Is Your Church Prepared To Receive A Portion of The $59 Trillion?

We are now witnessing the greatest transfer of wealth in history.

church revenue stream

As reported by CNBC, a new study from Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy projects that heirs, charities, and taxes will receive $59 trillion between 2007 and 2061. (Yes, that’s trillion with a T!) This is up from a 1999 projection of $41 trillion.

Charities in particular are forecast to receive more than $6 trillion of this wealth transfer, while total gifts to charity during this period are expected to be more than $27 trillion.

A Pastor’s Guide To Implement Legacy Giving at Church

In this series on legacy generosity, I have shared with you a top ten list, a $1 M story, my family’s own personal legacy giving journey, the language of legacy giving and reasons for giving a legacy gift.

legacy giving

Let’s wrap up this series with something practical, shall we?

Let’s talk about actually implementing a legacy giving strategy!

Legacy giving: is it about tax avoidance or eternal values?

Legacy giving can have an amazing impact on your ministry. According to my friends at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), there are many reasons for someone to consider giving a legacy gift from an institutional perspective as it may provide an opportunity to give with income and estate tax deduction.

legacy giving


  • It may offer the opportunity to give with income and estate tax deduction.
  • It may offer the opportunity to enjoy either a fixed or variable income or even supplement retirement income.
  • If highly appreciated assets are contributed, it may avoid or lessen capital-gains tax liabilities.
  • It may offer opportunity for increased income compared to other investments.
  • It may allow competent management of assets transferred as gifts.
  • It may allow donor to pass an asset to an heir after an established period of organizational use.

The Language of Legacy Giving for Churches

We’ve been camping out on the topic of legacy giving lately. Legacy giving can have a high impact for both you and your church members. Once you understand the potential behind legacy giving, it can change your ministry!

legacy giving

Reality for many church leaders is that the fundamentals of legacy giving is sort of an unknown. Most pastors simply aren’t trained in the details of legacy financial planning, so this is where I love to come alongside you with hands-on help.

Let’s get really practical about legacy gifts, shall we? This post is meant to help you gain a basic understanding of legacy giving options so you feel comfortable having conversations with people considering these types of gifts for your church.

Our Personal Legacy Giving Journey

It was 2001 when Andrea and I first revised our wills and created a basic estate plan.

legacy giving journey

At that time, we were doing what every young parent should do—put a will in place so that we could determine what would happen to our children and our belongings upon our deaths. If you don’t have a will when you die, then the State determines what happens to your children and your belongings. If you don’t have a will, make one now!

But I have a confession to make. When we executed those documents, charitable giving was not on our minds. I had never been approached by anyone to consider a charitable gift in my will. It wasn’t that I was unwilling to do it, but obviously I didn’t have a clue.

Is Your Church Prepared to Receive the $1M Check?

He sat quietly at a side table; dignified salt and pepper hair. Conversation buzzed around him.

Increase Church Giving

The discussion in the room centered around the success of a recent generosity initiative. The next step involved planning appropriate follow-up strategies for the fulfillment phase.

 Of the numerous suggestions that came, one involved legacy giving. So he waited for an opportunity before speaking as he had an important story to tell.

10 Reasons NOT to Implement a Legacy Giving Plan in Your Church

How often does the topic of legacy giving come up at your church? Once a quarter? Twice a year? Better yet, what is legacy giving? Legacy giving involves a “deferred gift.” It is a gift one decides to give at a future date, either years from now or at death. It is a present decision to make a future gift.

Implement Legacy Giving Church

Most people leave or bequeath these types of gifts through their will or estate plan. Unfortunately, gift planning is rarely discussed in churches across America. Why? Check the list below and tell me if your reason is somewhere on this list.

Gift Planning, the Church, and the Fiscal Cliff

Recently I had the opportunity to connect with Rob Kuck of Philanthrocorp. We discussed some of the changes that are coming in tax law if the looming “fiscal cliff” isn’t resolved by December 31.

tax deductions for charitable donations

Several options are being discussed, including one that would limit and/or entirely eliminate tax deductions for charitable contributions. Additionally, estate tax changes are on the horizon. Here are notes from our conversation.

What possible implications in the charitable tax area that might result from the looming fiscal cliff we are hearing about in the news?