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Welcome to Generosity Matters! My mission: to accelerate generosity in ministry. This is accomplished through Generosity Audits, ministry expansion projects, stewardship and annual giving initiatives, capital campaigns, non-profit fundraising and planned giving. Let's begin a conversation...

Legacy Giving - Is It About Tax Avoidance or Eternal Values?


Bible StudyAs we have been discussing for the last several weeks now, legacy giving can have an amazing impact on your ministry.

There are many reasons for someone to consider giving a legacy gift from an institutional perspective, according to my friends at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP):

  • It may provide an opportunity to give with income and estate tax deduction.
  • Some may provide the opportunity to enjoy either a fixed or variable income.
  • Some may provide the opportunity to 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.

And, of course, there are benefits to you as the recipient: Read more »

The Language of Legacy Giving - A Primer

will & testamentWe’ve been camping out on the topic of legacy giving lately. I’ve shared a top ten list, a $1.5M story, and even my family’s own personal legacy giving journey. You can probably tell by now this is a topic I love - simply because of the high impact it can have for both you and your members. Once you understand the potential behind legacy giving it can change your ministry!

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. Read more »

Our Personal Legacy Giving Journey

giving journeyIt was 2001 when Andrea and I last revised our wills and created a basic estate plan. At that time, we were doing what every young parent should do, putting 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. Have a will!) 

But I have a confession to make. When we executed those documents, charitable giving was not on our minds. I had never been approached to consider a charitable gift in my will. It wasn’t that I was unwilling to do so… I was oblivious - didn’t have a clue. Read more »

The $1.5M Gift: Have You Been Overlooked?

giftHe sat quietly at a side table. Dignified salt and pepper hair. A shirt and tie. Conversation buzzed around him, people giving their opinions as he sat silently and observed the group. 

The discussion in the room centered around the great success of the team’s recent generosity initiative as we began to plan appropriate follow-up strategies for the fulfillment phase. How should they move forward? What was their next step? How could they maintain momentum? Should the strategy include a focus on legacy giving? Everyone had an opinion to share.

He waited for an opportunity before speaking - he had a story to tell that would quickly answer that last question.

An attorney by trade, he was recently involved in the estate closing of one of his clients. As part of the closing process, his law office had just written a check for $1,500,000. The recipient of this check? The IRS.

He knew this client personally as an active and supportive member of a nearby church. He was sure, if his client had known and/or taken action, that those funds would not have gone to the IRS. But there was nothing in the client’s estate plan to specify any other recipient, so the check had to go to the government. Read more »

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