Investment Funds

We're proud of the financial history of our investments.The United Methodist Foundation of Michigan has now combined all funds into our newest fund option to best meet your financial investment needs. Keep in mind, our fund is unique in that if follows the socially responsible investment requirements according to the United Methodist Discipline.


UMF Collective Investment Funds of Michigan LLC

Below are the current and historic performance figures for the UMF Collective Investment Funds of Michigan LLC. This information is updated monthly as the month-end calculations are available. Please check back often to see the progress of each fund. The United Methodist Foundation of Michigan selects institutional asset managers who offer a wide range of investment approaches, specialties, and styles. All investments are socially screened to insure that they reflect the social principles of The United Methodist Church. They are also evaluated quarterly for performance attributes.

IconDownload1The UMF Collective Investment Fund of Michigan Offering Circular


IconDownload5Authorization for Withdrawal and Deposit Form

IconDownload2Consent to Electronic Deliver of
Documents Form


IconDownload6Signature Certification Form

IconDownload3Participant Application & Agreement Form


IconDownload7Financial Statement and Auditors' Report for the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan: 12/31/2018

IconDownload4Participant Agreement to Change
Annual Allocation



Questions? Click here for answers to common questions about the UMF Collective Investment Funds of Michigan LLC







Investment Fund FAQs

Below are answers to common questions about the investment programs offered by the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan. If you have additional questions not addressed here, please feel free to contact us.




What are the Foundation's qualifications for managing funds of United Methodist Churches and related organizations?

The Foundation has served Michigan congregations since its inception in 1926. Our professional fund managers hold advance credentials as well as CFP, CFA, and CRPC. Recently, Plansponsor magazine recognized our fund managers, the Howell-Sharp Group, as among the top five investment adviser teams in the United States.


What is your underlying philosophy and mission statement as an investment advisory consultant?

The Foundation offers professional investment management as part of our comprehensive stewardship ministry. We pool funds entrusted to us by congregations and United Methodist related agencies and retain professional fund managers at a fee structure that only the very largest churches could obtain individually. We believe that it is critical for United Methodist Congregations to make a witness through their investments. We recognize our stewardship responsibility to ensure that Foundation funds are invested consistent with the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church. Accordingly, we require all our fund managers to screen investments using a rigorous process that considers products, environmental impact, community relationship, and corporate citizenship.

Extensive diversification is achieved through the use of six separate equity managers, each with a dedicated style of investing. This strategy assures that all our investment "eggs" are never in a single "basket."


How is the Foundation different from other investment companies?

The Foundation is a not-for-profit United Methodist agency. As such, we do not serve stockholders, but Michigan Area United Methodist Churches. We do not need to maintain branch offices nor do we employ a sales force. We keep our costs low and pass through the savings to our client churches. We offer a wide variety of services to churches, including stewardship and planned giving programs and estate and financial planning consultation for committees and individuals. All these services are provided without charge to our constituent churches. We see ourselves as partners with churches in the task of funding ministry.


How can the Foundation assist in lowering our investment costs?

The Foundation pools church funds in the UMF Collective Investment Funds of Michigan LLC to create a critical mass to be invested. We have negotiated an all-inclusive fee structure of 1% (100 basis points) charged annually for clients with investment accounts totaling less than $1M. For clients with investment accounts in excess of $1M, but less than $3M, we offer a 0.2% (20 basis points) rebate. For clients with accounts totaling $3M or more we increase the rebate to 0.3% (30 basis points). These fees include all costs for management, custody, transactions as well as monthly statements. An additional fee of $50 is assessed per account annually.


What suggestions would you give our Investment Committee for asset allocation?

The majority of our investment accounts are endowment funds that share the stated goal of long-term growth as well as current income. Accordingly, we recommend a significant portion of fund assets to be invested in common stocks along with a portion in fixed income assets. The UMF Collective Investment Fund of Michigan LLC offers complete asset allocation discretion to each investor through which they may select a mix of from 0-100% in the Stock Fund or Bond Fund. We are frequently asked to keep the church's account "balanced," in which case we maintain the assets in the Balanced Fund, currently a blend of 60% Stock Fund and 40% Bond Fund. The Foundation has several resources that can assist a committee to form its judgment regarding asset allocation matters. Check our publications and stewardship resources for more information. In addition, we offer individual consultations as desired. Please contact us for more information.


How is access to funds handled?

Foundation accounts are demand accounts and valued daily. Requests for funds are processed weekly (account closing may take a few extra days.) We maintain liquid reserves to provide for flexible access to your funds that may not be available with all the individual assets within the pooled funds.

You may change the asset allocation of your account at any time with a written request.


What is the relationship between the Foundation, Merrill Lynch and BlackRock?

We have retained BlackRock to provide the actual security selection and to execute the necessary trades to accomplish our stated goals through the diversified stylistic investment methods; large cap growth and value, mid-cap growth and value, global equity and international investing. Both BlackRock and Merrill Lynch monitor the practices of the several funds mangers to ascertain their compliance with their disciplines. The Howell-Sharp Group of Merrill Lynch provides linkage between BlackRock, the Merrill Lynch Bank of America Trust Bank and the Foundation.


Does the Foundation offer online services?

Foundation clients may check their account activity and balances 24/7. We provide an extensive website for viewing investment performance.


How often are statements issued?

Statements are mailed monthly, in addition to the online access provided.


Is there a Money Market Account?

The Foundation offers a money market fund through Merrill Lynch that provides an institutional rate of return, often superior to similar money market funds. The Money Market Fund is not marked up. We pass through the costs incurred and recover nothing for our administration.






Socially Responsible Investment Policy

We are committed to demonstrating responsible investing values that reflect the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church. We seek to limit investments in companies producing products or engaging in activities inconsistent with these values. We seek to exclude investments in the following:

Alcohol exclusion: Companies that generate revenue from alcoholic beverage-related business activities equal to or greater than 10% of recent year revenues (generally three years).

Pornography Exclusion: Companies receiving revenues from the production, sale, or distribution of products or services that are considered pornographic or meet the legal definition of “obscene” or “harmful to minors.”

Tobacco Exclusion: Companies that manufacture tobacco products.

Firearms Exclusion: Companies that manufacture firearms or related ammunition products for non-military markets.

Gambling Exclusion: Companies that generate revenue from gaming-related business activities (including casinos, racetrack owners or operators and gaming equipment suppliers) equal to or greater than 10% of recent year revenues (generally three years).

Major Military Contractors Exclusion:

  • Department of Defense Contracting: Top 25 publicly traded companies ranked by the amount of revenue generated as a prime contractor on contracts of any type with the United States Department of Defense.
  • Weapons-Related Department of Defense Contracting: Companies that generate revenue from contracts with the United States Department of Defense for conventional or nuclear weapons (including armaments and delivery platforms but not support systems) equal to or greater than 20% of recent year revenues (generally three years.)

Environmental Exclusion: Top 25 companies in the S&P 1500 Composite Index ranked by their negative environmental impact taking into consideration the following equally-weighted categories: superfund sites, toxic emissions, oil and chemical spills, and fines. Additional companies that materially demonstrate a prolonged and systematic pattern of flagrant and egregious damage to the environment may be restricted from investment.

Human Rights Violations Exclusion: Companies that materially demonstrate a prolonged and systematic pattern of business practices determined to result in human rights violations, including but not limited to abusive labor practices and exploitation of child labor, may be restricted from investment.

Companies not falling into any of the above categories may still be ineligible for investment because of reputation, public image or any specific business practices determined to be inconsistent with the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church.


Value-Aligned Proxy Voting

Acting as a prudent fiduciary on behalf of participants, we endeavor to manage investments in alignment with the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church and the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment. We work diligently to influence the companies in which we invest, in order to promote better governance and corporate business practices that can ultimately have a positive impact on shareholder value. In keeping with this policy, we follow a comprehensive set of guidelines that represent our position on a variety of proxy voting issues, including issues related to:

Board of Directors
Diversity of Employees and Governance
Executive Compensation
Human Rights Violations
Socially Responsible Investment Screens
Stock Distributions
Sustainability Reporting

Glass Lewis is a leading proxy analysis firm that helps us execute this aspect of our Socially Responsible Investment policy. They review and understand the many voting issues, monitor corporate practices and make informed voting decisions that not only protect, but enhance value. Glass Lewis also acts on our behalf in the voting process itself, executing votes in accordance with our policy.
















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