Erskine Theological Seminary
Post Office Box 668
Due West, S.C. 29639
What Is an Endowment?
We use the word endowment in a general way to speak of Erskine Seminary’s invested capital, which earns income to support teaching and special programs. We also use the word endowment in a narrow way to speak of individual funds that donors have contributed to “endow” activities within our mission. Written agreements with donors say how we will use these funds.
Is Erskine Seminary’s Endowment a Cash Reserve?
Erskine Seminary’s endowment is not a cash reserve or rainy day fund. Most of the total is invested principal. The trustees reinvest some of the income to grow the principal and make up for inflation. This helps us plan for a secure future preparing persons for ministry in the Christian church. The Seminary can use income of about five percent of the endowment in a budget year to fund our mission and honor donors’ wishes.
Does Erskine Seminary Have a Rich Endowment?
Erskine’s endowment is modest compared to our peers, even though an individual who has as much money as the Seminary does might seem “rich.” Remember that responsible stewardship means only a portion of the income from the endowment is available to help fund the Seminary’s mission.
Is Erskine’s Endowment Permanent?
Erskine Seminary’s endowment (in the general sense) is permanent. The Trustees create investment policies to grow the endowment over time while making available income each year to help fund the Seminary’s mission. Written agreements with the donors govern endowed funds (in the narrow sense). Such agreements may call for the Seminary to hold the principal permanently or to disburse it after a time. The donor decides whether such funds are permanent or expire. Almost all our endowed funds are permanent.
What Can Endowment Gifts Support?
Endowment gifts can support any activity or project that is aligned with the Seminary’s mission. Some endowment funds pay professors. Others provide scholarships for students and books for the library. Endowments can sponsor lectureships, conferences, buildings — anything Erskine uses to fulfill the Seminary’s mission. Endowments can even be arranged to provide unrestricted income the Seminary can direct toward the area of greatest need.
What Is the Difference Between an Endowment Gift and an Annual Gift?
Gifts to Erskine Seminary’s Annual Scholarship Fund help now by providing scholarships for students. The Seminary devotes your entire annual gift to this purpose when we receive it. Gifts to the Annual Scholarship Fund often come out of your income. Perhaps you expect to repeat the gift the following year. Endowment gifts are different. Most people give endowment from their assets rather than from their income. You may not expect to repeat a gift to the endowment in the future. Endowment gifts help the Seminary for a long time, because we invest the gift when we receive it, and then use part of the income to grow the principal, and part to fund our mission and keep faith with the donor.
Can I Endow My Annual Scholarship Fund Gift?
Yes! Your gift or bequest to endow a yearly donation to the Annual Scholarship Fund will produce a gift of about five percent of the principal per year, at today’s rates. This means that with a gift or bequest of $10,000 you could make a gift of at least $500 to the Annual Scholarship Fund every year from now on. In this way, you would leave an important legacy of learning, service, and ministry.
How Can I Leave an Endowment Gift in My Will?
After you have taken care of your loved ones in your will, Erskine Seminary would be honored to receive part or all of what remains. Gift officers are available to help you plan a gift that honors your wishes and fits the Seminary’s mission. Or, if you prefer, you can show the following sample statement to your attorney: “I give (____ dollars) or (a specific asset, such as securities, real estate or other property) or (all) or (__ percent of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate) to Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina, for the sole benefit of the Seminary (for its general purposes) or (for the following purpose:_______).” For restricted gifts, it is wise to include a statement such as the following, to be sure future generations of Seminary students can benefit from your generosity: “If in the judgement of the Board of Trustees of Erskine College it becomes impossible or impracticable to carry out the designated purpose, the Trustees shall determine an alternative purpose as near as possible to the designated purpose.”
How Can I Learn More about Erskine’s Endowment?
If you have specific questions about Erskine Theological Seminary’s endowment feel free to contact our Development Office staff by telephone at (864) 379-6571 or by email at email@example.com.