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MB Foundation grows for 21st consecutive year

2011 growth comes despite forces that should have led to a declining asset base

MB Foundation news story

MB Foundation assets grew by 6.7 percent, with a 2011 year-end balance of $126,076,653, announced Jon Wiebe, MB Foundation president and CEO. The growth came despite forces that should have resulted in a declining asset base in 2011, according to the May 21 announcement.

First, the market was basically flat in 2011. The standard asset allocation used for the majority of Foundation investment pools returned a meager 1.44 percent. This was slightly higher than the composite index used to measure performance but with most pools paying out five percent, not nearly a great enough return to facilitate growth.

Secondly, MB Foundation experienced a record number of estate distributions resulting in over $4.4 million released to charities in 2011. Sixty percent of these funds were distributed to Mennonite Brethren ministries to assist them in fulfilling their mission. MB Foundation serves as a conduit to connect individuals called to generosity with the vision of various ministries throughout the United States and around the world.

Despite the difficult economy, many individuals continue to be motivated to be “generous and willing to share (I Tim. 6:18).” The following gifts highlight the unusual nature of some of the gift arrangements facilitated in 2011:
· $500,000 cash matching gift commitment
· Outright gift of 4,000 tons of corn silage
· Farm machinery into a charitable trust
· Closely held stock
· Charitable IRA roll-over into an endowment
· Outright gift of a restored 100 year old home

A number of churches used the new firstfruits resources launched by MB Foundation in 2011. These resources were designed to help transform individuals to live a firstfruits lifestyle and to help transform congregations to practice firstfruits. More than 1,000 oranges were given away as an illustration of firstfruits.

Sixty-nine percent of contributions received in 2011 were the result of gifts at death, illustrating the powerful affects of planned giving. “We rejoice that we currently have over $120 million of charitable gifts in place to fund future ministry,” says Wiebe.

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