Benevolent Foundation

The St. John’s Benevolent Foundation exists to bridge the gap between our community’s abundant resources and the ministry needs that surround us.

Contributors to the Foundation join in a remarkable mission that extends the congregation’s outreach far beyond their lifetime.

Benevolent Foundation


The Foundation began in 1979 with a gift of $156,000 from the estate of DJ Mahaley. Since that time and with the generosity of many donors, the corpus has grown to $10 million and has provided nearly $6 million in grants.

Benevolent Foundation

How to Give

Living Trust

A living trust is a legal arrangement that allows a trustee to hold a title to assets and manage them for beneficiaries. These trusts have become a popular alternative or supplement to a last will and testament. Assets can be held for one’s life and distributed at a later date.

Give Through Your Will

In addition to being the most common way to distribute assets in the future, a will can be a thoughtful way to make charitable gifts. After first providing for the needs of your family, you may choose to benefit St. John's by giving: a percentage of estate, a specific amount, residual of estate after all bequest honored, or specific proper such as stocks, bonds, or real estate.

Giving Securities

If you own low-yielding stocks, mutual funds, or other securities that have increased in value since they were purchased, you may want to consider using them to make charitable gifts. When you give appreciated securities owned for longer than one year, you can deduct their full appreciated value, not just the amount you paid for them. You also do not have to pay capital gains tax that would be owed in the event of a sale. You are thus allowed to use the “paper profits” in the investment to make gifts while eliminating tax on the gain.

Giving Your Real Estate

You can make a gift of real estate while enjoying the use of the property for life or an exact period of time. Through such an arrangement, you can give a personal residence while reserving the right to live there as long as you wish.

Retirement Plan Assets

Retirement plan assets are often considered the attractive option for making a planned gift since these are among the most tax burdened assets in an estate. Making a future gift may reduce estate tax liability, while allowing you to leave assets that receive more favorable treatment to other beneficiaries.

Giving through IRAs

Your individual retirement account (IRA) is an excellent tool for saving for your retirement yours. Even better, it’s an easy way to support St. John’s and its mission. Making gifts from your IRA or similar retirement plan may result in little or no tax on these funds. If you are 59 ½ or older and itemize your deductions, you report the amount withdrawn along with an offsetting charitable deduction. Individuals aged 70 ½ or older can make tax-free charitable gifts in total amount up to $100,000 per year from a qualifying IRA. Consult with your IRA administrators or tax advisor to see if this is an option for you.

Benefits from Life Insurance

You may use one or more whole life insurance policies to make a future gifts. To use a life insurance policy, you could name the congregation as a beneficiary of a new or existing policy or transfer ownership of a new or existing policy.

Benevolent Foundation


The Foundation is made up of a variety of funds that have been designated to meet a particular ministry need. There are five primary categories:

Endowment Fund

The Endowment Fund provides competitive grants for ministries that are consistent with the vision and mission of the congregation. Grant recipients normally include agencies and schools within Salisbury and Rowan County, congregations and institutions within the NC Synod ELCA, and global mission partners. Although not an exclusive guideline, priority will be given to those applications that seek to reduce poverty in Rowan County.

Nehemiah Fund

The Nehemiah Fund provides resources that support the maintenance of our historic facility. Nehemiah was responsible for helping to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and is thereby a perfect namesake for a fund that ensures that this house of God remains in the heart of Salisbury for generations to come.

Fund for the Future

Established in 1997 at the 250th anniversary of the congregation, the Fund for the Future provides resources for ministry that is designed to dramatically affect future generations. For example, the Fund provided seed money for the St. John’s Child Development Center (1999) and helped to build the new Faith Center for contemporary worship and youth ministry (2015).


Foundation scholarships fall into two categories: college scholarships and ministerial scholarships. Students currently pursuing higher education are invited to apply for a College Scholarship, which includes scholarships specifically for students pursuing careers in church music, education, and health care.

Ministerial Scholarships are awarded to those pursuing a career in ministry and currently enrolled in an accredited seminary or divinity school program. First priority is given to members of St. John’s. The remaining funds are shared with the NC Synod to provide full tuition assistance to all of the synod’s ministerial candidates.

Cornerstone Trust

The Cornerstone Trust was established in 2017 to support ongoing ministry in the areas of worship, music, and discipleship.

Benevolent Foundation

How to Apply

College Scholarship
The 2022 - 2023 Scholarship Applications and supplemental materials must be submitted online by Feb. 28, 2022 at 5 pm.

Please read College Scholarship instructions prior to beginning your application.

Endowment Grant
The March 2021 Endowment Grant application window has closed.

All submissions will be held until the September 1 deadline.