Parish Outreach

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.

Take inspiration from one pastor, who with his finance council, created several endowments more than 20 years ago. Thanks to their vision, that parish, school and cemetery benefit from $130,000 every year in endowment grants.

Encouraging giving through a Last Will (sometimes into 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. They simply have not been asked. Yet we all know a Catholic legacy gift that reveals the Kingdom of God will outlast anything made of brick and mortar.

Parishes can intentionally promote legacy gifts by:

  1. Place a link to our website ( on your parish website;
  2. Establishing a parish endowment to receive memorial gifts (in lieu of flowers) and bequests;
  3. Place a donation link to the parish endowment on your website;
  4. Create a QR code for publications that promote the parish endowment.
  5. Regularly remind parishioners to include the parish in their Last Will;
  6. Sponsor estate planning sessions for interested parishioners;
  7. Acknowledge endowment donors (with their permission);
  8. Communicate how annual endowment grants benefit the parish.
  9. 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 (samples below), and other materials upon request.  Please contact us at (814) 201-2080 begin a dialogue that will reap rewards for generations to come.

Pass-Through Contributions
Individuals who desire to remain anonymous while contributing to a parish, school or other charity will work with us to maintain confidentiality. We are equipped to process gifts of appreciated stock or mutual fund shares besides checks. Donors receive a charitable gift receipt from us. While there is no minimum gift amount for our pass-through services, we charge a modest processing fee of $35 per check that we issue to other charities.