WHAT’S IN YOUR HEART?
It is our belief that most gifts for endowment funds of
churches or synagogues usually come out of the estates of families. We often find that many people make cash gifts to the
church or synagogue today because they want to see their church or synagogue carry out current ministries and programs. Endowment
giving is usually something different. Families tend to give out of their accumulated assets when they are making decisions
about the distribution of those assets when they are no longer needed.
Many families hang on to assets such as homes, land, retirement
funds, art, insurance, etc. to assure the long-term stability of their family. There comes a time when final distribution
is required. This is the time for the wise stewardship of the distribution of God’s gifts. In addition to meeting family
needs, we find that many people often have a church or synagogue and other groups that have had deep meaning to them. It is
at this point in life that a family will take the time to look deep into their heart to identify what has had strong meaning
to their life and include their church or synagogue in these plans.
It is not uncommon for a family to identify two or three
charitable/religious institutions that have helped to make them who they are. When this occurs, the concept of including these
charities in their distribution plan becomes an exciting and meaningful experience. These families are saying that their family
is first and most important, but their church or synagogue and others are also worthy of a gift.
Any family with strong feelings for their church or synagogue
can provide a meaningful future gift to their Endowment Fund. It could be as simple as providing for a percentage or fixed
dollar amount in a will, if the individual has a will. We have seen families provide for a charitable distribution of “whatever
is left” after specific needs are covered. Some families will find that including their church or synagogue as a % beneficiary,
or contingent beneficiary in an insurance policy or retirement fund will also work.
As families include their church or synagogue in their plans,
no matter the size of the gift, they will provide for significant giving to their church or synagogue and other local groups.
The motivation for this type of future giving is really
very different from giving to meet immediate annual needs. The individual giving from assets is giving with a more passionate
approach. We are taking time to find out what is imbedded in our heart. It has been said “out of the heart are the issues
of life”. When we include charities in our estate plans we are sharing with our families, friends and community who
we really are as individuals. We are sharing what is important to us. We are leaving a legacy so that those that follow will
know us and what our lives, in this world, were all about. In addition, we are making a gift to local organizations so that
the experiences we enjoyed will be preserved for those that follow to enjoy.
believe that stewardship is more than taking care of God’s gifts while we have them.
Stewardship also includes having wise plans for the distributions of God’s gifts when we are done with them. What is in your heart?