FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Please refer to the following answers to frequently asked questions about the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana.
The soon to be called, Preacher’s Aid Society of Indiana, is created from gifts left by two laymen, Col. James Paxton and Isaac Swearingen. The purpose is to provide assistance to “… the most needy preachers … either effective or superannuated…”
The Preacher’s Aid Society of the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church is officially created.
Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church divides into the Indiana and North Indiana Conferences
Methodist Episcopal Church in Indiana divides into four conferences called the Indiana, the Southeastern Indiana, the North Indiana, and the Northwestern Indiana Conferences.
General Questions about the Foundation
What does the Foundation do?
The Foundation’s goal is to strengthen the financial resources which support the mission of the United Methodist Church in Indiana. We achieve this by providing strong educational programs for our clergy and congregations in the areas of stewardship, planned giving development, and strategic investment development and providing funding for ministry through the endowments and trusts managed by the Foundation. We also assist individuals in creating funding vehicles to achieve their ministry goals.
Is the Foundation a charity?
Yes, the Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization created to serve the charitable interest and activities of United Methodist churches and related ministries in Indiana. All gifts made to benefit funds administered by the Foundation qualify as tax deductible charitable gifts.
How does the Foundation serve local churches?
The Foundation serves local churches in a variety of ways:
• We offer training and support for congregations in developing well rounded stewardship ministries, including annual campaigns and planned giving ministry programs at their locations.
• We work with Endowment Committees in creating the charter and policies necessary to properly manage a planned giving ministry.
• We assist churches in further developing their planned giving ministry by providing seminars in their churches on estate planning for their members.
• We provide access to socially screened market based investment funds inaccessible to local congregations.
• We manage, on behalf of many local congregations, charitable gift annuities or charitable trusts established by their church members, or endowment or trusts created to benefit the local congregation.
• We assist local churches in developing an understanding of the process of a capital campaign.
• We consult with local congregations, pastors and treasurers on a wide variety of financial based topics.
How is the United Methodist Foundation related to the Indiana Conference?
The Foundation is separately incorporated from the Indiana UM Conference and is managed by an independent Board of Directors, but supports ministry of the Conference and local UM churches in Indiana.
How can I receive more information about the Foundation?
Can the Foundation help my church create an endowment program?
Yes, the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana has various resources and personnel dedicated to assisting churches in developing a comprehensive planned giving ministry, including templates of endowment charters and policies for planned giving ministries.
Is there a fee for your services?
It depends on the service provided. The Foundation is funded primarily through management fees for endowment management and investment management. There is a small fee for the stewardship mentoring program the Foundation offers. Many services are provided free of charge, including offering seminars at local churches on estate planning and consultation with church leadership on planned giving development and strengthening stewardship in their congregation.
How is the operating budget of the Foundation funded?
The operating budget is funded by income from management fees, and earnings from the Foundation’s own investments. None of the management fees of the Foundation are used to make grants. Grants are generated from endowment funds managed by the Foundation for those specific ministries.
Is the Foundation audited?
Yes, the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana is audited by an independent CPA firm. For a copy of the most recent audit report, contact the President.
Does the Foundation file a 990 Tax Return?
Yes, the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana (UMFI) files a 990 Informational Tax Return. UMFI is separately incorporated and has a separate IRS tax exemption letter, which necessitates filing a 990 return. For a copy of the most recent 990 return, contact the President.
The Mutual Aid Society is created. It is an organization of ministers that pledge to support the widow or family of deceased ministers.
The Preacher’s Aid Society fund is separated into four parts, following the separation of the Indiana Conferences.
Southeast Indiana and Indiana Conferences unite and the related Preachers’ Aid Societies follow.
The Mutual Aid Society and the Preacher’s Aid Society merger.
Investing through the Foundation
How does my church open an account with the Foundation?
To open a new investment account at the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana, your organization should complete and submit the following two forms which can be found on our resources page.
• ISF Participation Agreement
• New Account Opening Form Save
Mail your completed ISF Participation Agreement, New Account Opening Form, and check to the Foundation.
Can I invest my personal funds in the investment pool at the Foundation?
No, only UM churches and UM related agencies may invest funds in the market based pools at the Foundation. Individuals can, however, create gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts at the Foundation that will provide annual payments to the individual. Alternatively, individuals can invest in certificates of participation or savings accounts with the IN U.M. Loan & Savings Ministry which are used to provide loans to United Methodist churches in Indiana.
Can the Foundation assist my church in investing our endowment funds?
Yes, the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana has various resources and personnel dedicated to assisting churches in developing a comprehensive investment strategy weighing both the potential risks and returns of various investment options.
Do you offer socially responsible investments?
Yes, the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana offers several funds which are invested in compliance with the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church. We offer one fund that is both environmentally friendly and in compliance with the Social Principles.
Is there a minimum amount to open a new account?
Yes, the minimum amount to open an ISF investment account is $1,000.
Can my church have more than one fund invested with the Foundation?
Absolutely, we encourage churches to establish individual investment accounts for dedicated funds. The United Methodist Foundation of Indiana will create a parent account that links all the ISF investment accounts of a church, but provides separate individual reporting for each account. There is no additional fee for multiple accounts and due to the tiered fee structure, may actually reduce the total fee.
What does ISF stand for?
ISF is short of Investment Service Fund. These are the funds that are available for local congregations to use for investing their endowment or other investible funds.
The first permanent endowment fund is created to fund minister’s support.
Methodist Episcopal and Methodist Protestant merge dropping both surnames and “Episcopal.”
Conference-wide program on Wills and Bequests developed.
Evangelical United Brethren Church merge with Methodist Church to form United Methodist Church. Preachers’ Aid Society changes their names accordingly.
Giving through the Foundation
Can I give shares of stock to my local church through the Foundation?
Can I personally create an endowment at the Foundation for my church or other ministry?
Does a gift given to or managed by the Foundation have to benefit the Foundation?
Can the Foundation handle a gift that benefits more than one ministry or institution?
Must a gift to the Foundation be designated for a specific ministry?
What type of giving plans does the Foundation offer?
Does the Foundation accept gifts of real property?
Purpose of Foundation expanded to also assist in the charitable, educational and religious purposes and to offer investment opportunities to local churches.
A church loan fund program is created.
The North Indiana and South Indiana Conferences merge.
The Indiana Area United Methodist Foundation, North Indiana United Methodist Foundation and the United Methodist Foundation of South Indiana follow with their merger.