Your Moravian Ministries Foundation in America helps individuals, churches and agencies grow and sustain the ministries that are central to our Moravian faith. The Moravian Ministries Foundation in America’s values and strategies are detailed on the website mmfa.info in the “Who we are” section.
We thank all our Moravian sisters and brothers, congregations and ministries who invest in the Moravian Common Fund and all who remember the Moravian institutions of ministry in their planned gifts.
Endowed and donor advised funds with your Moravian Ministries Foundation in America generated more than a half million dollars in distributions to ministry in 2018. The largest portion, 30 percent, was issued to Moravian congregations in the United States to support the ongoing work of individual, local churches. Global mission work received 22 percent of the funds from our planned gifts. These gifts funded Moravian ministries through the Board of World Mission, Unity Women’s Desk, Armando Rusindo Ministry Foundation and others. Some gifts were designated for Lutheran and non-denominational global ministry and provided gifts as the embodiment of the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
Moravians also gave generously to support U.S. educational institutions and issue scholarships, which accounted for 18 percent of the funds from these planned gifts. Nearly one in ten dollars went to institutions devoted to the preservation of Moravian archives, music and history. Gifts to Moravian camps in the U.S. received 7 percent of the funds. Other significant funds went to address the causes of homelessness, hunger, poverty and other challenges within the communities where Moravians live.
Your Moravian Ministries Foundation in America manages 86 annuities and six split interest trusts. Last year, seven new investors put money in the Moravian Common Fund. Three were Moravian congregations and four were individuals who opened Donor Advised Funds. With our new investments and additions made by existing investors, more than $8.5 million was deposited into the Common Fund in 2018.
Your collective investments and planned gifts through the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America have also enabled us to help Moravian congregations by continuing to deliver stewardship and development services. In 2018 we:
- Provided two low-cost capital campaign feasibility studies for Moravian congregations and ministries to discern the direction for capital fundraising.
- Provided free Stewardship Development Services to six congregations.
- Increased Investment Options
Moravian congregations and MMFA sought new ways to express our Moravian sense of responsibility and stewardship in investing. The result was a new Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) fund. Concurrently with this effort, your foundation conducted primary research to discern the issues of greatest interest among our flock.
Your foundation’s board of trustees carefully examined our denomination’s financial partnership and investment needs. A comprehensive study of alternatives led to a new partnership with Abbott Downing, the high net worth investment branch of Wells Fargo. This partnership makes more pooled investment options available to our churches through the Common Fund than any church would have on their own.
A look ahead
Your foundation’s work in 2019 includes a number of strategies designed to make the most of our collective purchasing power. A new partnership with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University provides deep discounts to purchase the materials needed to lead classes that teach financial best practices for families. Your foundation will be taking a leading role in the area of stewardship development in 2019, with events and resources for ministries and congregations.
Better use of technology may enable and simplify online giving across the denomination. We seek to help more Moravians of all ages, means and locations support ministry from the convenience of a single giving portal. We hope to leverage online giving where it already exists and create it for the other institutions with whom we have a relationship. Similarly, we seek to create a shared repository of resources related to stewardship to benefit lay leaders, pastors and trustees in their work.
Vince Holbrook is director of communications & marketing for the MMFA. www.mmfa.info