Frequently Asked Questions

Why a foundation?
The Foundations was established in 2010 to encourage and provide a process whereby bequests and other gifts can be made and effectively managed to enhance the ministries and missions of Bethel Church.  It also is a way to give memorials in memory of loved ones.  Bequests or gifts to the Foundation allow individuals to create a timeless legacy, making a testament to their Christian faith and values.

Why is the Foundation separate from the Church?
The Foundation was created to provide a way to leave a legacy that would be used for years to come.  To achieve this it was important to separate the Foundation from the day-to-day operational funds of the Church.  In addition, separation of the Foundation from the Church creates an additional check on how funds are invested and used.

How does the Foundation distribute funds?
The Board of Directors makes all decisions with respect to distributions from the Endowment Fund, Capital Expenditures Fund and the General Purpose Fund in response to requests from the Church or other ministries that are consistent with Bethel’s vision.  The Foundation has established Distribution Guidelines that are available upon request.  Distributions from The Donor Designated Fund will be made as directed by the Donor at the time the gift is made.

Can the Foundation make gifts to others than Bethel Church?  Who decides that?
The Foundation may make gifts to Bethel or to any other charitable ministry, provided that the organization’s principles are consistent with Bethel’s.  The Foundation Board of Directors decides where any unrestricted bequests or gift will be distributed.

What are some recent examples of distributions that the Foundation has recently made?
Examples of recent gifts include $15,000 to fund additional musical equipment and the risers for the Worship Café.  A gift of was $1,000 was given to match the funds raised at Vacation Bible School to support the Seeds for Haiti program.  Other recent projects supported were Maps for the Sunday School Classes, Youth Bibles and a YMCA Reading Program.

Are contributions to the Foundation tax deductible?
Yes.  The Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization under section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Service code.  As a result, any gifts to the Foundation are tax deductible.

If I make a gift to Bethel in my Will can I change my mind?
Yes.  You can of course change your will at any time.  You should consul your attorney to assist in making any such change.  Any changes should be communicated to the Foundation in writing or verbally to any Foundation board member.

Can I direct my contribution?
Yes.  In addition to the Endowment Fund the Board has established a General Purpose Fund and a Capital Expenditures Fund where you may direct your contribution. In addition, with a donation of $20,000 or greater, the donor may request the Foundation to set up a Donor Designated Fund which may be used to support any program or charitable endeavor selected in advance by the donor.  Every attempt will be made to honor the wishes of the donor; however, the selection of the designated program will require approval of the Foundation.  In every case, any assets donated must be consistent with the Gift Acceptance Policy.

How will you invest my Contribution?
All assets of the Foundation are invested according to the Investment Policy adopted by the Foundation.  The management of the assets shall be consistent with the overall objectives of the specific funds in which the assets are held.  A copy of the Investment Policy is available upon request.

How does the Board get elected?
The Board of Directors consists of seven members that serve staggered three-year terms.  The Board annually elects new directors to replace board members whose terms are completed.  This results in either 2 or 3 directors being elected each year to fill vacancies.  Board rules provide that no individual may serve more than two consecutive terms.  New directors must be serving as an Elder of Bethel Church or have previously served as an Elder at Bethel.  The Foundation strives to always have at least two members of the Session serving on the Board.

JLH 3-26-19

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