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The Ministry of the Endowment

The St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment is a ministry of the Congregation through which members and friends can permanently continue their financial support of the mission and ministry of St. Francis Lutheran Church, as well as support of organizations and ministries with similar values in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the country and around the world.

 Established in 1982, the Endowment is a permanent fund to receive bequests and estate gifts from members and friends of St. Francis Lutheran Church. All bequests from wills, life insurance, trusts and other estate gifts, unless otherwise designated, are placed in the Endowment. Only the income earned from the Endowment is spent each year, half being used to fund the mission and ministry of the Congregation and half for grants to other ministries and organizations.

Giving to the Endowment

Members and friends of St. Francis Lutheran Church are encouraged to make estate plans while they are still fully capable of deciding for themselves their end-of-life intentions. Simply put: if you do not have a will, the State of California has one for you – and the state’s determination of who should receive your assets once you have passed may not align with your wishes and interests.

 We ask that when you do make estate plans or have a will drawn up, that you consider including the St. Francis Endowment as a beneficiary, either for a specific dollar amount or for a percentage of the total value.

 You may also designate appreciated assets, including stocks, mutual funds or real estate to the Endowment. You may name the Endowment as a beneficiary of your pension, 401(k), IRA or life insurance policy. You may also ask loved ones, family and friends to give to the Endowment in your memory.

 Please use this language when listing the Endowment as a beneficiary: “St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment, San Francisco.”

 Your estate gift to the St. Francis Endowment will enable permanent support of the Congregation and many other ministries and organizations.

We are also pleased to receive monetary gifts from members and friends at any time to further the mission of the Endowment. It’s as easy as writing a check to “St. Francis Lutheran Church”, clearly marking the purpose “Endowment” on the check’s memo line, and either placing it in the collection plate at a service or mailing it to the church office. If the donor is not already a member of St. Francis, please include the full name and address of the donor so that the tax-deductible charitable contribution may be properly acknowledged.

We are happy to take gifts of stock or most other financial instruments, but will need to make special arrangements. We will consider other non-monetary gifts but will need to discuss plans and intent with the donor in advance. Please contact the chair of the Endowment Committee in these cases.

Endowment Grants for 2018

The value of the St. Francis Endowment at the end of November 2018 was approximately $1,680,082.59. The fund is invested such that we expect, on average, to earn 5% plus the rate of inflation. Each year 5% of a rolling average of the value of the assets is used for grants. Guidelines for disbursing grants allow for:

50% for the mission and ministry of St. Francis Lutheran Church

15% for community support

15% for global support

15% for urgent needs

5% for promotion and operation of the Endowment

Regular grants require filing an application with the Endowment Committee. Applicants are generally asked to avoid submitting applications for operational expenses. In 2018 we continued a grant  program called Partners in Ministry. This program granted 15% of our available grant money to worthy parochial causes without the need for the organizations to submit grant applications. Further, the recipients of the Partners in Ministry grants may use the funds for whatever purpose they choose.

In 2017, we started requiring regular grantees to complete the circle on our grants by completing and filing effectiveness reports with us. These reports include information about what actually happened with the money we sent to our grantees. The first of these reports started being returned to us near the end of 2017.

In 2018, $80,513 was given in grants to these recipients:

 St Francis Lutheran Church (Mission and Ministry): $40,247

  • Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary: $2000
  • Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries: $2000
  • San Francisco Night Ministry: $2000
  • Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (South Africa): $2000
  • Lutheran Social Services of Northern California: $2000
  • The San Francisco Interfaith Council: $1000
  • St Francis Lutheran Church (pastor’s discretionary): $1000
  • Vidyalaya After School Project: $1900
  • Shanti Project (HIV Services): $3000
  • A Woman’s Place: $3515
  • St Franics Lutheran Church (AIDSWalk Team): $1500
  •  Louise Lawence Transgender Archives: $3000
  • A Creative High (editing costs for film): $3000.00
  • The Belfry: Lutheran Episcopal Ministry to UC Davis: $3000
  • Peace Not Walls: $3000
  • Lord of Mercy Lutheran Church (Campus ministry at UNR): $2000
  • Eco Faith Recovery – Practices for Awakening Leadership: $2552

Applying for a Grant from the Endowment

The application has been updated for 2020. It is available by clicking here. The new document that will open contains: detailed instructions; deadlines and an outline of our timing for the year; the application form itself that you will use to type in your information; and a list of the the required documents you must attach when submitting the application. There is also our contact e-mail address so that you may ask any questions of us before you submit your grant application. Thank you for applying!

In Memoriam

We hold in memory these members and friends who have contributed to the St. Francis Endowment, either during their lifetimes or through bequests and estate gifts. We gratefully acknowledge the life and work of our longtime member Eugene Clark, who on his death in 2013 bequeathed a share of his estate worth over $700,000 to the Endowment. The power of the Endowment as a force for good in the world has been significantly increased by his incredible dedication, love, and generosity.

James E. Berg
Brian Christanson and Steven Draheim
Richard Copperud
Eugene Clark
Diane Nelson DeLange
Gladys Ebner
Johanne Erikstad
Millicent Ferrari
Aileen Flood
John W. Hickin
Minnie Hansen
Jack and Tyne Harris
Robert Janssen
Nancy A. Loewe
James Martin Luther
Paul Douglas Melton
Kenneth R. Noble
Ronald D. Olson
Diana Pavia
Larry Rowell
James Smalley
Jack Streitelmeier
Bruce Wertin
Greg Winsby
James Martin Luther
Frances Zion

Our gratitude for their generosity is truly great, for their permanent support through the St. Francis Endowment is an ongoing witness that inspires us. We give thanks for them, for their lives among us and their presence with the saints who have gone before us.

The Luther List

Named for James Martin Luther, a deceased member of St. Francis Lutheran Church who left nearly $300,000 to the St. Francis Endowment, the Luther List is comprised of currently living members and friends who are planning to include the Endowment as a beneficiary of their will, trust, estate plan, life insurance policy, pension, 401(k) or other financial asset. We encourage all members and friends of St. Francis to have an estate plan and to include the St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment as a beneficiary.

The Endowment Committee

The St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment is led by a committee of seven people, elected by the Congregation Council of St. Francis Lutheran Church. Committee members make recommendations regarding the conservative investment of funds, make recommendations for grants and invite and encourage members and friends of St. Francis to include the Endowment in their estate plans.

Current members are:
Jim Kowalski, Chair
Rev. Beate Chun, Pastor
Ben Emmert-Aronson
David Bernstein
Catherine Hurley, External Member
Stephen Lawson
Ken Mierow, Council Rep
Marsha White

Any of the committee members would be happy to tell you more about the Endowment or answer any questions you may have. If you have end-of-life planning needs or other pastoral needs, Pr. Bea will be available to meet with you privately.



The Endowment and its operation are governed by the Congregation’s by-laws. Originally the fund was known as the St. Francis Foundation. On May 3, 2009, the Congregation revised its by-laws to rename the fund to the St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment, to more accurately reflect the nature of the fund and to clearly communicate that it is not a separate entity from the congregation. The mission and operation of the fund remain the same as before. All references to the St. Francis Foundation are interpreted by the Congregation, the Council and the Endowment Committee to mean the St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment.

152 Church St.  San Francisco Ca 94114
Phone 415-621-2635
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