Endowed Funds

Preserving Heritage for Future Generations

Vesterheim is fortunate to have friends who are eager to express their generosity by supporting its future with charitable gifts. Our list of endowed funds illustrates how private contributions make a difference. This compilation of endowed funds established at Vesterheim from its beginning in 1877 to the present reflects a history of philanthropy at the nation’s most comprehensive museum dedicated to a single immigrant group.

What is an endowed fund?

An endowed fund is a permanent source of income for Vesterheim programs and/or departments. Gifts to an endowed fund are invested. Endowed funds accrue interest annually, a portion of which is used for each endowment’s stated purpose. The remainder of the interest is reinvested to perpetuate the endowment.

Why establish an endowed fund?

There is a growing need for the museum to secure long-term financial stability in order to deliver reliable service despite changes in the economy. Building endowments is one of the most important ways to ensure Vesterheim’s financial health. Each gift is an investment in the future of Vesterheim, one of America’s most treasured cultural resources.

Donors are encouraged to name the endowment in a way meaningful to them (i.e., Johnson Family Fund, John Johnson Fund for Excellence, etc.).

What is the minimum amount necessary to establish an endowed fund at Vesterheim?

You can contribute any amount to any of the listed endowed funds, or create your own. A gift of $25,000 or more can initiate a named endowment and can be a thoughtful way to honor or memorialize a loved one. The gift can be paid all at once or in payments (typically three to five years). Until $25,000 is reached, the interest gained is reinvested in the fund. Once the fund reaches the $25,000 amount, the annual interest will payout to purpose.

What are Vesterheim’s established endowed funds?

See a list of Vesterheim’s endowed funds here.

How do I learn more about Vesterheim’s endowed funds?

To learn more about endowed funds at Vesterheim, please contact Nicholas Klein, Vestherheim’s Development Associate, at 563-382-9681, ext. 109, or email nklein@vesterheim.org.