The First Unitarian Church of Des Moines Endowment Fund was created in 1987. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for the church membership to make gifts and bequests to express their lasting appreciation for the blessings and bounty bestowed upon them and for the services, work and influence of the church on community life. Funds are NOT spent on general operations of the church. Management and operation of the fund is handled by two committees: an investment committee and a disbursement committee, commonly referred to as the Endowment Development Committee.


In 2011, the investment committee made the decision to invest our Endowment Fund monies through the Unitarian Universalist Common Endowment Fund, which practices socially responsible investing. This fund is run by the Unitarian Universalist Association, headquartered in Boston, MA.
Donations to the Endowment Fund may be made in 2 ways:

  1. Current donations: Submit cash or check (preferred) or other financial instrument to Deb Dessert, Director of Finance and Administration, with a note indicating that the contribution is for the Endowment. Checks should be made out to “First Unitarian Church Endowment Fund”.
  2. Donations in a will or trust: After the will or trust document is completed, inform Deb Dessert, DFA, that you are making such a bequest and provide a copy of the relevant document(s).

Restrictions: the Endowment does not accept gifts of property. Gifts to the Endowment typically do not restrict the use of that gift for a specific purpose.

Endowment Investment Committee Members

Steve Evans, Greg Nichols, and Todd Lackmann.


The Endowment Development Committee has two responsibilities:

  1. Committee members actively endeavor to grow the fund by engaging with church members to encourage donations of cash or other financial instruments as well as bequests through will or trust.
  2. The Endowment contains a provision for using up to 85% of the net annual income earned. Since 2008, the Endowment Development Committee has accomplished this task through a program known as REACH (Radical Engagement And Creative Happenings).

REACH Grants

Any member or church group may apply for a REACH grant. Typically REACH grants are used for such things as equipment purchases, educational opportunities for members, and community outreach. The amount of money available for REACH grants varies from year to year. Grant applications are typically sought beginning in April and awards are announced in July. Click here for more information on REACH grant guidelines and the application and awards process.

Endowment Development Committee Members

Feel free to contact any member of the Endowment Development Committee if you have questions, would like to make a donation OR include the Endowment Fund in a will or trust.
The members for the 2016-2017 fiscal year are:
Doug Hoffman, doughoff2(at)mchsi(dot)com, 515-221-0901
Heidi Lackmann, heidi.lackmann(at)gmail(dot)com, 515-287-7023
Jill Philby, jill.philby22(at)gmail(dot)com, 515-984-6971
Liz Bredeson, egbredeson(at)gmail(dot)com, 515-287-3143
Margaret Schultz, mgrahamschultz(at)gmail(dot)com, 515-327-7030