The St. Clare’s Endowment Funds


In large part St. Clare of Assisi Episcopal Church owes its existence to the lifetime gift and subsequent bequest of Inez Wisdom, M.D. Dr. Wisdom (1885-1965) was a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor when in 1953 she was appointed by the Rector of St. Andrews and the Bishop of Michigan to help establish an Episcopal mission on the outskirts of Ann Arbor. She agreed and the first service of St. Clare’s Mission was held in her personal chapel on Wednesday, May 24, 1953. The original church building (part of which is still visible in the church office area) was built in 1956. In 1964, Dr. Wisdom requested that the house and property be bequeathed to St. Clare’s when it was no longer needed by her companion, Ms. Gertrude Griffith.

The Funds

Inez Wisdom Endowment Fund: This is the original Endowment Fund established in 2000 that makes annual grants for worthy projects that cannot be supported by the annual budget. Past purchases include a bouncy house for children, tone chimes, warming cabinet (for plates), landscaping for the Wisdom House, automated door openers for the front door, two storage cabinets for the church school and audio/video materials for hybrid worship. This fund has also supported the chapel refurbishment, the Habitat for Humanity project and a project seeking justice for Native American peoples.

Ark Fund: This fund was established in 2014 for the acquisition, improvement, or repair of real estate or real property. This fund was used for the down payment on a house for the use of the assistant/associate rector and for window and roof repairs. It can also be used to help offset our annual Genesis capital assessment.

Assisi Fund: This fund was established in 2021 to provide resources to assist in meeting annual operating expenses. The fund can be used in the event that annual donations are not sufficient to meet the obligations of the annual expenses.

Donating to the Funds

All members of the church are encouraged to give to the funds. All gifts are most welcome. Gifts of any size may be made by check made out to St. Clare’s Episcopal Church with a memo indicating a specific fund. Donations can also be made by transfer of securities, as a gift of real or personal property, as a bequest or by other estate planning vehicles. You are strongly urged to consult with your attorney, financial planner, or tax advisor before making a planned gift. All information about donors will be held in the strictest confidence. Gifts, as prescribed by donor intentions, will be directed to the appropriate fund.


The Endowment Fund Board is made up of five to seven members of the church appointed by the Vestry. They are responsible for fund management and recommending funding of grant requests, which then go to the Vestry for approval. A portion of fund assets may be made available for grants each year, while allowing the funds to continue to grow. Any member of St. Clare’s staff can put you in touch with the St. Clare’s Endowment Board.