The North Carolina Baptist Foundation (NCBF) rolled out changes to its logo and slogan this past spring, executive director Clay Warf told the Biblical Recorder in an interview June 14.
NCBF is an agency of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina that manages trust assets and offers other financial services to North Carolina Baptist churches and individuals.
In an effort to present a more straightforward vision, the Foundation chose to change its slogan from “Serving Those Whose Stewardship Lasts Forever” to “Fostering Generosity … Facilitating Growth,” Warf told the Recorder.
The new slogan resulted from a set of suggestions by NCBF staff after Warf asked them to think of “other mottos that would really catch the gist of what we’re doing, that would be in more contemporary terms.”
NCBF has also been combining its functions with those of its subsidiary ministry, North Carolina Baptist Financial Services, coming under the umbrella, “North Carolina Baptist Foundation Services.”
“This rebranding is not for the purpose of just giving us a new look, but an effort to give a visual of what the Foundation has become by God’s grace and leadership over the past 20 years,” Warf said.
Although the Foundation has not officially changed its name, identifying with N.C. Baptist Financial Services better communicates all that it offers, from estate planning to church loans – most of which can be provided at no cost, said Warf.
The Foundation only charges fees once it begins to manage clients’ money. There is no charge for consultations, estate planning assistance or church speaking engagements and workshops.
“You give CP [Cooperative Program] gifts, you support this ministry, so why not use it?” Warf said. “We’re told that in the U.S., probably 60 to 65 percent of adults do not have a last will and testament, which means, if they die, they die intestate, and that puts their estate in the hands of the court rather than in the hands of their family. You’ll never do anything charitable unless you have a will.
“We encourage people to have a will, let your family know what your desires are, be responsible for all the blessings that you have as a Christian steward, whether it’s a little bit or a lot.”
Warf often encourages North Carolina Baptists to start endowments, which eventually provide income to ministries of their choice, and are easily attainable.
At the Foundation, individuals can start a cumulative endowment with $100 and begin paying charities once the endowment reaches $1,000. The gifts are 100 percent tax deductible.
“It amazes me that people tithe, and they die and never leave anything for the church. It’s easy to put in your will,” Warf said.
Organizations that NCBF clients often choose to support include the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, Baptist colleges and seminaries, and local churches.
The Foundation is careful to ensure there are no investments in companies with any connection to alcohol, pornography, gambling or abortion.
“Sometimes companies buy companies that buy companies, and you have to be vigilant about those kinds of things.
“That’s our intent, is to have nothing invested in things that we consider detrimental to the cause of Christ.”
NCBF also offers church fund management agreements. They work with churches that might have funds they’re not ready to spend or have no plans of spending soon, such as scholarships, building funds or cemetery upkeep funds.
“They choose the fund, however aggressive they want it to be, and we manage the money until they’re ready for it.”
Another common resource congregations use is a church loan, offered by N.C. Baptist Financial Services. Warf said the Foundation takes great care and caution in approving loans and require a process similar to what is necessary when taking out a bank loan.
“We’ve never had one in default, we’ve never had one even behind. So sometimes we have to deny a loan … we don’t say no indefinitely, we just say ‘not at this time; that would not be a healthy thing for you to do.’”
Warf hopes the subtle changes and renewed emphasis on financial services raises North Carolina Baptists’ awareness of the value of planning ahead. He said the Foundation hasn’t set any numerical goals “because our job is to plant seeds and encourage faithful stewardship, and partner with people to make happen what they want to happen … in a cost-wise way.”
The updates come as NCBF prepares for its 100th anniversary in 2020.