In 1990, the WSCF established an endowment fund to secure the future of the Federation's global work.
The Centennial Fund aims to support ecumenical leadership formation of students who will transform our churches, local communities and the ecumenical movement in the search for justice and peace.
The Fund is based in Geneva and is managed by an an international Board of Trustees, drawn from Senior Friends (former members and friends of the WSCF). The Board releases the income from the fund to support WSCF programmes, publications and leadership formation. It is working to strengthen its fundraising efforts so that it may remain in a position to support the WSCF for years to come.
You may help build the Fund by making a one-time donation or make yours a regular contribution. Simply click the button below. The Centennial Fund Report for 2016 follows below.
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Centennial Fund Report 2016
In the affairs of the Centennial Fund of the World Student Christian Federation, 2016 was a year of challenge. The year opened with the Trustees being challenged to report the last five years of activity to the appropriate Swiss authorities as we are required to do annually under Swiss Law. With new officers in post, it was no mean feat to achieve an adequacy of reporting which did satisfy. As President of the Fund, I am most deeply grateful to Jean-Luc De La Seujeole, our accountant, for the hours of patient reconstruction that he devoted to bringing our reporting up-to-date. We enter 2017 with a clean sheet.
That reminder of our legal requirement produced voluntarily our second challenge, which was to review the Constitution of the Centennial Fund to ensure we are operating in accordance with its terms and conditions. The review produced the satisfactory conclusion that indeed we are so operating. In the course of this review, we began a conversation with our colleague trustees in the United States of America about the way in which the US trustees hold, administer and report Federation Funds held from their beginning in the US. That conversation should conclude at our AGM in 2017.
By a decision of the AGM of the Centennial Fund Trustees in 2015, the Investment Advisory Committee of the Fund was reviewed and reactivated. That process was completed in 2016 and in welcoming Gunter Schwerdtel as a member of the IAC, I thank Mathieu Durrelman, the Convenor of the Committee, for the care with which he devotes to the affairs of the Centennial Fund on a continuing basis.
The greatest challenge faced by the Centennial Fund in 2016 presented itself at the beginning of January at which moment the Federation was released from a debt relationship with the World Council of Churches. That achievement is to be very greatly welcomed in that the Federation now stands in a free relationship with the WCC as one of the earliest progenitors of that organisation, at least through personnel if not organic structure. The officers of the Federation are to be congratulated. They effected a saving of $150,000.00 in the operation of the Federation in 2015, helped by a small surplus on the General Assembly. The Centennial Fund gave a loan of $50,000.00 in order to complete the sum owing to the WCC. That loan represents the new reality for the Federation, which is that the Centennial Fund is now, in effect, the Banker for the Federation given that the Federation does not possess any capital asset.
This is an entirely new reality and its challenge is to find the 21st century formula which incarnates a partnership relationship between both bodies in securing the future viability of the Federation, which is the principal reason for the existence of the Centennial Fund. Two matters signify the beginnings of this partnership. The Centennial Fund and the Federation Executive Committee have established a joint Fundraising Working Party and the Centennial Fund has made available a long-term and interest-free loan of $250,000.00 to allow the business of the Federation in later 2016 and 2017 to be transacted albeit with limited funding for regional staff salaries. But there will be an additional staff salary for fundraising support for the general secretary who has been invited by the Centennial Fund Trustees to visit all the regions in order to ensure that the National Movements of the Federation are fully advised of its financial situation and of the prospects for fundraising in which every part of the Federation will be called to participate. Part of the strap line going forward needs to be that the Federation will be in essence a self-sustaining organisation, thus giving expression to the vision of those Chinese Christians who were part of our leadership in the early 20th century.
The implementation of this kind of vision requires the active and ongoing support of Senior Friends, support of many kinds beyond the support of becoming annual subscribers, though that, itself, is essential: support for organisational needs, for programme needs, for pastoral support needs; support that does not require to feel itself dominant or in control; support that is not wedded to the practices or processes or structures of the Federation’s past; support that enshrines the freedom of mind, of spirit, of imagination that characterises the best of the past with the energy of the present in a focussed vision for the future. For such things we pray and work as Trustees of the Centennial Fund of the World Student Christian Federation.
Dr Salters Sterling
President, WSCF Centennial Fund