Ask the charter members if they would be
willing to speak with others about why they have provided for the future of the
congregation. Would they write something for the church newsletter? Do they know
others who should be invited to join?
Give the Society a catchy, meaningful
name. Encourage participation and imagination in naming it. Ask the artists in
your congregation to contribute, by writing poems, songs, painting, drawing,
whatever they can to make the bequest society as inviting as possible. Have fun
Create a brochure about the Society and include a mission
statement that will inspire others to join. Include suggested language for
designating a gift to your congregation. Offer anonymous membership, but do ask
people to share some information about their gift plan.
Publish a list of
the Society members; or start a permanent recognition wall or banner.
Identify a group of people who are likely to be interested in providing
support after they are gone. Send them formal invitations to join the Society;
enclose a reply card for them to return to request more information or to signal
that they do have a bequest in place. Follow up with a phone call and a personal
visit. Enlist the help of others, including Society members and people under 30.
Offer special events and programs for Society members, and create
opportunities to say thank you and keep them involved. Ask the religious
education program to have the children write notes of thanks, or interview
Society members and write biographies of their lives.
Develop a list of
reputable and reasonably priced legal and financial planning services available
to your community. It is best for a congregation not to offer free or reduced
legal services to its members, nor to ask a member to do so. A contested estate
could come back to haunt you and cost a great deal of time and money. Ask the
professionals in your congregation to help prepare review a list of legal and
financial resources; their names may be included, and what fees they arrange
with their clients is up to their own discretion and professional ethics
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Friday, June 17, 2011.
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