Endowment Funds

As the Israelites crossed the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land, they set up a stone memorial, so that future generations would know the goodness of God (Joshua 4:4-9). In the same way, Christians today arrange planned gifts through WELS Foundation to share Jesus’ love with the people in their lives and the generations to come.

By partnering with WELS Foundation—contributing to an existing WELS endowment fund or establishing your own designated endowment—you are creating a lasting legacy of your Christian faith and helping to do the Lord’s work. Giving is an act of worship, another way to offer your Savior a thankful response for his never-failing gifts.


An endowment fund is a permanent fund designed to make steady annual distributions that increase as the fund grows. A gift to an endowment is donor restricted; it is not spent immediately but invested in a diversified investment portfolio. Annual distributions from the endowment fund are used to provide a source of ongoing financial support for WELS ministries.

Through WELS Foundation, an individual, family, congregation, or any WELS-affiliated ministry can establish an endowment, such as the Smith Family Memorial Fund or St. Paul Lutheran Church Endowment Fund, for the benefit of any WELS ministry.


  • Gift size. There is a minimum of $25,000 to establish an endowment. Once established, additional gifts may be added.
  • Personalized. Give to or establish an endowment fund to benefit the ministry you want to support.
  • Invested with WELS Investment Funds. WELS Investment Funds provides cost-effective, professionally managed investment portfolios for WELS, WELS subsidiaries, congregations, and other affiliated organizations.
  • Distributions will be made annually to the WELS ministry you determine for your endowment.
  • Lasting legacy. Endowments provide financial support of ministry for years to come.


  • Joy. Arrange to benefit the area of the Lord’s work that is closest to your heart.
  • Flexibility. Give cash, appreciated assets, or a planned gift, such as through a will, trust, beneficiary designation on a retirement account, or insurance proceeds.
  • Encouragement to others. Additional gifts may be added to an endowment by family or congregational members.
  • Predictable support. The WELS ministry you designate in your endowment can plan to receive annual distributions to support their ministry.
  • Easy. WELS Foundation provides the necessary administration.


To learn more or start an endowment fund, contact Executive Director Jim Holm at 414-256-3206.


WELS has two main endowment funds that provide ongoing and increased financial support to synod missions and ministerial education.


Christian giving counselors are available to provide you with answers and knowledgeable advice.

The information contained on this website is not intended as legal advice. For legal and tax advice, WELS Foundation encourages you to consult an attorney or tax professional. The figures cited in the examples on this website are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income tax include federal taxes only. Individual state taxes and/or state law may impact your results.