What Are You Waiting For?

wpid-2015-02-19-06.05.26.jpg.jpegPlanned Giving is a no-brainer. Especially in churches. So what are you waiting for?

A typical comment I hear from church boards, finance committees and pastors is this: “Planned Giving is difficult, because people don’t like to talk about death.”

First of all, I’ll leave it to the reader to come up with some hypotheses about why death is such a difficult subject in a church. It just seems to me that church might be the one place people could speak honestly about death and dying. But that’s another blog post.

More important – having the talk about planned giving isn’t about death as much as it is about life and about continuing legacy. That’s one of the reasons I like to call this ministry “Legacy Giving” instead of planned giving.

And as it turns out, having a solid planned giving program also helps your annual bottom line. That’s right – not only can your church expect a return as planned gifts materialize, but also donors who make a planned gift are more likely to increase their current giving. Dr. Russell James of Texas Tech University recently reported on his Health and Retirement Study:

  • Average annual charitable giving before an estate gift commitment: $4,210.
  • Average annual charitable giving after a commitment: $7,381.

You read that right: giving went up after the planned giving commitment.

Planned giving is a pastoral ministry that helps our constituents leave a legacy, prepare for their own death and plan for the future of the church they love. Every church should have a solid planned giving program.