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Legacy Giving: Turning Your Stewardship into a Legacy
Most of us could outline several things that we do in the hope of making a difference in the world: in short, we could outline our personal sense of mission. And many of us find that this personal mission is expressed through The United Church of Canada, our congregation, the Mission and Service Fund, and the church’s many other missions across the country and around the world.
In the spirit of Christian stewardship, we share our many gifts of time, talent and resources generously with the church to keep Christ’s mission of love and justice alive. Legacy giving offers us another opportunity to express our financial stewardship and create a legacy for generations to come.
What is a legacy gift? A legacy gift is, put simply, a gift that requires a different type of planning than our regular or weekly givings. While our regular givings are usually calculated from our cash flow, a legacy gift is created from the financial assets that we accumulate over our lives.
Isn’t legacy giving just about leaving money in my will? A bequest created through your will is one type of legacy gift, but there are other types, including:
- Current gifts of cash, securities or property;
- Gifts of life insurance;
- United Church of Canada life income gifs;
- Endowment funds; and
- Gifts RRSP/RRIFs
Each type of gift has its own benefits to you, the donor, and to the beneficiary.
I’m not wealthy enough to create a legacy gift. A gift of any size can make a difference and create your legacy. For example, life income gifts can be established for as little as $10,000, and $15,000 (over five years) will establish an endowment fund.
I need all my money to produce income; I can’t just give it away. Some gifts can provide you with an income for the rest of your life.
Who will receive my gift? This is entirely your decision. You can designate your congregation to be the beneficiary of the proceeds of your gift. Some prefer to leave their gift to the Mission and Service Fund. Any mission in the United Church of Canada Yearbook can be the beneficiary. Many people divide their bequest between several areas of the church.
What are the tax benefits of legacy giving? Our federal and provincial tax laws encourage charitable giving. All legacy gifts provide a charitable donation tax receipt either upon your death, or when you create the gift. In both instances this will result in a charitable tax credit that will offset taxes. In addition, some gifts, such as shares and mutual funds, receive preferential tax treatment. And one of the life income gifts – a gift annuity - provides an income stream that is mostly non-taxable.
Where can I find out more about legacy giving? For further information and resources about expressing your stewardship through a legacy gift, contact your Legacy Giving Committee and/or Jane Harding, Regional Financial Development Officer for BC Conference. Jane lives in Surrey and can be contacted at (778) 574-0423 orjharding [at] united-church [dot] ca ( jharding [at] united-church [dot] ca). You can also visit The United Church of Canada website.