While parishioners support the current needs of the parish through the offertory with disposable income, many have the capacity to support future needs of the parish by donating appreciated assets through their Last Wills. Visionary parish leaders understand that both sources complement each other, not compete with one another.
Perhaps you have heard the old adage: When is the best time to create a permanent endowment? Twenty years ago. When in the next best time to create one? Today.
That is true for one parish whose pastor and councils created the first of several permanent endowments more than 20 years ago. Thanks to their vision, that parish receives distributions in excess of $100,000 every year.
Encouraging endowments demonstrates long-range visioning by embracing the desires of today’s Catholics who wish to include faith-based remembrances in their personal legacies.
Sadly, though, many Catholics do not perceive their parish to be more worthy than a college or university that has already convinced them to leave their legacy on campus. Yet we all know a Catholic legacy gift that strengthens the Kingdom of God will outlast anything made from brick and mortar.
Parishes can intentional promote legacy gifts by:
- Establishing a parish endowment to receive memorial gifts and bequests;
- Regularly remind parishioners to include the parish in their Last Will;
- Sponsor estate planning sessions for interested parishioners;
- Acknowledge endowment donors (with their permission);
- Communicate how annual endowment distributions benefit the parish.
- Create a Planned Giving sub-committee of the Parish Finance Council that manages the communications plan.
The Independent Catholic Foundation assists parishes in promoting legacy gift planning initiatives through presentations to parish finance and pastoral councils and individuals. We also prepare custom-designed bulletin flyers (sample link below), and other materials upon request. Please contact us at (814) 201-2080 begin a dialogue that will reap benefits for generations to come.