Frequently Asked Questions
How large is the Endowment Fund?
The total value of the Endowment varies with market movements, but at the end of December 2022 its value was approximately $2.8 million.
How is the Endowment Fund managed?
The Endowment is an Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) organization, so it is exempt from federal income taxes, and donations made to it are fully deductible. It is a separate 501(c)(3) organization from the church, and it is managed by its own Board of Trustees. The members of the Board are appointed by the Vestry, and while the Board and the Vestry work in close cooperation, it is the Board which is responsible for all aspects of the management of the Endowment.
How much does the Endowment disburse by way of grants?
In 2022, we disbursed over $60,000. For most of our six sub-funds, the amount available for grants is determined as a percentage of the average value of the sub-fund over the preceding three years. The trustees have determined that for 2023, the percentage applied will be 4%. In common with most endowed parishes and charities, the percentage has been reduced in recent years from the traditional 5% as a result of poorer medium term market returns; the intention is to find a percentage which will both allow the Endowment to make significant grants and also allow the funds to keep growing.
How does the Endowment decide to make grants and what is the process for doing so?
Grants are awarded by the Endowment Board of Trustees. Grant applications can be made by staff and ministries of the church, other organizations and, in the case of the Seminarian Fund, individuals. The Trustees will consider the application and, if all the requirements for the type of grant sought are met, agree to make the grant. Different sub-funds have different requirements and therefore different application forms – please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require a grant application form.
What are the sub-funds?
Currently there are six sub-funds, supporting different aspects of Transfiguration’s ministry:
- Legacy Fund – supports the general work of the church
- Outreach Fund – supports the outreach ministry
- Joanna Elizabeth Pierce and Justin Ford Pierce Youth Fund – supports the youth ministry
- Music Fund – supports the music ministry
- Rodgers Seminarian Fund – gives grants to help seminarians sponsored by Transfiguration
- Infrastructure Capital Fund – supports capital building and grounds works
Can I create a new sub-fund for a different purpose?
Yes. If you would like to create a new sub-fund to support a particular aspect of Transfiguration’s ministry not already supported by an existing sub-fund, please get in touch with the Endowment trustees. For bequests, the minimum donation to create a new sub-fund is $25,000. For lifetime gifts, the minimum is the same, but we can make arrangements for the minimum to be met over a period of up to five years with donations from the original donor and others. For more details, please see the Fund Policy.
Do the Endowment trustees choose the Endowment’s investments?
Not directly. The trustees employ the Episcopal Church Foundation to act as our professional investment advisor, and they in turn employ State Street Global Advisors, a specialist in managing charities’ investments, to manage our portfolio. The trustees agree benchmarks with ECF and SSGA and closely monitor investment performance. Every few years, the trustees go through a bid process for investment advisors; ECF was chosen in 2020. For more details, please see the Endowment’s Investment Policy Statement.
Will the Endowment accept gifts other than cash?
Yes. The Endowment can accept gifts of stocks, including being nominated as a beneficiary of your 401(k) or 403(b) plan, IRA or life insurance policy. In certain circumstances, we can accept gifts of real property, personal property, mineral rights and the like. For more details, please read our Gift Acceptance Policy. For beneficiary naming purposes, we are “The Church of the Transfiguration Endowment Fund, 14115 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, Texas 75254” or, if you have a particular sub-fund you want to benefit, “the [name of sub-fund] within The Church of the Transfiguration Endowment Fund” at the same address. If you do not name a particular sub-fund, your gift will go to the Legacy Fund.
What is the Legacy Society?
Many Transfiguration members choose to include the Endowment as a beneficiary under their will or estate plan. If you let us know that you have done this (there is of course no need to specify the amount of any bequest), we will automatically add you to the membership of the Legacy Society, send you a membership pin, and invite you to Legacy Society events. If you have questions about planned giving or the Legacy Society, please contact Linda Ayres at email@example.com.
I’d like to include a gift to the Endowment in my estate planning. What should I tell my attorney to include to make sure that you get the gift?
If you have a particular sub-fund in mind, you should ask your attorney to direct the gift to “the [name of sub-fund] within The Church of the Transfiguration Endowment Fund, 14115 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, Texas 75254”. A general gift to the Endowment should be directed to “The Church of the Transfiguration Endowment Fund” at the same address; a general gift will be credited to the Legacy Fund. If you are thinking of leaving a substantial amount to endow a new sub-fund, it would be really helpful to discuss this with the Endowment trustees during your estate planning process, so that we can ensure that your bequest will be treated in the way that you intend.
I already have an estate plan which does not include a gift to the Endowment. Do I need to go through the whole expensive estate planning process again to include a gift?
Probably not. Most wills include a provision allowing you to make additional gifts from your estate by less formal writing. You should discuss with your attorney whether your will allows this and the best way to do it. It may be as simple as writing a letter and leaving it with your will.
Can I make contributions to the Endowment during my lifetime?
Yes, you can contribute at any time, including through regular giving. You can send a check made payable to “The Church of the Transfiguration Endowment Fund” to the church (or leave it in the collection plate), or you can make contributions through Realm or the Give page of this website. If you wish your gift to go to a particular sub-fund, please add the name of the sub-fund to the memo line of your check, or choose the sub-fund you want on Realm or on the Give page. If you would like to make a gift other than cash, please contact us first, either by calling Cathleen Dolt at the church office on (972) 233-1898 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also contact us first if you are thinking of making a substantial gift to endow a new sub-fund.