Overview and History
The Trustees of Diocesan Funds manage financial and real estate assets contributed for parish, mission, Diocese and Episcopate endowments in accordance with the terms of the gifts or grants.
The Trustees of Diocesan Funds were incorporated in 1849 under the laws of the State of Maine "to take and hold real and personal estate contributed for parochial endowments or other church purposes," including the support and or salary of the Episcopate. The Trustees "manage and dispose of the same in accordance with the terms of the several gifts, grants or endowments" and "keep an account with each endowment or gift comprising the fund, and shall report their actions in managing the fund and the condition of the fund to the convention of the diocese annually." Private and Special Laws of Maine, 1849, amended most recently in 1994.
The Trustees manage financial assets with a market value of approximately $29.6 million. Approximately 44 percent of these assets are for the benefit of individual congregations, either because a congregation received a bequest under a will in care of the Trustees, received a lifetime gift in care of the Trustees or chose to place the congregation's assets with the Trustees. The balance of assets were received either by bequest or lifetime gift for the benefit of the Trustees or the Bishop and are administered pursuant to the discretion of the Trustees or of the Bishop. All of the assets are held in either restricted or unrestricted funds.
Funds are invested in either the Trustees' pooled Equity Fund (currently approximately 63%) or the Trustees' pooled Fixed Income Fund (approximately 37%). Both pooled Funds are invested in accordance with the Trustees' Statement of Investment Objectives and Guidelines.
The pooled Fixed Income Fund is self-administered and invested in "laddered" U.S. Treasury Notes with maturities ranging from one to eleven years. The average annual coupon rate of the Fixed Income Fund is approximately 3.7 percent.
Management of the Pooled Equity Fund is divided between three investment management firms, HeadInvest of Portland, Maine, Welch & Forbes LLC of Boston, Massachusetts, and HM Payson & Co. of Portland, Maine.
The Trustees oversee 340 individual accounts invested in the two pooled funds. Custody and fund accounting services are provided by U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. The Trustees periodically put the investment management and custody/fund accounting services out to bid to ensure the best advice, service and competitive pricing.
Find current reports posted below. More detailed information is available upon request.
Availability of Services
The services of the Trustees of Diocesan Funds are available to all parishes, missions, and related organizations of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. For unrestricted assets owned by a congregation, the congregation may choose and change its investment mix between the pooled Fixed Income Fund and the pooled Equity Fund. There is no load or sales charge, only the direct expenses of investment management and custody/fund accounting services as described above. Individuals who wish to include bequests in their wills to benefit individual congregations can work out the details of establishing endowments or restricted use of donations with the Trustees at no cost to the individual or the congregation. Additionally, donations of stock to the Bishop, Diocese, or an individual congregation can be made through the Trustees.
How to Establish an Account
A minimum investment of $1,000 is necessary to establish a new account with the Trustees. After an account is set up, no minimum amount is required for additions. Congregations can make the decisions concerning allocation of assets between the pooled Equity Fund and the pooled Fixed Income Fund. The Trustees request that when a new account is established, the congregation provide directions concerning allocation of assets between the pooled Fixed Income Fund and the pooled Equity Fund. If no direction is provided, a default allocation will be applied (currently 65% of the assets will be invested in the pooled Equity Fund and 35% in the pooled Fixed Income Fund). In addition, the Trustees request directions as to whether the congregation wishes to receive quarterly distributions of income from the account or to have the income added to the principal and reinvested within the account. Currently, quarterly distributions from the pooled Fixed Income Fund are based on actual interest received. Quarterly distributions from the pooled Equity Fund are determined on a Total Return basis using a twelve quarter average market value methodology at a 4.75 % annual distribution rate.
Diocesan Revolving Loan Fund
The Trustees hold endowments in the Bishop's Discretionary Fund with a current value of approximately $3.9 million. The Diocesan Revolving Loan Fund program calls for the use of no more than $250,000 of the Bishop's Discretionary Fund endowment assets to create a Diocesan Revolving Loan Fund. This Fund provides for the financing of maintenance, repair, and upgrade of real assets to Diocesan organizations, i.e. parishes, missions, and related church organizations on the short-term basis, no more than five years, in amounts not to exceed $25,000. This Fund is administered and monitored by the Trustees as an asset management function of the Bishop's Discretionary Fund endowments.
Market updates from the fund managers:
Current Trustees of Diocesan Funds
Trustees are elected by Diocesan Convention to four year terms. There are no term limits.
- Frank Governali, Current President, St. Alban's, Cape Elizabeth
- The Rev. Timothy Boggs
- Nathaniel V. Henshaw, St. Paul's, Brunswick
- James Kitler, Church of Our Father, Hull's Cove
- Betsey McCandless, Cathedral Church of St. Luke's, Portland
- Carlos Mello, St. Thomas', Camden
- John Watson, Cathedral Church of St. Luke's, Portland
- The Rt. Rev. Thomas James Brown, Tenth Bishop of Maine
Additional information about the Diocesan Trustees can be obtained upon request:
Terry Reimer, Canon for Finance and Stewardship
Episcopal Diocese of Maine
143 State St.
Portland, ME 04101
207-772-1953 ext. 134