to spend on activities that honor donor commitments and align with ERUUF’s mission and priorities. Investments and spending are coordinated to maintain the endowments real purchasing power into the future.
Why Contribute to the Foundation?
Contributors to The Foundation respond to the human idea about personal legacy and their appreciation for the spiritual and personal growth they gained at ERUUF. Giving is about giving back – about extending and supporting what you believe in and making a commitment to future generations. It enables past and present generations of ERUUF members and friends to join together and invest in a future ERUUF that we will never see. Our willingness to do this affirms our confidence in this institution and what it stands for. It is also an expression of our faith in the timeless values that this UU community upholds, embodies, and offers to the world.
How to Contribute to the Foundation?
The Foundation gladly accepts charitable gifts of cash, securities, and other assets, often received as memorials or tributes to a person, celebrations of important events, or legacies in planned giving. The Foundation can be named as a beneficiary in your will, trust, retirement account or insurance policy. Please note the name of The Foundation on your documents directing your intentions. Gifts or bequests mistakenly directed to ERUUF are not transferable to The Foundation.
What are my Choices in How my Gift is used?
Your gifts to The Foundation may be directed to any one or more of the endowment funds, with your choice designated via the Gift Intent Form or a letter to The Foundation. If we cannot determine your gift intent, after appropriate due diligence, your gift will be allocated to The Foundation’s General Fund.
Endowment funds include:
- Initiatives and Enhancements Fund (disbursed as Grant Awards)
The earnings from this fund are disbursed in the form of annual grants that support a variety of projects at ERUUF, including new ministry initiatives and strategic and emerging infrastructure needs. Funding priorities and decisions are made by The Foundation Board of Directors.
- Mission and Vision Funds (disbursed into ERUUF’s Operating Funds)
- The General Fund can be used for any purpose. This fund provides the flexibility to use the disbursed funds wherever the need is greatest, thereby enhancing ERUUF’s capacity to respond to changing circumstances. Donors are strongly encouraged to make gifts to this fund.
- The Learning and Growth Fund supports programs that enhance the growth and development of our community members at all stages of life. The disbursed funds can be used for any purpose related to religious education, spiritual development, opportunities for personal growth, leadership development, and support of ministerial interns.
- The Building Beloved Community Fund supports programs and activities that enhance spiritual fellowship, foster a sense of belonging and acceptance, and create a thriving and inclusive community. For example, the funds could be used to support the music program, to enhance the worship experience, for community celebrations, for racial equity and inclusion workshops, or for seminars on building right relationships.
- The Beyond Our Walls Fund supports justice activities outside of ERUUF and our efforts to strengthen Unitarian Universalism. For example, the funds could be used to support the work of any of the Justice Ministry Action Teams, to help start new UU congregations, or for innovative UU worship services off-site.
What is Legacy Giving?
Also known as planned giving, legacy giving typically designates assets in your estate and comes to fruition upon your passing. At its simplest, you create a legacy when you include ERUUF in your will. Legacy gifts may also come from beneficiary designations in your insurance or retirement accounts, and this does not require the involvement of a lawyer.
Where can I get More Information?
Talk with a Foundation board member or a member of the ERUUF Planned Giving Team, or
Your legacy gift will help assure that ERUUF will continue to thrive well into the future. Thank you for your consideration!