When someone leaves a gift to the church in their will, that’s a planned gift. There are half a dozen other common ways to make planned gifts. What they have in common is that the amounts given tend to be larger than the regular gifts we make to our church. And they may have future consequences that need to be carefully thought through. That’s the planning in planned giving.
Our regular offerings usually come from our income, while planned gifts come from accumulated assets. Income and assets are like two different pockets that have money in them. Giving from the asset pocket allows us to make gifts that will make a large impact and have long-term benefits for our church.
Many types of planned gift only take effect at the end of the donor’s life. These are called “deferred gifts”, because the decision is made now but the money doesn’t change hands until later. This means that you can arrange a planned gift and continue to enjoy your current lifestyle with no changes whatsoever.
We can provide you with sample language that your lawyer can insert in your will. That way you can express where you want your gift to go in the event that your congregation closes while you are still living. If the church closes after it receives your gift, all of its assets will be distributed in an orderly fashion according to its constitutional documents. In many cases, care of the congregation’s assets will be transferred to the Eastern Synod.
We would be pleased if you would tell Lutheran Planned Giving about planned gifts you have already made. This gives us a way to measure the impact planned gifts are having on the life of the church. More important, it allows us to thank you for your generosity.