The Foundation of the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis was established in 1992 by visionary leaders who understood the importance of ensuring the ongoing work of the important humanist institution. Bequests and donations enable members to leave a tangible legacy that will continue to support the programs and principles they value most. Annual contributions are made to social justice work, music, religious education, special needs and programs, as well as the operating fund.
The Foundation has been able to sustain disbursements to the Society from its various funds totaling over $50,000 per year. To make an online donation through our secure third-party service, please click on this link.
You are also welcome to confirm your intention to contribute to the Foundation via planned giving. Such a declaration qualifies you as a Friend of the Foundation (as does a gift of $1,000 or more in a calendar year). Complete this online form to declare your intentions.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors which may have up to 15 members. To carry out its mission, the board accepts and solicits bequests and gifts from the members and friends of the Society, and manages eight investment funds.
These funds are:
- The Endowment Fund advances and promotes the general interest and purposes of the Society with annual payments, which are directed toward the general operations of the Society. The Endowment Fund was originally established on March 1, 1969, and was brought under the stewardship of the Foundation in 1992.
- The Hopp-Hendrickson Religious Education Fund enriches the religious education program for children and youth above and beyond the annual the Society operating budget. The Hendrickson fund was established by a generous gift in 1976. In 1984 the Hopp fund was created in a similar manner for similar purposes. In 2002 the Foundation Board consolidated the two funds into a single endowment fund known as the Hopp-Hendrickson Religious Education Fund.
- The Safer Music Enhancement Fund supports and enhances the music program of the Society for purposes such as rental, purchase or repair and tuning of musical instruments as well as fees for special guest musicians. The Safer Music Enhancement Fund was established in 2003 by a generous bequest of the Society member Louis Safer.
- The Safer Visual Arts Fund supports and enhances the Visual Arts displays and activities of the Society. The Safer Visual Arts Fund was established in 2003 by a generous bequest of the Society member Louis Safer.
- The Future Is Now Fund provides a middle-way between annual pledge contributions and “forever-type” endowment funds. Gifts to this fund are invested in a manner similar to the other foundation funds. However, disbursements from this fund are made at an accelerated rate, providing greater resources to the Society in early years and gradually tapering off. The Future is Now Fund was first funded in 2004.
- The Kurt Pearson Social Concerns Fund annually distributes grants to groups at the Society and in the larger community working for social justice and a fairer society. Established in 1992 in loving memory of Kurt Pearson by his parents.
- The Charles Sigmund Music Fund was created to commission new music to enrich the Society as well as the larger society. This fund was established by Jan Sigmund after the death of her husband, Dr. Charles Sigmund, who was the Society’s music director for 12 years, and passed away in January 1983.
- Wilson Social Justice Fund. Ginger and Dodd Wilson established this fund in 2015. It is intended to help the Society act on its social justice principles; to support social justice projects developed and recommended by the social action committee, staff or members.
- The Foundation’s Unrestricted Fund supports projects of the First Unitarian Society at the discretion of the Foundation Board, or as designated by the donors. Funds may be used for innovative projects and ideas that forward the mission of the Society. Examples of awards include construction and start-up costs for the Society Bookstore, renovation of the kitchen, support of the Unity Summer Program, lighting upgrades for the Lower Assembly Hall and contributions to Housing Humanism.
If you want more information on the Foundation or would like to help us with our important work, you may contact us or by mail at:
First Unitarian Society
900 Mount Curve Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
If you plan on including the Foundation in your will, please download, complete and return the FUS Foundation Declaration Intent Form. So doing (or making a contribution of $1,000 or more) will qualify you for permanent recognition as a Friend of the Foundation.