The West Nidaros Foundation was established in 2000 through a vote of the congregation. It is a desire of West Nidaros to encourage, receive and administer gifts given by donors in accordance with their wishes and Foundation policies. The Foundation manages endowment and memorial funds.

The Endowment Fund
The purpose of the Endowment Fund is to support the work of West Nidaros in carrying out its mission of Sharing Christ’s Love with All. With a gift to the West Nidaros Foundation, individuals can leave an enduring, beneficial legacy. Such gifts provide a way to continue Christian stewardship beyond one’s lifetime. The Foundation provides a mechanism to help assure financial strength for West Nidaros to meet challenges in the years ahead.

Except where authorized otherwise in the terms of a gift, principal amounts shall be retained and only income from the fund expended. Income from the Endowment Fund shall be used for purposes outlined in the Foundation by-laws.

The Memorial Fund
The purpose of the memorial fund is to receive gifts given in memory of others. Both the principal and income may be distributed for purposes consistent with West Nidaros Lutheran Church mission, the Foundation’s policies and the donor’s wishes.

A five-member committee elected by the congregation serves as a steward of gifts to the Foundation and is responsible for keeping records pertaining to invested funds. The committee makes recommendations to the church council concerning a) which professional financial institution the funds shall be invested in, and b) how available funds shall be distributed.

All Foundation funds are currently invested with Lutheran Planned Giving of South Dakota. Free confidential gift planning is available from trained professional Lutheran Planned Giving of South Dakota counselors.

Current Committee Members

  • Char Johnson 529-5340
  • Tony Lee 543-5365
  • Kelli Merry 371-3314
  • Vince Hanson 543-5250
  • Ron Hegge 543-6879
  • Trish Olthoff 543-5284 (WN Financial Secretary)
  • Jeff Oyen 543-5885 (Council Representative)


One way to give to West Nidaros Lutheran Church Foundation is through a bequest in your will. This permits you to make a gift to the church upon your death and to determine now the nature and extent of the gift. Your professional advisor can help you select one of these ways to include the Foundation in your new or revised will.

Life Insurance
There are many types and arrangements of life insurance programs. The face amount of the policy would be paid to the Foundation, and the premiums you pay would be deductible since they would be going to a charitable organization.

Gift Annuities
You may wish to give cash to the Foundation but need to retain the investment income for your or a survivor’s life, after which the principal would go to the Foundation in name. There are tax advantages with this kind of arrangement.

A trust may be established and property transferred to the trust to be managed by a trustee of your choosing. The trustee may be a private individual, a corporation having the trust powers, a trust department of a bank or a trust company, West Nidaros Lutheran Church Foundation, or the ELCA Foundation. You and other designated beneficiaries can receive the income from the trust assets for life.

There are many types of trust arrangements which can result in both tax savings and the desired contribution. A trust should be specifically tailored to fit your needs. The creation of a trust should be discussed with your professional advisors.

Life Estate Gift
A donor can obtain income and estate tax benefits by making a charitable gift of a personal residence or farm, even though the donor retains the right to life enjoyment. A “personal” residence may include a donor’s vacation home even though it is not the “primary” residence. A life estate may be retained for more lives or for a term of years.

The major benefit of the live reserved type of gift is that the donor continues to enjoy full use of the property during their lifetime and also has the immediate benefit of a current income tax deduction. In addition, when the donor dies, there may be savings in both probate costs and estate tax.

Lifetime Gifts
You may own a capital asset, such as real estate, securities or other property, that has increased in value since you acquired it and that would produce taxable capital gain if you were to sell it. If you give such property to the West Nidaros Foundation, you can take a deduction for part or all of the property and may avoid paying any tax on the appreciation in value.

In addition to gifts of appreciated “capital gain” property, you can make gifts of other property whether or not it has appreciated in value since you acquired it. In these cases, the amount of your tax deduction varies with the type of property given and your cost basis for the property. In some cases only a portion of the appreciation may be deductible. Of course, you should consult your own professional advisors concerning the tax consequences of this type of transaction.


For more information please contact one of the committee members or the West Nidaros office at (605)543-5215 or office@westnidaros.org.