The Foundation of First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis was established in 1992 by visionary leaders who understood the importance of creating a source of continuing support for the work of our unique humanist institution. Bequests and donations enable members leave a tangible legacy that will support the programs and principles they value into the future.
The Foundation makes annual disbursements to support the Society’s operating budget and its religious education, music and social justice programs as well as other needs. During the 2020-21 program year, its disbursements totaled over $72,000.
You can can contribute to the Foundation by sending a check to made out to Foundation of First Unitarian Society to First Unitarian Society, 900 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403 or by contributing online through our secure third-party service.
The Foundation also accepts bequests from the members and friends of the Society and welcomes them to declare their intention to make a planned gift. By making a gift of $1,000 or more, a donor is recognized as a Friend of the Foundation. We encourage potential donors to complete this online form to declare their intention.
FUS members may apply for grants from the Foundation for purposes listed in the fund descriptions below by complete and returning a fund request form.
The Foundation is a MN nonprofit corporation governed by its Board of Directors elected by the trustees of the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis in accordance with the Foundation’s bylaws. It currently manages the nine funds below which have combined assets of over $2 million:
- The Endowment Fund advances and promotes the general interest and purposes of the Society through annual grants that support its operating budget. 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 Bill Ogren Memorial Religious Education Enrichment Fund honors the life of Bill Ogren who passed away in early 2021 through a generous bequest from the Ogren family. Bill took a strong interest in FUS young people and their families and made it a point to get to know them. He regularly volunteered at FUS and contributed financially to the religious education program. This new fund will make annual grants to support youth activities, including travel to the UUA General Assembly and periodic trips to Boston and social justice projects. For more about Bill Ogren, see this biographical sketch.
- 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.
- The 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 Unrestricted Fund supports projects of the First Unitarian Society at the discretion of the Foundation Board. 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, and lighting upgrades for the Lower Assembly Hall.
For more information or to help the Foundation with its important work, you may contact us by email or by regular mail at: Foundation, First Unitarian Society, 900 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Current Foundation directors are:
Bob Aderhold, President
Marc Johnson, Vice President
Joe Lazur, Treasurer
Becca Bracket, Secretary
George Hutchinson (FUS board representative)