Determined to serve the Church to the utmost in this time of evolutionary change, the Presbyterian Foundation and The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have forged a pioneering partnership.
Funds development by the agencies is being consolidated under the Foundation, which has helped raise, steward, and distribute funds for ministry and mission for 216 years. In recent years, the Foundation has responded to technological advances and changes in giving patterns by providing congregations with online giving tools and access to investment management services, and guiding pastors and church leaders in bequest fundraising, more commonly associated with educational institutions.
The Reverend Dr. Thomas F. Taylor, President and CEO of the Foundation, and the Reverend Frank Clark Spencer, President of the Board of Pensions, said the consolidation would better meet the needs of donors and the denomination.
“God means for us, as Christians, to be instruments in answering people’s prayers for help,” Dr. Taylor said. “The Foundation is committed to making stronger congregations. We want to strengthen their mission and ministry efforts. We’re helping them build communities of generosity.”
Kevin J. Garvey — a Board of Pensions employee who now serves jointly as the Board of Pensions’ Chief Development Officer and the Presbyterian Foundation’s Chief Ministry Relations Officer — will join the Foundation full time July 1, 2015, as Senior Vice President of Development. Mr. Garvey, who has coordinated the agencies’ funds development work since 2012, will continue to serve the Board in a consultative capacity.
In his new role, Mr. Garvey will oversee the Foundation’s asset-gathering work, providing leadership to the development of fundraising strategies, resources, and tools. He will lead fundraising collaboration efforts among PC(USA) agencies and institutions, including the Board of Pensions, Presbyterian Historical Society, and Presbyterian Women. He will be a member of the Foundation’s senior management team.
“This is a natural next step for our two agencies and for the Church,” Rev. Spencer said. Traditionally, the Board’s role has been to administer the church Benefits Plan. Today, the job of caring for retired and active church workers and their families is more complex, he said. In response, the Board recognizes the need to focus on a holistic approach to benefits, one that considers care for the whole person, for spiritual, vocational, and financial well-being as well as physical health.
The Board of Pensions will continue to conduct the annual giving campaign for its Assistance Program. The Assistance Program — funded by gifts, legacies, endowment income, and half the Christmas Joy Offering — is the only Board-administered program for which funds are raised. No dues go to support it.
In addition to the consolidation of funds development work, the Board of Pensions and Foundation are also working together on the National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders, an initiative funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. Also, the agencies are now collaborating to design programs they believe would encourage cultural change in the denomination, supporting the future ministry of the PC(USA).