75th Year Endowment Campaign: Thank You!

From Jan Orr-Harter, Chair of the Endowment 75 Committee:

What’s more unlikely? That PPF would declare a victory in the face of Covid-19 or that a peace organization would even still be here after 75 years? Well, we’ve done both! Thank you to everyone who has supported and helped the 75th Year Endowment Campaign, which the PPF Executive Committee has declared completed and a huge accomplishment for a nationwide community of peacemongers.

Our goal was to raise $400,000 to celebrate PPF’s 75th year, which would lift the current endowment fund over the $1 million mark. We were about $35,000 shy of this goal when the pandemic hit hard and PPF concluded that it was not a good time to continue to raise money for the endowment fund. Rather, we are celebrating this victory now and will make up the $35,000 by new endowment fundraising over the next years.

But that’s not the whole story. The whole story is 216 PPF households joining our dollars together as a peace legacy. It’s gifts and pledges from 35 states and the District of Columbia, from Maine to Oregon, from Wisconsin to Texas. It’s multiple generations digging deeply and sacrificially. It’s many young adults who supported an endowment for the first time. Many retired PPFers, giving from IRA funds or by other means to leave a lasting legacy for peace. School teachers, pastors, students. It was gifts from three estates of PPFers —from campaign committee member Bill Coop, from Ruth Mehl of Arizona and Marie Galda of Nebraska. It was learning that Marie Galda was part of the Hussite Presbyterians with an ancient Bohemian legacy of following the self-sacrifice and nonviolence of Jesus. We also lost campaign supporter Ruth Morgan of TN. All of them: ¡Presente!

The story was also a story of celebration of the PPF 75th anniversary. Emily Brewer became a travelling 75th birthday party, showing up with cake, candles and a song by Carolyn Winfrey-Gillette wherever she went. The campaign benefited from a concert at the First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills, NY. We were blessed with not only Carolyn’s song, but also with a campaign poem by Barrie Shepherd and a 75th year poster created by Emma Warman, right. The campaign communications highlighted the long-term commitment to peacemaking all across the PPF community. Thank you to all who lent their voices, photos and creativity.

Like all of PPF’s fundraising, it was a “kitchen table campaign.” Rather than hiring a glossy campaign company, it was committee members and PPF staff working from their own homes to create and administer the project. Special thanks to: our Honorary Campaign Co-Chairs; our campaign committee and PPF staff, Katie Blanchard, Emily Brewer, Christa Galvin, Art Hunt, Bruce Gillette, Melinda Thompson, Jan Orr-Harter, Whitney Palmer, Rick Ufford-Chase, Alan Burton from Hope Manifest and our guiding spirit, Bill Coop. Thank you to Stony Point Center for forwarding the endowment mail to us every week so that it could be invested and start earning income that very week.

That income is very important to PPF now and for the future. Over the last six years, the endowment has provided $191,099 for use in PPF’s annual budgets, with $37,202 to support for PPF action in 2020.

By endowment standards, ours is small fund. But we use it extremely well and we also make it a witness within the Presbyterian Foundation for Occupation-Free and Fossil-Free investing. Like everyone else, the fund at the Presbyterian Foundation’s New Covenant Trust Company has been impacted by the drop in the stock market, but we expect it to recover. We have been far more protected than investors in fossil fuels.

So thank you to all!

For the 78 of us who are paying our pledges out over time, PPF will work to create a sense of community and forward progress as we work our way through these pledges over the next three years. Stay tuned for news on how PPFers are getting creative to make pledge payments. Again, thank you for celebrating 75 years by preparing for peacemaking to come. May the Prince of Peace use these gifts to the glory of God’s vision for life on this increasingly small planet. Alleluia, Amen!

75th Anniversary poster

Artwork by AC member Emma Warman.


Feel free to share and use these wonderful gifts by well-loved Presbyterian Writers:

Download Poem written for PPF’s 75th Year by J. Barrie Shepherd

“You Turn Mourning Into Dancing”
Download hymn written for PPF’s 75th year by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

In the peace that Christ gives,

Endowment Campaign Honorary Co-Chairs:
Susan Andrews (MO)
James E. Atwood (VA)
Areta Crowell (CA)
J. Barrie Shepherd (ME)

Endowment 75 Campaign Committee:
Bill Coop (CO)
Bruce Gillette (NY)
Art Hunt (CT)
Whitney Palmer (MD)
Melinda Thompson (DE)
Rick Ufford-Chase (NY)
Chair: Jan Orr-Harter (TX)
Emily Brewer (NY)
Allan Burton (AL)