Funding for Christian Service sizable


John McClatchy

Three different endowment funds cover all of Malvern’s expenses on service trips.

Junior Pat McNally-Heinemann has already begun to raise the $1,500 needed to pay for his service trip to Costa Rica.

“I did some stuff over the summer,” he said. “I’m probably going to go to my church to raise money.”

What juniors like McNally-Heinemann and others might not know is that they only pay about half of the expenses of the service trips.

According to Director of Christian Service Mr. Larry Legner, Malvern has an endowment fund that covers expenses for its Christian Service trips abroad and to New Orleans.

When Legner first started the trips for Malvern seniors, there was no endowment.

“I went around to different parents, grads, corporations, and solicited money,” he said. “$5,000 here and $10,000 there, to help cover half the expense.”

As time went on, Legner said he couldn’t keep going to the same sources to help fund the program.

“They were willing to help for a couple years, but then it got to be a difficult thing to go back year after year after year,” he said.

The endowment then started with parents of an alumnus who had been to Peru and South Africa with Legner.

“Both were very supportive of both of those trips,” he said. “They put up $125,000 to go into an endowment.”

The terms of the endowment state that Malvern is not allowed to touch the principal of the endowment, or the money added into it, but only the interest that the endowment accrues. The money taken from the account also has to be used for Christian Service only, according to Legner.

Director of Finance Mr. Ted Caniglia said that the endowment fund has grown to include three different funds that totaled $2.28 million in September 2016, the most recent data. The funds totaled $2.37 million at the end of June 2015, and $2.18 million at the end of June 2016.

According to Canigula, the funds are invested into mutual funds, stocks, and bonds managed by Hirtle and Callaghan, an outsourced Chief Investment Officer and investment department based in Conshohocken with regional headquarters in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh.

Malvern spends 5% of the dividends each year on the service trips, according to Caniglia. This is within the limits of Pennsylvania Title 15, which says that a “nonprofit corporation incorporated for charitable purposes” like Malvern can spend within 2-7% of the dividends.

With the funds in the endowment, Legner said that Malvern is able to cover about half of the costs for juniors, with the chief cost coming from airfare. For some trips, Legner said that the cost of a ticket has gone down between $20 and $30, and said one trip had the cost of a ticket increase $100.

“It all depends on the price of oil,” he said. The price of oil affects the cost of refueling airliners, and as the price of oil goes up, so does the price of a ticket, according to NPR.

Legner said that the most he charges any student is $2,000 for any trip. So for trips that are more expensive, such as to Fiji or the Philippines which Legner said are the most expensive, more funds are diverted to funding those trips than to trips to closer destinations such as to New Orleans.

“Their flights are expensive,” Legner said of Fiji and the Philippines. “They’re both about $2,100 each for a ticket.”

Malvern is also able to cover the expenses for all chaperones on the trips, according to Legner and to Spanish teacher Dr. Joan D’lugos, who has been been on three trips to Peru and one trip to Costa Rica.

“The teachers [and other chaperones] are giving ten days of their time,” D’lugos said. “That’s the cost, in a way.”

According to D’lugos, Malvern covers chaperones’ parking at the airport, checked bags, and other incidentals on the trip. They are encouraged to keep receipts if possible for any unexpected expenses.

The endowment funds play a large role in allowing all juniors to go on the service trips, Legner said.

“Without it, I don’t think we would have the program,” he said. “It would be extremely difficult to do. We would certainly limit the amount of guys who could participate in the program.”