Thirty years ago, a group of forward-thinking, committed, and generous ERUUF members believed so strongly in the mission of ERUUF that they established an endowment, the Eno River Fellowship Foundation (Foundation), so that they and anyone else who so desired could continue to support ERUUF well beyond their lifetimes. That is because contributions to the endowment are invested and only the earnings are spent so that the endowment can continue to grow and maintain its purchasing power over time. In the past thirty years, the Foundation has received several large gifts, and we are especially grateful to Sue and Conrad for their very generous gift. The Foundation has also received many small gifts, which are much appreciated. Currently, the endowment has about $900,000 in assets, and the Foundation has awarded about $400,000 in grants to ERUUF since it was established.

Although ERUUF and the Foundation are separate organizations, their relationship might be described as symbiotic. The Foundation’s sole reason for existing is to benefit ERUUF, and ERUUF has certain responsibilities for the Foundation’s well-being. Thus, as is true of other symbiotic relationships, as ERUUF matures and its needs change, the Foundation must also change so that it can continue to support ERUUF effectively. Being responsive in the way not only makes good sense, it is also a legal obligation of the Foundation.

The original endowment fund has supported many impactful initiatives and enhancements over the years, and it will continue to do so in the future. However, at this stage in the life of ERUUF, the congregation could also benefit from using some of the endowment earnings to help ensure that progress toward our mission and vision is sustainable, even in changing economic circumstances. Being able to use the earnings wherever the need is an important way to advance the mission and vision of ERUUF. This was one of the motivations for restructuring of the Endowment over the past year to create new endowment funds, whose earnings can be used for this purpose. We are very grateful to Sue and Conrad for their generous gift to one of these new funds.

Just like those committed members did thirty years ago, now it is our turn to do whatever we can to ensure that ERUUF will continue to thrive in the future. The recent changes in the endowment were made with this in mind. Furthermore, we are very optimistic that the Planned Giving Program will help to grow the endowment substantially to enhance its capacity to support ERUUF. Everyone in the ERUUF community will have the opportunity to help make this happen. If you want to learn more about the Foundation, please contact me or any Foundation Board member. Thank you.