7 Ways to Encourage Legacy Gifts

Supporting a church or charity is a very meaningful part of life for many people. By making a legacy gift part of their estate plan, that care can continue on for years. If you have loyal and dedicated givers, they may want to donate something when they leave this earth. Here are 7 ways to encourage your members to leave legacy gifts behind.

Explain Legacy Giving

The easiest way to nurture a legacy giving ministry is to make bequests a frequent part of the donation conversation. Your members are already in tune with weekly or monthly giving and perhaps an extra annual gift. But they might not think about leaving future donations or tithes through their wills or living trusts. Mention the power of legacy giving regularly in your traditional communication channels like newsletters and email blasts. Add a dedicated page to your website with facts about legacy giving. This should include contact information for potential donors who may have questions.

Encourage Legacy Giving

When members come to you about opportunities to support your mission, be sure to mention legacy giving as an option. Talk about the ways legacy gifts already help your church or charity. Maybe your donor has something specific in mind to fund. They may also wonder if there are any needs they could meet with a legacy gift. A donor who tithes may simply want that support to continue.

Give Donors Options for Legacy Giving

Cash is obviously the first type of donation that comes to mind. Of course, donors can also leave legacy gifts of stocks and bonds, insurance policies, real estate or other personal possessions. Donors can make a church or charity the beneficiary of policies or accounts. 

Stress the Philanthropic Legacy 

Leaving a charitable gift behind is like leaving a piece of yourself to something you can believe him. Legacy gifts define a person’s character. Legacy gifts let everyone know that the donor believed passionately about a cause and is continuing acts of kindness. Consider an annual luncheon that celebrates legacy gifts and how you are using them.

Recognize Donors

The way you recognize donations needs to be in-line with the wishes of the donor. Some donors will seek public recognition. Could could include naming a building, a wing or even a bench after them. Others will wish to keep their donation private and remain anonymous. However they they want to proceed, it’s important have this discussion with a donor in advance. This allows you to remain sensitive to their wishes. And never underestimate the value of a thank you from the heart.

Providing Continuing Education Opportunities

Estate planning is a complex process that overlaps both the legal and financial worlds. Maybe your church or charity can provide some informal educational opportunities for donors and potential donors. You could offer free workshops that provide access to experts in estate law. Classes on financial and tax planning can also help. In a comfortable environment, your congregants may be able to open up to the idea of giving a legacy gift. 

Stress the Tax Benefits of Legacy Giving

There are tax benefits to donating money and other gifts to charities. Every prospective donor should seek advice from estate and tax professionals. They will learn that there are two giving strategies that are tax-favorable for survivors. Donors can consider donating securities that have appreciated significantly. They can even name a nonprofit as the beneficiary of a retirement savings account.

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