St. John’s Episcopal Church Foundation, Inc.’s mission and purpose is to partner with St. John’s Episcopal Church to help fulfill its mission and realize its vision. The Foundation can be most successful in achieving its mission and purpose if the Board and the parish work together to grow the endowment of the Foundation. Continued growth in the endowment leads to more dollars for grants each year. To help with this growth, the Board educates the parish about the importance of planned giving, encourages members to make planned gifts, manages endowment funds, reports progress regularly to the Vestry and congregation of the parish, and makes annual grants in support of the mission and ministry of the church.
The 1829 Legacy Society—a name inspired by the year of our founding—is a means of celebrating past gifts and receiving new gifts to be held in perpetuity. These gifts, of any amount, endow the long-term health of St. John’s. Some people associate planned giving with affluence, but the reality is that any individual can make a meaningful contribution to St. John’s future. Making prayerful decisions about your giving involves discernment, and we are here to help you with your planning.
The variety of planned gifts that have been pledged to our Foundation are as diverse as our parish. Some have chosen to remember the Foundation in their wills or through designations from retirement funds or life insurance. Others have pledged to tithe their estates or created trusts that will benefit the church through the Foundation. While the ages of the 1829 Legacy Society members have ranged from individuals in their thirties to their nineties, the common thread has been their desire to support the mission and ministry of St. John’s Episcopal Church. At the beginning of 2023, there were 104 members.
Members of the 1829 Legacy Society are recognized for their generosity to the future of St. John's with a plaque in Graham Lounge (you may also remain anonymous). Recognition is our way of thanking each 1829 Legacy Society member and they are invited to special events and outings each year.
In 2029, St. John’s will celebrate our bicentennial. The following is our vision for the future of St. John’s:
Mary Lee Robertson
“St. John’s is my spiritual home. My belief in St. John’s and its future compels me to support not only its structural integrity but its spiritual integrity—both within its walls and in the numerous outreach ministries which touch the lives of others and those who are involved in them. By making the Foundation the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, my prayer is that St. John’s can continue to change the lives of others as it has mine.”
John Slye (1938-2020)
“St. John’s continues to grow as a parish and a positive influence in the Tallahassee community. To assure that St. John’s has the resources to support that growth in the future, beyond the yearly pledges of its parishioners, I decided to join the 1829 Legacy Society, and make a commitment of funds to the St. John’s Foundation upon my death. I encourage other parishioners who have not yet done so, to favorably consider joining the 1829 Legacy Society to support and maintain St. John’s presence in the Tallahassee community for years to come.”
In 2021, nearly $42,000 in Foundation grants helped support St. John’s music programs and concerts • youth and adult programs • A Full Summer, Tallahassee's summer feeding program and other outreach programs of the Church • Ecuadorian missionaries • guest speakers • Seminarian support • Episcopal Relief & Development for hurricane relief in the Panhandle.
Walking the Mourner’s Path Grief Ministry • Mary Foster Parmer, founder of Invite-Welcome-Connect, Guest Speaker • Youth Confirmation books and retreat • A Full Summer—meals for Tallahassee’s students in need • England Choir Tour • Diocesan Convention support for St. John’s delegates • Episcopal University Center at Florida State University • St. John’s Concert Series • Children and Youth Curriculum • Youth Mission Scholarships • Florida Panhandle hurricane relief and additional support through Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD)
St. John’s Concert Series • Invite-Welcome-Connect Newcomer Ministry • Sunday School curriculum • Strategic Planning support • St. John’s seminarian • Youth Confirmation books and retreat • Youth Mission Scholarships (Ecuador) • A Full Summer—meals for Tallahassee’s students in need • The Most Rev. Frank Griswold’s (former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church) Holy Week teaching mission to St. John’s • Jewish-Christian Teaching Series in partnership with Temple Israel • Sacred Music Intern from Florida State University • For All the Saints Capital Campaign • Florida Panhandle hurricane relief an additional support through Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD)
The spending policy allows for the Board’s Finance and Investment Committee to review and approve 4% from the earnings of the endowment for Board-approved expenditures. The 4% is calculated on the average of a 20-quarter total. The basis for selecting 20 quarters for the policy is to allow market volatility to be softened by considering all the quarters over the past five years. The spending policy states that “this endowment will be managed as a true endowment—meaning the principal shall not be invaded.”
The investment policy is based on a strategy for long-term growth of the endowment and provides our financial manager (Capital City Trust Company, Tallahassee) and the Board’s Finance & Investment Committee with portfolio targets and asset allocation ranges for investment purposes. The investment targets and ranges are in the following table:
|Large Cap Value
|Large Cap Growth
|Small & Mid Cap Growth
The Finance and Investment Committee meets quarterly with our financial manager from Capital City Trust to review performance, issues, and forecasts. They also review the targets and allocations on a regular basis with the advisor and would recommend any changes to the full Board for discussion and approval. Finally, the committee, following Board approval, has moved to convert funds in the endowment to fossil-free index holdings, as well as a position in a clean energy fund. The Committee continues to explore and evaluate prudent opportunities to convert other areas of the portfolio as well.
Wills or bequest: A simple provision in your will may be the easiest way to make a planned gift. If you already have a will, often a new bequest can be added through a one-page codicil or addendum to your will.
Life insurance and annuities: Insurance can enable a donor to gift a significant amount for a relatively small cost. Gifting options and insurance products allow for a great amount of flexibility in how they can best benefit the donor and organization.
Retirement funds and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA): Retirement funds and IRAs can be a tax efficient way to give. Gifts can also include the mandatory required minimum distribution (RMD) from an IRA.
Gift of appreciated assets: This may include stocks, mutual funds, or gains from the sale of business interests, or real estate.
Charitable trusts: These may be funded by the sale of an appreciated asset which can allow for the generation of income for the donor today as well as generation of an impactful and lasting gift to the Foundation tomorrow.
Retained life estates: A donor makes a gift but retains control for life. Examples often include a donor’s personal residence.
Cash: Cash is often the quickest and easiest gift to support our mission in the here and now. These donations are recognized as Cornerstone Gifts in our Annual Report (you may also remain anonymous).
Named funds: Named funds may be established in perpetuity with Cornerstone or Legacy Gifts of $250,000 or more.
At the end of 2022, the total funds under management (FUM) by the Foundation were $1.856 million. We invite you to view St. John's 2022 Annual Report for a full update on both the restricted and unrestricted endowments.
The Foundation Board, made up of St. John’s members, includes the Rector and the Senior Warden as ex-officio voting members. For more information about serving on the St. John’s Foundation Board, please contact Sarah Ball Miller, Foundation Chair.
Sarah Ball Miller, Chair
Nan O’Kelley, Secretary
Ray Bye, Treasurer
Susan Cassedy, Programs Chair
The Rev. Lonnie Lacy, Rector
Mahaska Whitley, Sr. Warden
If you wish to make a planned gift to the St. John's Episcopal Church Foundation, please complete our Commitment Form, which is non-binding but does lead to 1829 Legacy Society membership.
Ben Bowersox, St. John’s member and an advisor with Capital City Trust Company, is also available through the Finance and Stewardship Office and the Foundation Board for advice on planning your gift. There is no cost to you. Please always include your tax advisor and estate planner before making any final decision.
Sarah Ball Miller