Link in Three Wednesdays in June

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 offered at noon on June 9, 16, and 23 is planned to focus on these very issues. Participants will learn about the Foundation’s current financial and investment practices and policies.

During this 50th  Anniversary year, the Lunch & Learn Series will also provide participants with an understanding of the how the Foundation grew from its initial $17,000 seeding  to over $3 million in assets today. It will highlight 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.

The coordinator for this series is Bill Crossen, Finance/Investment Committee Chair, who 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 attend its virtual Lunch & Learn series in June. These virtual lunch dates will be held on Wednesdays at noon via Zoom.  Each session will feature one or two Foundation leaders and a subject expert who will speak 30–40 minutes about a financial or investment topic and then answer questions submitted in advance or during the session.

The unique Zoom connection follows each Lunch & Learn session overview:

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.

Meeting ID: 838 8622 4183  |  Passcode: 571489


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.

Meeting ID: 813 1215 3452  |  Passcode: 225710

Download PowerPoint for this session

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.

Meeting ID: 859 8892 5053  |  Passcode: 955552

Consider attending one or all of these sessions.  Bill Crossen and his colleagues are anxious to share the Foundation’s  rich history as well as provide a forum for answering questions about our current financial and investment policies.

While each session will include a Q&A segment, if you wish to submit questions in advance, you may do so at