Matthew 6:21 –“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Last week we began a five-part series on Planned Giving by looking at a definition of Planned Giving and exploring the topic. Planned Gifts are future focused gifts that build treasure for this church. At the same time the gifts allow a donor to express his or her personal values in the gift by integrating charitable, and personal financial goals. The common denominator is that they are given in gratitude for the resources given to us by God.
In part 2, we look at how you can give to St. George’s trusts and funds, the easiest way to get started in planned giving. A basic question is why would you give to these trusts and funds? These funds take care of long-term needs in the church that are beyond the scope of the budget. Some needs may not be known now but will appear in the future. Proper funding of the trusts allow us to meet these needs at that time.
We have two planned giving funds that you can donate to during Lent. There are no minimums or limits in giving to these funds- any amount you give is helpful. In addition, you may honor someone or something in Lent – a loved one, family member, an organization. These funds are invested by the Diocese so they reap rewards beyond your initial gift and beyond this Easter. Typically funds will double every 30 years without considering distributions.
The Memorial Trust Fund, created in 1951, was designed as a vehicle for bequests. Its purposes are broad – for both real and personal property, “for founding charitable institutions,” “for the care of the sick, aged or helpless,” “for the care, health or recreation of children,” and “for recreation, educational, charitable or benevolent purposes.” There is a large unrestricted subfund within the Memorial Trust Fund. Currently, all the yearly earnings from this unrestricted fund go to operations, helping us attain our budget goals.
However, there are also restricted subfunds of the trust that retain their earnings and are intended for the future. Currently there are funds for music, flowers, altar and choirs, the discretionary fund. Earnings for these funds stay with these funds. This means you can establish your own restricted gift and donate funds to it. A college fund for youth? A fund that can be tapped for future mission trips? A fund for replacement costs of the building (painting, utilities, etc.)? These are all possible, but we would need to let us know in advance that you want to create such a restricted fund to set up the paperwork. Then, you could add to the balance periodically.
The General Endowment Fund, created 15 years ago, has more limited purposes – supporting outreach, capital additions and improvements. Unlike the Memorial Trust Fund it cannot accept restricted gifts. The earnings do not go toward the budget but they are usually distributed yearly by request from individuals or groups. The Vestry decides yearly how the earnings for the fund will be used with guidance from the General Endowment Fund Board. You can see examples of how this Fund is used in your church pew. The new brown Bibles were a gift from this fund in 2016. In the past, it has provided scholarships for the preschool, sent children to South Dakota and purchased instruments for music and microphones for clergy. A planned gift helped to establish this fund. In December 2005, the Church received a large gift from the Estelle Arnold Estate and established an investment account with the Diocese entity Trustees for the Fund which manages many of our trusts and funds.
How to Give?
- Easter Memorial: If you would like to give to the Memorial Trust or General Endowment Fund in memory of someone for publication in the Easter bulletin, use this form and specify the fund there. You can make the donation via Paypal using that form.
- Check: write the fund name (“Memorial Trust” or “Endowment Fund” in the memo line and leave it in the plate or send it by mail. You can add a “IMO” (in memory of) or “IHO” (in honor of) and name(s). (Be sure to specify Easter memorial if paying by check for publication of the memoriam in the Easter bulletin.)
- Credit Card online: http://giving.ncsservices.org/dl/?uid=st905298 Choose “Quick Give” on the left and then under the “To” drop down box to choose the fund, Memorial Trust Fund or Endowment Fund (#6 and #7 on the list). Then add your credit card information.
Most of the additions to these funds come during Lent and Advent. Let me throw out a goal. Could we add $1,200 in total to these funds by Easter? That’s only $200 per week for the congregation. This should be easy but we need to get started now!
I am ending these articles with a question for you – If you have given to either the Memorial Trust Fund or Endowment, why? Will you support them in 2017? Do you have an idea for an alternate fund that we could establish for planned giving? Let me know firstname.lastname@example.org. I will pick the best answer or if there are too many, a random one that is complete. The winner gets a $5 Hyperion card to “have one on me.”