Know Why Your Congregation Needs A Planned Giving Program

In 1993 the Investment Company Institute estimated that people 55 years or older will bequeath over $8 trillion of accumulated wealth to non-charitable and charitable heirs in the next 15 years. In 1996, Barlow T. Mann, writing for "Give & Take" estimates the intergenerational transfer of wealth at $10 to $11 trillion between 1990 and 2040. You need to be in a position to benefit from this expected transfer of wealth.

Conventional wisdom holds that planned gifts are made by people between 55 and 70 years in age. As of December 1995, the average adult Unitarian Universalist was 53. By the year 2010 almost 14% of the US population will be 65 or older. Have you asked your seniors to make a charitable bequest to your congregation?

A 1992 National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG) survey revealed that planned gift donors are equally divided between those who are over 60 years of age and those who are younger than 60. By any measure, many Unitarian Universalists are at a point in their lives to make a commitment to the future of our liberal faith.
At any age, in every economic circumstance, charitable bequests are by far the most commonly used form of planned giving. Bequests are relatively inexpensive to arrange, they save $1 in estate taxes for every dollar given, they are "no risk" gifts, and they are easy for congregations to promote. All a donor needs to do is complete a legal Last Will and Testament. All you have to do is ask.

The 1992 NCPG study cited above found that only 8.1% of those who have a charitable bequest provision in their estate plans have ever changed the terms of their bequests, and only 8.8% have ever removed a charitable organization from their Wills.

However, it is estimated that 70% of all Americans die without a Will, and fewer than 10% of the people who are capable of making a charitable estate gift have ever been asked.

It's not an issue of what it will cost your congregation to run a planned giving program, rather, it's what it will cost if you do not!