Planned Giving is a form of stewardship for the future. Individuals generally
contribute assets they have accumulated during their lifetimes (savings,
investments, real estate, retirement plan benefits, life insurance policies, and
tangible personal property) — rather than giving from annual income (check book
or credit card philanthropy).
Planned gifts generally are meant to perpetuate something of great value and
meaning. A planned gift is the ultimate one a person can make, both in size and
finality. Most often, a planned gift is intended for a permanent endowment fund.
Rarely, if ever, do donors designate their ultimate gift for spending in the
annual operating budget or a capital project.
Ultimate gifts take some planning. Donors may need to seek professional
counsel before they make a full commitment. Timing, valuation of assets, overall
estate and financial plan, and tax considerations are added to the mix of
generosity and commitment. Some take effect at death; some during lifetime. Each
charitable estate plan is unique, but there are three basic groups or types of
gifts that comprise planned giving: bequests, life income arrangements (trusts,
gift annuities, and pooled income funds), and transfers of not readily
While it is useful for planned gift fund-raisers to know their way around the
world of finance, the tax benefits of charitable giving, and the life issues and
concerns for people over 50, your church can run a successful planned giving
effort without hiring a professional and without spending a great deal of money
to train a group of volunteers.
Asking for and securing planned gifts requires excellent interpersonal
skills, commitment to the cause, a marketing plan, considerable patience, some
technical knowledge, and the ability to recognize when they need to consult a
professional or retain counsel. As with all successful fund-raising, the most
effective "ask" for a planned gift is made in person, face-to-face, by someone
who has already made a similar gift.
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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