According to John D. Rockefeller, the secret to success is to do the common things uncommonly well. This is certainly true for the First Presbyterian Church of Bryan Foundation. Not unlike others of its kind, this Foundation exists to support First Presbyterian Church of Bryan, TX (FPC Bryan), as well as those missions supported by the church. However, their tireless dedication to stewardship, cooperation, and their fiduciary responsibilities make them truly an extraordinary organization. Founded in 1867, FPC Bryan has remained dedicated to mission for many, many years. Even in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic, giving at the church came in higher than planned for this year and at an increase over the previous year. However, it’s the way both the church and the Foundation fulfill their purpose that makes them so special.
Established in the early 1980s through two substantial bequests, thanks to generous support and careful stewardship, assets for the Foundation have increased to over $5 MM. Perhaps even more importantly, the First Presbyterian Church of Bryan Foundation has provided more than $4.7 MM back to the church to support their missions and programs. While the church is not dependent on the Foundation for survival, there can be no question that this Foundation greatly impacts their church, local community, and even those beyond.
What lessons can we learn from our friends at the First Presbyterian Church of Bryan Foundation?
With approximately 350 members, FPC Bryan and First Presbyterian Church of Bryan Foundation have worked together to ensure that even in a pandemic their focus does not turn inward, but rather remains concentrated on the needs of others in their community. Together, they continually strive to change the lives of those in need. Led by the moderator, Ken Telg, the Foundation Board of Trustees works closely together to ensure the continued success of the Foundation. Comprised of nine Trustees, who are also church members, this group prides itself on a unified and committed approach based on mutual respect and alignment of purpose. While they only officially meet four times each year, these men and women communicate regularly to support the seamless operation of the Foundation.
FPC Bryan has a long-term congregation, so like TPF, they believe strongly in a long-term investment philosophy. Their approach to managing their investments ensures that they carefully weigh the risks (and duration) of investment losses against the potential for growth of assets over a long-term time horizon. Of course, in accordance with TPF’s long-term, diversified investment strategy, market timing does not impact the management of their four primary legacy funds. It is these four funds that work together to support not only the church, but also more than 55 non-profit organizations and programs.
TPF and First Presbyterian Church of Bryan Foundation work closely together to manage their investments and legacy funds. TPF’s quarterly performance numbers are regularly reviewed by the First Presbyterian Church of Bryan Foundation Board of Trustees and used to drive critical conversations and decisions. Additionally, TPF brochures, inserts and other educational materials are key resources for the Foundation as they strive to tell their story and promote legacy giving. The TPF website (www.tpf.org) is also an important tool the Foundation leverages when working with donors due to the extensive amount of edifying information found there. According to Ken Telg, “TPF is a valued partner who has no doubt contributed to the success of our foundation. Our values align so closely, and even during a pandemic, they remained incredibly responsive, never missing a beat.”
TPF is honored to support First Presbyterian Church of Bryan Foundation, as they continually strive to support their church and change the lives of others.