Foundation Chair’s Message
April 29, 2019 by Presbyterian Foundation
Serving as Board Chair of the Foundation is immensely rewarding. I have the opportunity to see the full depth and breadth of the PC(USA) and the incredible faithfulness of so many saints working to build and renew the kingdom of God here on Earth. It is a joy to be with my fellow leaders, and to consider how we can serve Christ together!
I am called to foster three areas of focus during my term as board chair: asset gathering, stewardship education, and leadership. Each of these were discussed in depth at our most recent board meeting in San Diego.
Regarding Asset Gathering, Rev. Dr. Eileen Lindner, Ph.D., presented research on issues related to the future of asset gathering in key areas that we believe are especially important to the Foundation. Those areas are the looming wealth transfer and church property. Eileen’s research, shows that the American wealth transfer is projected to last 14 more years, with projected transfer of $32 trillion to $46 trillion in assets from one generation to the next. There is astounding abundance there that can be used for the glory of God!
Eileen encouraged the Foundation to emphasize “giving while living” approaches while also maintaining end of life gifts. Eileen indicated that the Foundation should also strive to ensure that all processes are seamless and simple to avoid barriers to generosity. Also, she said that the Foundation should find ways to accept assets that are not funds, even though the assets may require more work to accept and steward.
Eileen’s deep experience in the church and as a consultant is very valuable to our team and appreciated.
Stewardship Education is key to the Foundation’s work, and some of our cutting edge work being done in that area is overseen through our Lilly Endowment funded program for Financial Literacy and Leadership.
The initial grant the Foundation received in December 2015 allowed the Foundation to develop pilot programs that provided tools and grants to assist a small group of churches and pastors in discovering new ways to fund their ministries. After strong successes during the initial phase during these past three years, a new $1 million grant will allow the Foundation to work over the next three years to scale the program and offer financial leadership training and tools nationally.
We are all grateful to the leadership of Rev. David Loleng, who serves as Director of Church Financial Literacy and Leadership for the Foundation.
Regarding Leadership, the Foundation is engaged in a dynamic process of succession planning, led by Troy Marables, Vice President of Human Resources at the Foundation. Troy and other members of senior leadership have identified seven key executive level roles with anticipated turnover in the next two years.
The consultants the Foundation is working with are providing a valuable outside perspective that includes the following:
- a description of candidate leadership competencies and personal attributes relevant for success in each role
- An outline of key considerations in succession and talent management strategy for discussion
- A summary of additional workforce and/or culture issues to consider through growth
Additionally, our consultants identified core values that are central to the culture of the foundation. Those are:
- Team Focus, Teamwork and Sharing Successes
- Mission Focus
- Understanding Church Role
The Foundation Board was enthusiastic in their endorsement of this work and excited to hear more from Troy at future meetings.
As we continue working together in 2019, join us in praying for the leadership of the church.
Rev. Eustacia Moffett Marshall