Endowment Funds

After the Israelites crossed the River Jordan to enter the Promised Land they set up a stone memorial, so that future generations would know the goodness of God. In the same way, an endowment fund leaves a memorial which can be a blessing for many years to come.

By establishing an endowment fund you are creating a lasting legacy by providing financial resources dedicated to the support of teaching and preaching God’s Word to future generations.


An endowment fund is a donor restricted gift that is not spent immediately but invested in a diversified investment portfolio. Annual distributions from the endowment funds 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 a donor designated endowment, such as the Smith Family Memorial Fund or St. Paul Lutheran Church Endowment Fund, for the benefit of any WELS ministry.

The endowment can be established with current gifts or testamentary gifts (i.e. wills, trusts, beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, insurance proceeds).

  • Gift size: Minimum of $25,000. Once established, additional gifts of any amount may be added to a donor designated endowment fund.
  • Individual: You name your endowment fund. The fund will be held as a separate fund of WELS Foundation.
  • Distribution: Distributions will be made to the WELS ministry (i.e. congregation, school, mission) you establish for your endowment.
  • Lasting Legacy: Donor designated endowments can provide financial resources for many years to come.
  • Joy: Arrange to benefit the area of the Lord’s work that is closest to your heart, including a WELS congregation, mission work, school, or other ministry.
  • Encourage stewardship: Additional gifts may be added to a donor designated endowment by family or congregational members.
  • Ongoing funding: The WELS ministry you establish in your donor designated endowment can plan to receive annual distributions to support their ministry.
  • WELS Foundation provides the necessary administration freeing the ministry from the administrative burdens of an endowment fund.


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.