United Methodist Church Foundation Celebrates 15 years

March 13, 2014

Celebrates management of over $108 million investments

Nashville, TN – The United Methodist Church Foundation celebrated its 15th year of operations and growth for ministry organizations of all sizes and types within the UMC. Meeting in Nashville, TN on March 6-7, 2014, the directors engaged in a strategic planning process that focused on the diversity of ministry endowments invested during its history to date.

Byrd Bonner, the Foundation’s founding president, credited the foresight of executives of General Church agencies of the last fifteen years for the success of the Foundation’s endowment investment ministry. “The success of the Foundation can be found in an abiding discernment of God’s direction for this ministry, and deep relationships of trust between Foundation staff and agency leaders.”

Beginning operations in early 2000, the UMC Foundation opened its doors with no
endowments in place, no established donors, and only 3 general agency clients. Today, the Foundation has built endowments for twenty diverse ministries of the Church that include social, gender and racial justice, racial/ethnic caucus ministries, scouting ministries, church administration, Christian education, and conflict transformation supported by United Methodists and others worldwide. The Foundation’s investment program now includes ministry organizations of the general Church of all sizes and scopes, especially ones with small endowments without dedicated investment committees, to assure disciple-making ministries far into the future as never before.

The Foundation reports that it manages more than $108 million in long term and
endowment funds of general agencies, organizations and foundations. Foundation
directors recognized the recent appointment of Julie Richardson to the Hartford Financial board of directors following the Foundation’s shareholder action last year seeking and successfully negotiating a change in Hartford Financial’ s policies to encourage women and persons of color in its board candidate selection process. This is one example of strides in shareholder advocacy celebrated by the Foundation during its meeting. Other areas of advocacy include board diversity, creation care, and the fight against human trafficking.

Addressing the Foundation directors, Bonner expressed his thanks, saying, “God has done and is doing great things through this ministry.”

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The General Council on Finance and Administration coordinates and administers financial resources, safeguards the legal interests and rights of the Church, and provides administrative resources to enable the fulfillment of the mission of The United Methodist Church.