In the early 1980s, I attended a UU Renaissance Module training at Ferry Beach in Saco, Maine, and learned of an endowment dedicated to religious education at New England church. The fund was significant enough to send staff and RE teachers for training. This planted the seed in my mind for an RE fund at All Souls Church.
In 1993, when I turned 50, my husband, Thomas B. Hargrave, and I invited many people to my birthday party in Pierce Hall and encouraged them to contribute to establishing an RE Endowment Fund in lieu of giving me gifts. As a result of the contributions, particularly a generous contribution from Bob and Molly Freeman, the Fund started out with over $5000. Over the years, additional contributions have been made by people in honor or memory of someone. Valerie Kreutzer, a former member of All Souls who now lives in Seattle, gave $5000 in memory of her only child, Maria Consuelo, who died in an auto accident a few years after graduating from high school. Before she began study for the ministry, Archene Turner gave a monthly amount to the fund.
We hosted another fund raiser for my 60th birthday, and now we’re having another to celebrate my 75th and the birthdays of several other members of my family. Please consider celebrated with us while we grow the All Souls RE Endowment Fund.
The All Souls Religious Education Endowment Fund is an endowment, restricted as to principle, with the general purpose of supporting programs and activities for children and youth at All Souls Church Unitarian. The RE Fund supports
- programs for children and youth;
- innovative grant making program to teach UU values to children and youth;
- collaborative and intergenerational activities with other All Souls programs, such as music and social justice.
All Souls Church Unitarian administers the RE Endowment Fund, accepting gifts, bequests, and earnings on the Fund for the uses and purposes and with the powers and duties set forth below.
The All Souls Board of Trustees generally delegates the management of the Endowment’s funds to the All Souls Investment Committee. The All Souls Investment Committee is a Board committee mandated to manage the All Souls’ endowments. The Investment Committee determines all investment guidelines, objectives, asset allocation, and selection of investment managers for the RE Fund. The Board and its designees will report the status and condition of the RE Fund monthly in the church’s financial statements. Money and property of the RE Fund may be mingled and invested together with other money and property of the church, provided that books of account shall be maintained such that the share of the mingled money and property of the RE Fund can be identified.
The rules and regulations governing the RE Fund may be altered, amended, or repealed by the Board of Trustees of the church at a special meeting called for that purpose and approved by a vote of two-thirds of those members of the church present at the next Annual Meeting of the church.
Contributions to the RE Fund are made via check, funds transfer, or securities transfer. All contributions must specifically state “RE Endowment Fund” on the check. All Souls’ executive director is responsible to ensure that contributions are credited properly to the RE Fund.
Similar to All Souls’ other endowment funds, the Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for deciding the amount and usage of any monies withdrawn from the RE Fund. The following initial guidelines are suggested. Once the fund’s balance exceeds $50,000, the annual grant is targeted at 5% or the percentage annually recommended by the Investment Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees.
Grants from the RE Fund will be for the All Souls Church Religious Education program. The Religious Education Committee, together with the religious educator, will determine the specific usage of the annual grants.
As a guideline, up to half of the annual grant monies should be made available to RE students through a grant application program. Following the example of Giving Circles managed by the Community Foundation for Montgomery County, there should be maximum student involvement in the process, and development of the grant proposals themselves by RE Students. The purpose of the grant program is to encourage Unitarian values in the areas of philanthropy, social justice, environmental awareness, and education, and to teach RE students to dream big at a young age about what they can do in the world.
The other half of the annual grant would be available for non-recurring, unanticipated, extraordinary projects that develop UU identities of our children and youth by enabling collaboration with other programs in the church such as social justice, field trips, music, and other intergenerational programming. The program should be at the discretion of the RE Committee and the RE director.