Planned Giving Services for Churches
Holston Conference Foundation
Over the next 50 years, it has been estimated that nearly $41 trillion will be transferred via estates. This will be the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. It has also been estimated that nearly $6 trillion of these funds will be distributed to charity. Do you think that gifts from both large and small estates might be useful to the ministry of Holston Conference churches, agencies, missions, or programs? Well, of course the answer is “yes,” but churches have historically done poorly in this area of giving because we do not ask! Planned gifts are different than contributions to operating and capital budgets, which generally come from annual earned income. Planned gifts are usually made from accumulated assets (stocks, bonds, real estate, insurance, retirement plans, etc.). Bequests through wills are the most common form of planned gift, but charitable trusts, charitable gift annuities, and other options exist which also provide potential tax advantages. While some planned gifts are undesignated, most are designated by the donor for a specific use(s) such as missions, scholarships, building improvements, etc. This is one reason churches should consider creating target areas of need and the guidelines to go with them so that the stewardship process is already in place to receive these special gifts. Part of The Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church Foundation’s mission is to help educate individuals about how to give through planned gifts and to help educate churches about how to prepare to receive planned gifts. Good stewardship needs both a joyful giver and a grateful recipient! Planned giving can be important to every church and ministry in the Holston Conference and throughout United Methodism. In light of this importance, we are pleased to meet with you or your church leadership to explore options to attract, invest, and use bequests planned gifts, and endowments to bless not only your ministry but the giver as well. A good starting point for churches to explore is The Eleven Commandments of Planned Giving in the Local Church.
We have also developed The Planned Giving Handbook for Local Churches as a comprehensive resource to assist your church; create, manage, and promote a successful endowment and designated gift program. We have helped many churches prepare themselves to be grateful recipients! The Holston Conference Foundation has also created a comprehensive publication, The Ministry of Church Finance, that is a useful tool in any church.