Endowment Bylaws

Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church Endowment Bylaws

  1. Name:  The congregation of Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church shall have an endowment fund.  This fund shall be named HVUUC Endowment Fund (hereinafter referred to as the “Fund”).
  2. Purpose:  The Fund’s purpose shall be to receive gifts and bequests (hereinafter referred to as “Gifts”) in order to enhance the Church’s ability to carry out its mission; to enhance the programs of the Church and to contribute to major capital and maintenance expenditures.
  3. Administration of the Fund: The Fund shall be administered by an Endowment Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee).  The Committee shall consist of the Church Treasurer and the Stewardship Trustee by virtue of their office and in addition three church members appointed by the Board of Trustees.  The terms of the Board-appointed committee members will be staggered so that at all times there will be one member with three years remaining in his/her term, one member with 2 years remaining in his/her term and a member with 1 year remaining in his/her term.  No member may serve more than 2 consecutive three-year terms.  A former committee member may be reappointed after a lapse of twelve months following completion of their second consecutive term.  Committee members serve at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees.


The Board of Trustees will appoint the chairperson of the Committee.

The Committee may employ investment, legal, and accounting advisors as necessary for the conduct of its responsibilities.  Normally, expenses of the Committee will be paid from the Fund.

No member of the Committee shall engage in any self dealing or transactions with the Fund which the member has direct or indirect financial interests and shall at all times refrain from any conduct in which their personal interests would conflict with the interest of the Fund.

Except for actions of gross negligence, HVUUC indemnifies Committee members from their good faith actions in administering the Fund.

4. Duties of the Endowment Committee

The Committee is responsible for:

A. Promoting the concept of giving to the Fund.

B.  Developing an investment policy.

C.  Receiving or rejecting contributions to the FundGifts other than cash will normally be liquidated as promptly as practical.

D. Investing Gifts in accordance with the Investment Policy.

E. Maintaining necessary records of Gifts, investments, and distributions

F. Adopting means for acknowledging the receipt of Gifts in a manner that will permit the donor to claim federal income, gift and estate tax charitable contribution deductions.

G. Causing distributions to be made from the Fund, consistent with this Endowment Policy.

H. Reporting to the Board of Trustees on activities and Fund balances.

The Committee will meet at least 2 times per year and provide the Board of Trustees a report on their activities and Fund balances semi-annually.

5. Endowment Funds

Unless otherwise restricted by the donor, all gifts to the Fund will be placed in an “Unrestricted Fund”.

If the donor restricts the use of the donation, the gift will be placed in a “Restricted Fund”.

Because of the administrative burden that can be created by “Restricted Funds”, the Committee will generally aim to minimize the number of these funds.  Donations with similar restrictions may, with the agreement of the donor, be combined and pooled with money whose donors had similar objectives (e.g. Capital and Major Repair Fund, New Initiatives Fund, Social Action Fund).  The Committee may establish a minimum donation amount that would be required before creating a new restricted fund.

These funds may be co-mingled for ease of investment management.  The Committee shall separately account for each of these funds, attributing to each its proportionate share of changes in investment values, as well as recording Gifts to and distributions from each of the funds.

6. Distribution of Endowment Funds

The first month of each Church fiscal year the Committee will cause a distribution from the Fund to the Church’s checking or money market account.  The amount of the distribution will be 4% of the average Fund balance (determined by averaging the

Fund balance as of December 31 for the past three years) or an amount which will reduce the Fund balance to $20,000 whichever is less.

7. Use of Distributions

The use to be made of distributions from the Fund is determined by the congregation as part of its customary budgeting process.  Generally, use of monies from the Fund shall be used as “seed money: to fund items such as, but not limited to:  enhancing the ministry of the Church, subsidizing new initiatives and capital and major repairs.  Distributions from the Fund may continue for these enhancements for reasonable start-up periods until other funding mechanisms are developed.

8.  Restrictions

The Fund is separate and apart from the Church’s general operating and reserve funds.  The purpose of the Fund and the donors’ wishes shall be respected.  The Fund shall not be used as collateral for loans to the Church or be available for loans to the Church.  Any exception to these restrictions must be approved by 2/3 majority of voting members present at a duly called and constituted Church meeting.

9.  Amendments

Any amendment to this policy shall be adopted if approved by a 2/3 majority of voting members at a duly called and constituted Church meeting.

10. Dissolution

In the event the Church is dissolved or ceases to exist, the Fund will be donated to the Unitarian Universalist Association or its successors.