Endowment Funds


An endowment is a permanent fund in which gifts are invested. The income from the fund is then used to meet increasing gospel ministry expenses year after year.


  • WELS endowments: These established WELS endowments provide regular support and stability for synod ministries.
  • Donor-designated endowment: An individual or family can start an endowment through WELS Foundation to provide ongoing, dependable support for the benefit of ministries that touch their hearts.
  • Congregation/organization endowment: A church or WELS organization can establish an endowment through WELS Foundation to benefit local and external ministry efforts. A Christian giving counselor can assist with setup and help churches with promoting gifts to the fund.


  • Gift size: 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 WELS-affiliated ministries.
  • Distributions: Distributions will be made annually to the WELS ministry you determine for your endowment.
  • Lasting impact: Endowments provide support for years to come.


  • Joy: Arrange to benefit the area of the Lord’s work 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. For tips on encouraging others to give to your endowment, download our helpful Endowment Fund Media Kit or contact WELS Foundation at 414-256-3255 or [email protected].
  • Predictable support: The WELS ministry you designate in your endowment can plan to receive annual distributions.
  • Easy: WELS Foundation provides the necessary administration.

Endowment Fund FAQs

Your endowment is invested in the WELS Endowment Fund portfolio of WELS Investment Funds. The WELS Endowment Fund seeks long-term capital growth with some current income. It has a target asset allocation comprised of 75 percent equity and 25 percent fixed income and has a long-range investment time horizon.

View the latest WELS Endowment Fund Fact sheet

Funds from your endowment will be distributed each July to the ministry you have designated.

The amount distributed from your endowment fund to ministry is currently 4% of the prior 16-quarter (or since inception) rolling average market value of the fund as of June 30 each year. Contact us at [email protected] or 414-256-3251 if you have questions about your annual distribution to ministry.

You will receive a statement for your endowment fund each January.

You can! In fact, the more additions that are made to your endowment, the more it will benefit ministry. Contact your local WELS Christian giving counselor or WELS Foundation at [email protected] or 414-256-3251 to help you with any additions to your fund.

We’d love to help you with that! Updating (or adding) this information in your endowment records can help convey the purpose of your endowment to others and even encourage them to set up a similar endowment. Contact Ann Jahns at [email protected] or 414-256-3255 if you would like to do this.

Featured Video: Endowment Funds


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.