Lu Krug Bequest – Funding for Projects
Lu Krug was a dedicated leader within our congregation and the greater Milwaukee community for many years. She was appointed by Mayor Frank Zeidler to the Milwaukee Human Rights Commission and later was Chair of the Milwaukee Commission on Community Relations. She worked with the Urban League for fair housing and served as President of the Milwaukee League of Women Voters. When she died in 2016, at the age of 100, she left FUSM a generous $850,000 bequest.
In accordance with Board policies, the Lu Krug Gift Acceptance Team (KGAT) was created to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees as to its use. In March 2018, the Board of Trustees approved KGAT’s recommended allocation of the bequest in line with the Board’s policy recommendation as follows:
• 30% ($255,000) for short-term needs (operating budget) over the next seven years;
• 50% ($425,000) for medium-term needs (funding visionary programmatic initiatives to implement our Ends) over the next eight years; and
• 20% ($170,000) for long-term needs.
“Jump Start” Projects
At this time the Board also approved KGAT’s recommendation to fund three projects to “jump start” and inspire initiatives to be funded from the monies allocated to medium-term needs. These included: Choral Scholars (four singers from area colleges to support and uplift our choir and deepen our communal experience of inspiration and transformation in our worship services – one year of funding); a half-time Social Justice Intern (to support First Church social justice initiatives – one year of funding); and monies to purchase and install equipment and technology to enable live streaming and full video archives of Sunday services (to broaden access to our services and promote Unitarian Universalism).
The Funding Process
In March 2018, the Board also agreed with KGAT’s recommendation to solicit the congregation for additional projects to be funded from medium-term monies and determined there should be at least two “rounds” of funding.
KGAT received 19 applications representing a broad and inspiring range of interests by the October 15, 2018 due date. After carefully reviewing and discussing all of the applications, we circled back to all of the applicants on November 30 and asked most of them to respond to a set of follow-up questions no later than January 8, 2019. The responses, all of which were thoughtful and on time, enabled KGAT to conclude its decision-making process in time to present its recommendations to the Board at its February 2019 meeting. After an opportunity for follow-up discussion and questions, KGAT’s funding recommendations were approved at the Board’s March 2019 meeting.
The funding approved in March 2019 totaled approximately $150,000. The “jump start” projects approved in March 2018 totaled approximately $30,000, for a grand total of approximately $180,000 approved thus far for “medium-term” needs, or visionary programmatic initiatives to implement our Ends.
Funding our Ends
Individual funding requests were highly varied, ranging from a single-year request for $600 to a request for a significant permanent endowment fund. The total amount requested for all projects was over $700,000. No single project requesting more than $5,000 was fully funded and no multi-year project was funded for the full number of years requested. Applications for several significant capital funding projects were also made. KGAT recommended, and the Board agreed, that these projects should be the subject of a separate discernment and funding process.
In making its funding recommendations, KGAT paid attention to distributing funding to projects that further all eight Ends, so that our work towards our Ends will advance. The team grouped the Ends into three primary groupings:
• Social Justice Ends (Ends 1, 2, and 3);
• Worship, Pastoral Care, and Community Ends (Ends 4, 6, and 7); and
• Growth, Outreach, and Welcome Ends (Ends 5 and 8).
KGAT distributed the financial support for these outcomes relatively evenly, recognizing that some projects spanned more than one group. The Team also made an effort to maintain FUSM’s tradition of tithing 10% of major bequests to outside organizations. Thus, KGAT recommended giving $20,000 of the allocated $180,000 medium term monies to local outside organizations as part of this tradition of support, as well as $10,000 to the UUA in honor of Lu Krug.
Set out below is a short description of the projects receiving funding, listed alphabetically:
• Action Mobilization Network: create and manage a network to facilitate turnout for major Milwaukee protests and build relationships across faith communities regarding same;
• Beloved Conversations: purchase the Beloved Conversations curriculum to facilitate congregation-wide discussions of race and ethnicity;
• BLUU Donation: provide partial payment of FUSM’s one-time commitment to support the UUA Board of Trustee’s commitment to Black Lives of Unitarian Universalists (BLUU);
• BLUU Worship: provide space and resources for people of color to participate in a monthly online UUA Black Lives of Unitarian Universalists (BLUU) worship service;
• Choral Scholars: continue the Choral Scholars program;
• Expanded Music Ministry: expand the reach of our music ministry by developing a variety of ongoing musical programs and events;
• Interfaith Earth Network – Lead Filters Project: support lead exposure education and distribution of lead filters in inner-city Milwaukee neighborhoods;
• Livestream: purchase and install equipment and technology to enable live streaming and full video archives of Sunday services (to broaden access to our services and promote Unitarian Universalism;
• Mothers for Justice United: support the creation of a national model of peer support and advocacy for mothers whose children have been killed by police or vigilante violence;
• Social Justice Intern: hire a Social Justice Intern to resource and support our Social Justice Teams and connect with community organizations;
• Social Justice Singers: support establishment of a group of singers to be available to attend and support public protests and/or rallies;
• Sound System Improvements: upgrade sound system in our Sanctuary;
• UUA Assembly Scholarships: provide support for members of our congregation to attend regional and national UUA assemblies; and
• Youth Pilgrimage to Boston: provide partial support for an initial trip by our youth to Boston to learn about the history of UU’ism and visit significant UU sites.
Funding recipients are required to periodically provide information about their use of monies and outcomes. This information will help inform a future “round” of funding for medium-term projects, at a time to be determined.
KGAT is grateful to all those who submitted requests and for the passion, vision and excitement from the congregation as we move to implement these projects. We are living out the generosity of Lu Krug.