(Pictured above) Upbring receives annual endowment checks from Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest each December, the latest in the amount of $149,000. From left to right: Deacon John Dellis, Director of Legacy Planning for LFSW; Holly Raymond, Upbring’s Chief of Community Engagement and LFSW board member; Mark Armstrong, Executive Director of LFSW; and Lenora Doerfler, Upbring’s former Philanthropic Advisor who sat on the LFSW board.

Established in 1979 by four prominent Texas Lutherans, the Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest (LFSW) opened doors for people of faith to support their cherished Lutheran ministries, sparking a wave of philanthropy that continues to enrich lives today. With endowments exceeding $50 million as of May 2023, the Foundation distributes annual giving to eight sponsoring organizations, including Upbring, Texas Lutheran University, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). 

Philanthropists support Upbring because they are familiar with our long-standing programs, according to John Dellis, Director of Legacy Planning for the Foundation. “They see the blessings of Upbring’s work with foster families, through adoption, its efforts to break the cycle of child abuse and serving as the church’s disaster response partner.”  

Legacy gifts play a vital role in the Foundation’s mission. These gifts are made by individuals through their last will and testament, ensuring that their chosen charity or nonprofit, such as Upbring, receives a contribution upon their passing. In contrast, the Foundation’s endowments provide annual support to the sponsored organizations. 

Upbring has already received substantial support through the Foundation. By 2022, we had received $2.8 million in endowment income and $887,000 in outright gifts or cash. The flexibility of endowment income allows us to direct funds where they are most needed, whether it be fulfilling specific goals or bridging gaps in project funding. 

Anyone can plan a legacy through the Foundation, regardless of their financial means. Estate plans can range from $4,000 to substantial gifts in the millions of dollars. Contributions can include various assets such as cash, stock, real estate, personal property, life insurance or retirement plans. 

“Lots of times, when we meet with the donors and get details on their assets, people will say, ‘goodness, I had no idea we had this much,’ and that leads to some charitable generosity,” shares Mark Armstrong, Executive Director of the Foundation. “You know that term, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats?’ Imagine if we both move toward the same goal. There’s no way we can’t achieve more!’” shares Mark. “ 

Legacy gifts from donors like you make it possible for Upbring to provide life-changing assistance to the children and families we serve. For information on becoming an Upbring partner, visit Upbring.org/Get-Involved. To learn more about the Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest, explore lfsw.org. 

Keep up with what's happening in your community.