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Wills Program

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Bequests are a simple way to bless a church community. But not many churches are benefitting from these gifts. The 2013 Congregational Economic Impact Study, Indiana University School of Philanthropy
Perhaps this has happened to you: You open the morning paper to read that one of your faithful church members has left a seven figure gift to the local university. She sat in your pews every Sunday, made her famous casserole for every church dinner, and never failed to pay her annual pledge. But when it came to the end of her life, the University received the bulk of her estate and your church received little or nothing. Why?

Talking about Estate Planning is easier than you think!

One major reason people don’t include the church in their will is because they’ve never been asked to do so. Perhaps no one at the church ever considered such a conversation. Or perhaps it seemed too threatening or impolite. In fact, many members are eager to talk with their pastor about end of life issues, including ways they can help the church through their wills. And the Foundation can help you talk to members about estate planning in meaningful, natural ways.

We know how critical gifts like this can be to continuing your church’s mission. And research shows that when faithful members realize the impact that such a gift can have, they are very likely to give. What a beautiful thing – for them, for your church, for God’s work in the world. We’re here to support you and help your church create a sustainable, far-reaching, mission-filled future.

New Program– Live Forward, Give Forward

  • A simple way to bring the impact and inspiration of generous living through Wills gifts to your church community.
  • Downloadable kit for leaders includes free customizable, conversational and approachable leadership resources that help make what can be an uncomfortable topic easy to address.
  • Helps your congregation do what they already want to do - live mindfully toward the future - and connect that desire to supporting the future of their church home.
  • Live Forward, Give Forward microsite focuses exclusively on this program and is a useful starting place to help church members catch the vision and understand the power of Wills gifts. Invite people into the conversation and see what happens!  Link this site to your church's webpage.
 
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