An endowment is a portfolio of assets from gifts that are kept intact with only the income generated used. The FPC Endowment provides a way for persons to make gifts that provide for the long-term future of the church. The principal of these gifts is held in perpetuity with the investment income made available for ministries of the church.

An endowment gift may be made at any time and is frequently made in honor or memory of an individual or as part of an estate plan. Endowment funds strengthen the church so that it may continue to empower its ministries. Each gift makes a lasting contribution through the life of First Presbyterian Church.

Giving to the Endowment Fund

Individuals may make gifts to the Unrestricted Fund within the Endowment or designate to a specific fund (listed below). New funds may also be created. Gifts of any size are welcome.

Please contact our Endowment and Memorials Coordinators for a confidential discussion of Endowment Fund options.


Distributions from the ‘unrestricted’ portion of The Endowment Fund are generally made annually, the amount of which depends on the market performance of The Endowment Fund. Over the past two years, through an application process, grants totaling about $50,000 have been made for insulation above the church offices, refurbishing two classrooms in the lower level, the Pasrur, Pakistan building project, adding a second worship service, travel expenses for overture advocates to General Assembly, the Camp Wyoming (Iowa) building project, supporting Iowa City’s Four Oaks with a special foster family project, the Iowa City free lunch program, improved church signage, and alternative sanctuary seating.


Building Fund: This fund is restricted to providing well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing facilities sufficient to carry out First Presbyterian Church’s ministries and mission. The fund was established by Session in 2008 by setting aside $30,000 from the unrestricted portion of the Endowment Fund. Disbursements are made to the Buildings and Grounds Council’s operating budget, the amount varying with the performance of the Endowment Fund.

Updegraff Organ Fund: Established in 1999 with a $75,000 bequest from Ruth Updegraff, this fund is restricted for special improvements or major repair of the sanctuary organ, except for new stops. Distributions from the fund may be used annually or may be accumulated in the event a major repair is needed.

Pasrur School Fund: In 1898, a United Presbyterian Church was established in Pasrur (meaning ‘joyous), Pakistan. Pasrur now has a population of 54,771 with an area of 394 sq. miles. After its founding, Pasrur became one of the main centers for the spread of Christianity in the Punjab. The Presbyterian-supported high school for girls located there has been in partnership with our First Presbyterian Church of Iowa City for several years. The Friends of Pasrur at FPC have been instrumental in funding improvements like the Boundary Wall (2001), providing library books and furniture (2002), making library upgrades (2003), and building the Multipurpose Hall, Computers and Science Laboratory (2004-2005), Boarding House, (2006-2007),and classrooms and lavatory (2012). Annually, our church funds 100 scholarships for students in the boarding house. In 2010, the Pat and Katie Lind family established a permanent fund for the school which is under the direction of the Friends of Pasrur.

Pastor Sam and Susan Massey Pasrur Fund: This fund was established by Session in 2013 to honor Pastor Sam and Susan Massey on the occasion of Pastor Sam’s 30th year of ordination. The fund will provide a source of permanent funding for the Pasrur Boarding House and/or School in Pakistan which operates under the auspices of the Presbyterian Education Board. Additions have been made by Herb and Janice Wilson and an anonymous donor.

Whitey and Grace Piro Fund for Fellowship: The Fund was established in 2012 by Session at the recommendation of the Endowment and Memorial Council from gifts to FPC in memory of Whitey and Grace Piro. The purpose of the Fund, which is under the direction of the Worship Council, is to enhance the opportunities for the FPC community to unite in Christian Fellowship.

(Two funds at the community foundation directly benefit FPC)

FPC Agency Fund: Session established an agency fund to allow individuals to take advantage of the Endow Iowa Tax Credits available to Iowa taxpayers who make a gift to an endowed fund at an authorized Iowa community foundation. The tax credit is 25% of the gift and a tax deduction on the federal return is also allowed. For more information about the Endow Iowa Tax Credit program,click here. Distributions are made available to FPC annually in accordance with the community foundation’s spending policy.

The Summerwill Handbell Ministry Endowed Fund: The fund was established in 2012 by longtime FPC member, Joey Summerwill, to provide financial support to nurture, build, and sustain disciples of Jesus Christ at First Presbyterian Church of Iowa City through the ministry of handbell music. Distributions are made annually to FPC in accordance with the community foundation’s spending policy.

Investment and Administration of Funds

The Endowment Funds are invested with Hills Bank. The Endowment and Memorials Committee, on behalf of the Session, reviews and approves the investment policies on an annual basis. Any transfer of the Fund’s assets to any other agent must be approved by the session of First Presbyterian Church of Iowa City.

The funds of The First Presbyterian Church of Iowa City Endowment Fund are administered by the Endowment and Memorials Council under authority granted by First Presbyterian Church of Iowa City’s Session. Complete Endowment Fund documents are available from the Council.

Calculation of Earnings for Spending

FPC’s current spending policy is 3% to 5% of the 12-quarter average market value of the Fund beginning with the last quarter of the immediately preceding year, adjusted for inflation.

Check our Resources page for the Request for Funding from Endowment Distributions application, sample bequest language, and a brochure on the 1840 Legacy Society.