Endowment Fund Committee

Endowment Fund Committee 2023
The Endowment Fund of Wesley United Methodist Church has been established and is subject to the Disciplines of the United Methodist Church, and to the actions of the church conference.  The Endowment Fund was created and exists solely for the charitable purpose of the church with its principle objectives being the promotion and the development of religious, charitable and educational activities.  It is also for nonrecurring purposes not regularly budgeted.  The Endowment Fund will not be used to support the operating budget of the church.
For the year 2023:
 1.  2023 has been a rewarding and successful year in granting funding for scholarships, tuitions, and charitable projects.  We had a total of $32,156 in interest, dividends, and realized long term capital gains in 2022 which is the amount we can grant for 2023. The EF Committee has been convening through Zoom meetings with an average attendance of 5.  
2.  We received a large donation from the estate of Charles Utsunomiya who donated $100,000 to the Wesley UMC Endowment Fund after his passing in 2021.  His family has been thanked for the largest donation ever made to our Endowment Fund.  Attorney, Stan Tomita, coordinated the donation.
  3.  We granted $3,000 to subsidize the tuitions for our Wesley Church Planning Retreat at Monte Toyon Retreat on Feb, 4-5. 2023.
4.  We have added two new members to our EF Committee in April.  They are Keith Nakashima who is a retiree from Gap and Apple and retired in 2017.  He is an investor in the financial markets and travels in his spare time.  Chris Koshiyama who researches and invests for a company involved with income producing investments which would align with our Endowment Fund guidelines.  We are very fortunate that Keith and Chris have volunteered their valuable time to help out in the operation of our Wesley EF.
5.  On April 27, 2023, the EF Committee had a Zoom meeting with Michael Chan, VP of Investment Services with Union Bank who is our financial advisor.  He told us that our portfolio is doing well considering the market conditions.  Our main item of business was to discuss what to do with a $100,000 donation given by a generous member.  After a very informative discussion with Michael Chan and our EF trustees, we decided to invest $50K in a CD (Sandy Springs Bank for 2 years at 4.75% and 2 $25K corporate bonds (Ally Bank for 3 years at 6.6% and Goldman Sachs for 5 years at 5.6%).  This will enhance our interest and dividends for several more years.
6.  We granted  Sanematsu Scholarships to 8 of our Wesley high school graduates of $1000 each on June 11, 2023.  The recipiants are Aidan Beaver, Kailyn Beaver, Emily Burich, Madison Ng, Hailey Oshita, Kayla Shimada, Evan Williams, and Brennan Wong.
7.  We were in discussion with COM and Com(e)Passion who have requested $8000 to help fund musical and artistic projects at Grant School.  A preliminary vote was deadlocked at 3 yeses and 3 nos.  After a Zoom meeting on July 18, with Misao Kusuda, Mary Leano, and Carmen Cook who presented their explanations and descriptions of the Grant School projects, the trustees decided that the request was not within the guidelines of the Endowment Fund Charter because the grant would have been a direct grant to an outside entity and not a Wesley UMC agency or member.  If the grant would have gone to a Wesley member or organization who was helping Grant School in enhancing their musical and art programs, it would have likely passed.
8.  We granted $1900 to support our Wesley youth in their summer camp activities upon a request by Rev. John Oda and Kelli Martines.  $1400 went to our Junior High Camp Director and 4 counselors.  $500 went for a scholarship for Asian Camp.  The EF Committee voted to approve the grant with 5 for and 1 not voting.  
9.  We granted $1055 for reimbursement of tuitions for CPR, First Aid training and certification for our Wesley UMC staff, God’s Garden teachers, church leaders, and volunteers.  We had 17 participants complete certification for Adult CPR and 15 completed the training for Child CPR.
10.   We are continually updating our investments to conserve our principal and get as much dividends and interest out of our investments as possible.  
11.  The total beginning balance as of 1/1/2023 was $792,357 in the Union Bank Investment Services and Checking accounts.  As of 9/30/23, the total balance was $833,148.   We are up by $40,791 YTD.  This represents contributions, interest, dividends, and capital appreciation minus 2023 grants and scholarships.  For 2023 YTD, we granted $13,955 in grants and scholarships, so we have $18,201 left in our budget for grants for the rest of 2023.
For the year 2024:
1.  We plan to continue our Sanematsu, Kuwada, and Manor scholarship programs.
2.  Continue to promote and grant funds for charitable, educational, and religious projects that are not budgeted by the general budget.
3.  Help promote musical projects that are not in the general budget.
4.  Continue to research the best and safest investments for our assets in the Endowment Fund.
5.  Increase awareness in the congregation of the Endowment Fund by newsletter articles and brochures.
Our committee members include Keith Nakashima (chair), Gene Kinoshita, Herb Nagamine, Mark Yamamoto, John Moody, and Chris Koshiyama.
In summary, the Endowment Fund with God’s help will continue to support our youth ministries, charitable projects, and educational scholarships.

Respectfully submitted by:
Gene Kinoshita, Endowment Fund Chairman