MB Foundation assets pass $126 million

MB Foundation is reporting that its assets grew by 6.7 percent, with a year-end balance of just over $126 million, despite several forces that should have resulted in a declining asset base in 2011.

First, the market was basically flat in 2011, according to Jon Wiebe, president and chief executive officer of the Hills?boro-based charitable organization.

The standard asset allocation used for the majority of MBF investment pools returned a meager 1.44 percent.

?This was slightly higher than the composite index used to measure performance, but with most pools paying out 5 percent, not nearly a great enough return to facilitate growth,? Wiebe said.

Second, MBF experienced a record number of estate distributions resulting in more than $4.4 million released to charities in 2011. Forty percent of these funds were distributed to non-Mennonite Brethren ministries to assist them in fulfilling their mission.

?MB Foundation serves as a conduit to connect individuals called to generosity with the vision of various charities throughout the United States and around the world,? Wiebe said. ?Over $700,000 was disbursed to a total of six charities in Marion County.?

Despite the difficult economy, many individuals continue to be motivated to be ?generous and willing to share,? Wiebe said.

The following gifts highlight what Wiebe called ?the unusual nature? of some of the gift arrangements facilitated in 2011:

? $500,000 cash matching gift commitment;

? Outright gift of 4,000 tons of corn silage;

? Farm machinery into a charitable trust;

? Closely held stock;

? Charitable IRA roll-over into an endowment;

? Outright gift of a restored 100 year old home,

?A number of churches used the new firstfruits resources launched by MB Foundation in 2011,? Wiebe said. ?These resources were designed to help transform individuals to live a firstfruits lifestyle and to help transform congregations to practice firstfruits. More than 1,000 oranges were given away as an illustration of firstfruits.

Wiebe said 69 percent of contributions received in 2011 were the result of gifts at death, illustrating the powerful affects of planned giving.

?We rejoice that we currently have over $120 million of charitable gifts in place to fund future ministry,? he added.

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