100 YEARS OF
STRATEGIC PLAN 2008 - 2010
The United Church Foundation strengthens the Church’s ministries
through the faithful stewardship of resources by offering all parts of
the United Church of Christ sound ﬁnancial management services.
As we begin our second century of ministry guided by the principles
and beliefs of the United Church of Christ, the United Church
Foundation strives to be the preferred provider of ﬁnancial services to
the churches, associations, conferences and other institutions of the
United Church of Christ and to expand our ministry to include
ecumenical partners and beyond.
s we celebrate 100 years of faithful stewardship, the United Church
Foundation is also looking to the future — the future of the United Church
of Christ and the Foundation’s role in furthering the ministry of the whole
Church. Celebrating 100 Years of Stewardship 2008-2010 is the Foundation’s
guide to determining the needs of its constituency and then meeting those needs.
The United Church of Christ has a rich heritage and a promising future, especially
evident in the God Is Still Speaking initiative of the United Church of Christ. And
as other parts of the UCC consider changes in governance structures, the United
Church Foundation looks forward to helping all parts of the Church be responsive
to God’s call to ministry in new and creative ways while maintaining the solid
ﬁnancial integrity it has demonstrated throughout its history.
This strategic plan is not really new. It is a refreshed look at More Money for Minis-
try 2004-2008. This strategic plan builds on the previous plan and establishes major
forward directions for the Foundation. The plan also lays out action steps to move
the Foundation in those directions. In the development of this plan, Board members
and staff have worked together to think about the past, present and future. We have
also looked critically at the previous strategic plan, making adjustments where nec-
essary and adding new ideas. Throughout the process we have sought the counsel
of key constituents where possible. We are grateful for the dedication of both staff
and Board members and also to many others who see the Foundation as a key part-
ner in the future development of the United Church of Christ.
We believe the ministry of the Foundation is important in the development of the
mission of the United Church of Christ. The Foundation exists to further the ministry
of the whole Church by helping our participants have more money for ministry. We
look forward to being a partner in ministry with as many local churches and other
institutions of the United Church of Christ as possible.
Chair, Board of Directors
This strategic plan for the United Church Foundation is a result of the ongoing evaluation of
our original strategic plan developed for the period 2004-2008. As we have lived into the
strategic plan, we learned that in some areas we were a bit more optimistic than realistic
and in others areas we may not have challenged ourselves enough. We also found that
although many of the strategies were appropriate for the Foundation, some of the action
steps needed to be revised or eliminated and new ones added. As we were advised as we
developed our original strategic plan, it is a living document, changing as circumstances
In the development of this “refreshed” strategic plan, the entire staff and Board of Direc-
tors of the Foundation, along with many colleagues at the national, conference and local
church settings of the United Church of Christ, were involved. Without the participation of
all, this plan would not be a reality today.
We began a year ago to look at the strategic plan with the goal of refreshing it. We found
that many of the goals had been achieved entirely or in part and were pleased with the
progress that had been made. We also conducted an audit of the Mission Statement and
found that the Mission Statement was still relevant without any change.
After agreeing that the Mission Statement was still valid, we spent considerable time re-
viewing our Vision Statement. As we thought about the future of the Church and how the
Foundation ﬁts into that future, we struggled with how to express the vision of the Founda-
tion for the near future while keeping it succinct, visionary, compelling and motivating.
Both staff and Board members have great passion for the ministry of the Foundation and we
all want to be able to provide many new services to the Church. We realize the vision of
the Foundation will change over time as the Church and society change. The Vision State-
ment adopted is one that will challenge us as we live into the future.
In our ﬁrst strategic plan, we identiﬁed Guiding Principles — the core values we hold as an
organization and individuals. We found that these principles were still the core values we
hold but added one new one: We will live by the same sustainability standards as those
we ask of the companies in which we invest.
As we reviewed the goals of our ﬁrst strategic plan, we considered what it is that we aspire
to be and do. Rather than state goals for the future, we decided to express our future in
terms of Forward Directions. The work we do over the next three years will be evaluated
against how the work moves us in these directions.
This strategic plan will direct us on how to utilize our limited human and ﬁnancial resourc-
es. At present the Foundation is the only national Ministry of the United Church of Christ
Church’s Wider Mission and relies solely on fees from
that receives no funding from Our ChurchesWider Mission and relies solely on fees from
managing the Common Investment Funds. So we must be wise and faithful stewards with
the resources we have; and as we think about new ministries and new services, we will
have to identify new sources of funding.
The Foundation currently provides ﬁnancial management services to churches and other
related entities of the United Church of Christ and we hope to be able to expand both the
services we provide and the constituency we serve. Within the United Church of Christ
there is the need for high quality, low cost ﬁnancial management and the Foundation in-
tends to continue to provide such services to the Church. We look forward to becoming a
partner in ministry with each person and each entity of the United Church of Christ.
Donald G. Hart
• Take seriously the Bible’s teachings on
stewardship of resources
• Serve in ministry to God’s Church
• Work in covenant with all settings of the
United Church of Christ
• Remain a ministry that seeks to be multicul-
tural-multiracial, open and afﬁrming
• Pursue a leadership role among church-
• Aspire to be a model of management for other
• Build effective partnerships with both church-
related and secular organizations
• Encourage and support teamwork in all
• Believe our primary responsibility is to meet
our constituents’ needs and expectations
• Never compromise on quality when
responding to constituents
• Believe our success should be measured
primarily by constituent satisfaction
• Include constituent participation in the
development of our services
• Work relentlessly to use our resources
• Make decisions in keeping with the trust the
Church and our constituents have placed in us
• Maintain the highest standards of ﬁnancial
integrity and accountability
• Vigilantly develop and utilize our human
• Live by the same sustainability standards as
those we ask of the companies in which
• Adhere to the highest ethical standards
• Maintain an unwavering commitment to
• Constantly seek skill improvement to better
perform our responsibilities
• Expect all employees to represent the Founda-
tion in a positive and professional way
• Constantly seek to add value to our services
• Never accept satisfaction with the status quo
• Seek visionary foresight
• Foster an environment of open-mindedness
• Encourage and reward initiative, creativity and
constant improvement in all that we do
Over the next three years, The United Church Foundation will direct its efforts to
achieving the following seven forward directions (not listed in order of importance) —
Offer an investment fund product mix that will make us the ﬁnancial ser-
vice provider of choice within the UCC and beyond.
Serve our participants so well that 95% comment positively about our cus-
tomer care and gladly recommend our products and services to others.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Develop informed decision makers throughout the UCC by providing edu-
cational opportunities and resource materials about investment manage-
ment best practices.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Be a leader in the faith-based institutional investment community in hold-
ing corporations accountable to their stakeholders for social and corporate
Achieve a level of competence throughout the organization that generates
continuous operational improvements and inspires constituent conﬁdence.
Increase assets under management to $1 billion by 2010 with 1,100 di-
Develop and extend our brand to ensure our identity and message are
clearly communicated across all channels and to all settings of the United
Church of Christ.
For each of the forward directions, a set of strategies has been developed. For each strategy,
action steps have been identiﬁed by employee and Board of Director teams. These action
steps will be further developed as the individual tactical plans are implemented.
Although the following strategies will become the direct responsibility of speciﬁc committees
and staff persons, it is understood that the entire strategic plan is the responsibility of all staff
persons, board members and committee members. This entire plan will be pursued in a spirit
of coordination, collaboration and partnership.
Offer an investment fund product mix that will make us the ﬁnancial service pro-
vider of choice within the UCC and beyond.
• Monitor needs of participants and prospects, searching for new product
• Maintain lowest possible operating cost on participants’ invested funds.
• Demonstrate advantages of using UCF products versus commercial
• Explore with investment managers the possibility of managing dedicated
portfolios for very large UCF accounts.
• Achieve investment performance that exceeds that of the appropriate
• Explore other opportunities to expand participant base.
Serve our participants so well that better than 95% comment positively about our
customer care and gladly recommend our products and services to others.
• Respond to all incoming inquiries politely, promptly and accurately.
• Extend every prospect and participant the highest level of courtesy and respect.
• Solicit feedback from customers about their opinion of our customer service.
• Create a special survey to target participants that have closed their accounts
with the Foundation within the last two years and are now using another
ﬁnancial institution to determine the reason for withdrawing from the Founda-
• Prepare a customer service procedures manual by the end of December 2008.
• Document success criteria regarding customer service and publish to all staff.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Develop informed decision makers throughout the UCC by providing educational
opportunities and resource materials about investment management best practices.
• Help educate investment decision makers at CHHSM Agencies and UCC
• conferences, Associations,
Help educate investment decision makers in UCC Conferences, associations,
and campground facilities.
• Help educate investment decision makers in local churches.
• Educate decision makers about the performance cost (if any) and beneﬁts of
being committed to corporate social responsibility.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Be a leader in the faith-based institutional investment community in holding
corporations accountable to their stakeholders for social and corporate
• Expand the Foundation’s active shareowner approach with portfolio
companies for those social and corporate governance issues of highest priority
to the Foundation’s stakeholders.
• Provide Foundation stakeholders with more frequent updates on
corporate dialogues, shareholder resolutions the Foundation has ﬁled, and
other activities in which the Foundation is engaged.
• Develop relevant CSR-related resources for clergy and local church
leaders for use in the Foundation’s overall ﬁnancial education function.
• Leverage CSR activities into increased Foundation resources.
• Establish CSR staff person as internal sustainability liaison/ofﬁcer who will be
responsible for periodic audits of environmental, social, and governance poli-
cies and procedures of the Foundation.
Achieve a level of competence throughout the organization that generates continu-
ous operational improvements and inspires constituent conﬁdence.
• Attract, train and retain professional, knowledgeable and service-oriented staff
• Increase the number of administrative staff necessary to service the increase in
the participant base.
• Increase the education and marketing staff to an appropriate number to
adequately respond to constituent needs.
• Develop and/or acquire cutting-edge technology necessary to meet the needs
• Recruit and develop a Board of Directors with the necessary knowledge and
Increase assets under management to $1 billion by 2010 with 1,100 diverse
• Identify, prioritize and enroll pre-qualiﬁed prospects by mail, phone and
• Increase the number of UCC health and human service organization
• Increase the number of UCC conferences and associations participating
• Increase the number of UCC church participants.
• Consider opening participation to selected ecumenical partners.
Develop and extend our brand to ensure our identity and message are clearly com-
municated across all channels and to all settings of the United Church of Christ.
• Consistently communicate our brand and message by ensuring all materials,
resources, advertisements and outreach vehicles conform to established graphic
and messaging standards.
• Develop a (rolling) two-year advertising and visibility plan that considers
all promotional channels, to maximize our use of resources and messaging
• Take advantage of our centennial and consider adoption of a new name under
which to market our services and extend our visibility.
No strategic plan can be successful without continuous evaluation of the
progress toward the goals established. The Executive Committee of the
Foundation’s Board of Directors will monitor our progress toward
accomplishment of our stated goals and will revise strategies or establish
new ones when and where necessary. Some of the key impact indicators
that will signal how successful this plan is include —
• We will consistently outperform investment benchmarks.
• We will consistently maintain an expense ratio that is well
below the industry average for actively managed, socially
• Our scores on customer satisfaction surveys will improve
• Total assets under management and the number of accounts
managed will increase to the stated goals. In addition, the
breadth of participation and average size of account will grow.
• We will maintain a client retention rate of at least 95%.
• We will experience minimal staff turnover.
• We will enjoy active participation by our Board of Directors.
• We will maintain a diverse Board of Directors that includes the
core competencies identiﬁed by the Board.
• Our reputation as a sound ﬁnancial management service agen-
cy of the United Church of Christ will increase among church
ﬁnancial planners, participants in our Common Investment
Funds, and non-participants.
• Among those companies we own, our reputation as an active
shareholder that seeks to hold corporate management
accountable will increase.
• The Foundation will be seen as a leader in the area of Corporate
Social Responsibility as evidenced by increased invitations to
speak about Corporate Social Responsibility and increased
consultations with other groups.
• The Foundation will be seen as a leader among other denomi-
national foundations as evidenced by their seeking advice and
consultation from the Foundation.
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1020
New York, NY 10115-1097