Financial and investment underpinnings are the least understood and most misunderstood dynamic in most large organizations. The Augustana Foundation is no exception. The Lunch & Learn Series focused on these very issues so that participants can learn about the Foundation’s current financial and investment practices and policies.

During this 50th  Anniversary year, the Lunch & Learn Series provided participants with an understanding of the how the Foundation grew from its initial $17,000 seeding  to over $3 million in assets today. It highlighted how current and legacy gifts have allowed the principal to grow while careful stewardship and informed investment policies have grown its annual investment income that has  been distributed annually to support Augustana ministries, capital improvement, and community outreach to over 160 community organizations over its 50-year history.

Series coordinator Bill Crossen, Finance/Investment Committee Chair, has provided invaluable leadership since his appointment to the Foundation Board. Gifted with a passion for numbers, this year he tackled the daunting task of capturing the organization’s financial information since its inception. With the able assistance of Lisa Mikolajczak, Bill retrieved, organized, and analyzed data to understand precisely how the Foundation has grown in stature and purpose.

The Foundation invites the Augustana community to view its virtual Lunch & Learn series. Each session features one or two Foundation leaders and a subject expert who will speak about a financial or investment topic.

1.    June 9.  Grateful Generosity and Gifts Received

Philanthropy is giving with gratitude. During this session, participants will learn how generous giving can be a powerful blessing both to those giving and to those who benefit from these gifts. Tools and techniques for planned giving will be discussed.  Also included will be information on the growth of the Foundation over time through a combination of substantial legacy gifts and a significant number of memorial gifts and other annual giving.  Presented by Thrivent representative Greg Bickle and Bill Crossen.


Download the PowerPoint pdf from this session  |  Video Zoom recording from this session is available below


2.    June 16. Fund Management and  Investing Wisely

Funds received by the Foundation must be carefully invested to provide sufficient returns to meet its objectives. During this session, the Foundation’s Investment Advisor and Augustana’s Finance Administrator join the panel to describe the current investment policy and how investment practices have changed over time to balance risks and returns.  Financial practices in operation will be addressed. Presented by Bill Crossen, Investment Advisor Michele Suriano and Financial Administrator Lisa Mikolajczak.


Download the PowerPoint PDF from this session  |  Video Zoom recording from this session is available below


3.    June 23.  Grants Awarded and Making Impacts

The Foundation advances Augustana’s mission and mission by using its investment returns to award monetary grants to Augustana’s ministries, its capital improvement fund, and organizations in our community and throughout the world.  The grant application and critical review process will be highlighted as well as the impact these grants have made. Presented by Gifts/Grants Committee Chair Tim Garrington and Bill Crossen.


Download the PowerPoint PDF for this session  |  Video Zoom recording from this session is available below