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What Exactly Is Gift Planning? 

It’s one of life’s great truths and blessings… someday, each of us will be called home to Heaven. When that time comes, having a charitable gift plan can be an incredible blessing!

Gift plans are binding agreements that assure an individual’s gifts (assets such as retirement accounts, life insurance, a home or land) are distributed in exact accordance with their wishes. Contrary to popular belief, a will may not accomplish those goals. 

One’s family, loved ones, and faith - including the congregation and ministries that they hold in their heart - are the most common beneficiaries of gift plans.

The benefits of gift planning to ministry

We often talk to pastors about the number of funerals they attend each year where the deceased hasn’t included the congregation in their will. LCMS schools and RSOs also have extremely dedicated supporters, but are also often forgotten in their supporters’ last wishes. It might sound blunt, but the fact is that many Lutherans would gladly include the congregations and ministries they cherish within their wills, but simply don’t know how or have never been asked to do so. 

Having a gift planning program within your ministry can provide a framework within which individuals are asked to consider the ways God has blessed their lives, and to contemplate how they can honor those blessings by supporting ministry even after they’ve left this Earth. Having a gift planning program converts the difficult task of asking for money (and talking about death) into a simple, joyful and mutually-beneficial program.

What is a charitable giving program?

A charitable giving program is an organized effort by your ministry to offer gift planning services to your members or supporters. By partnering with the LCMS Foundation, you can establish a program that will benefit your members today, while also helping ensure the financial well-being of your ministry tomorrow and for years to come.

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I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1

The Benefits of Gift Planning for Ministries

There are many benefits to having a gift planning program, but for ministries, often the most measurable is the generosity of the gifts their members create. Most basic partnerships with the Foundation lead to about 10 gift plans in the first year, with an average gift in the $250,000 range. 

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Starting a Gift Planning Program at Your Ministry

Starting a gift planning program for your ministry can be simple. We partner with dozens of congregations, schools, RSOs and many of the Concordia universities. Each year these partnerships result in $125 to $150 million in future planned gifts to LCMS organizations. If you think your ministry should have a program in place, we’d love to talk with you.

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Still Have Questions?

Creating yet another program at your ministry may seem daunting, and gift planning is not an easily understood topic. So, if you’re not sure if gift planning is right for your congregation or LCMS ministry, you may find reading through our FAQ page to be helpful.

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How can we help you today? If you're a ministry leader, current donor or account holder, or if you're new to the LCMS Foundation and would like more information, we'd love to hear from you. Please use the "I have a question or comment about" drop-down field below to get your comment to the correct person or department faster.