Planned Gifts for Future Ministries
Many of us have dreams for our church. Some have visions for youth programs or local outreach ministries. For others, the dream might include provisions for church building maintenance or an expansion of the church’s music program. Planned gifts can help make these dreams a reality by providing the necessary financial resources.
This is not a new, untried approach. For years now, people have helped make their dreams come true for their churches through sound financial planning, including planned gifts.
What is a planned gift?
A planned gift is any gift, large or small, given with forethought. A planned gift to our church is a financial gift structured to serve the needs of the church as well as the giver. A planned gift may take the form of an outright gift during your lifetime, a bequest through your will or other estate plan, a trust, or a life income gift.
These gifts usually come from accumulated assets such as personal property, real estate, stocks, bonds, life insurance policies, cash, or other assets of tangible value. Often these gifts can be structured to take advantage of allowable income and estate tax incentives.
Why is my gift important?
Most importantly, your gift of whatever size enhances the ministry of your church and provides funds that supplement the finances available to the church. These funds are in addition to those received for the general operating budget. Your gift may provide ministries or programs that otherwise would not be possible. It may also be used for building maintenance or capital improvements.
Secondly, your generosity provides a feeling of satisfaction in knowing you have included your church in your personal financial plan. You can give back to God a portion of the gifts that have blessed your life. The gift planning process is both an act of stewardship and a step of faith in our spiritual journey as we continue to reflect Christ’s love and to trust in the abundance of God’s grace.
Making a gift:
- Undesignated Gift: One option is to make an undesignated gift which allows your church the flexibility to meet the needs of changing ministries. The gift could be used for expenses, for a current program or perhaps for community ministries. Or you may wish to make your gift to a permanent endowment fund that uses only the earnings for the future needs of the church.
- Designated Gift: As a second option, you can designate how you want the funds to be used. You may want your gift to support or create a specific ministry, provide a needed building, or remodel an existing one. Your choices are as varied as your interests.
If you choose the second option, make sure your gift is large enough to accomplish the goal you have designated. Also discuss your wishes with your pastor or the chairperson of the Trustee Committee to make sure your interests are in line with the needs and direction of your church.
You can decide what and how much to give, as well as when you want to give. You can be as specific or as nonspecific as you wish.
To confidentially discuss planned gifts, please contact Dr. Bill La Barr.