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How to Start a Program for Your Ministry

Partnering with the LCMS Foundation to create a gift planning program for your ministry can be a relatively simple process. The program can be tailored to fit your ministry’s size, resources and growth objectives.  

From a one-year partnership agreement, to a longer multi-year arrangement, your ministry will receive the dedicated attention and resources of a gift planning counselor for the duration of the partnership.

Transfer the Blessings™

Most of our partnerships are called Transfer the Blessings (TTB) partnerships. As the name implies, the TTB program is about helping your members or supporters pass on their God-given gifts to their loved ones and to the ministries they hold dear, once they’re called home to heaven.

In many ways, a TTB program is similar to a capital campaign; the Foundation will work with you to establish goals, identify key contacts and “ambassadors” within your organization, and hold seminars and other events to engage your members or supporters. 

Once individuals ask to begin the gift planning program, your counselor will meet with them, usually at their home (or virtually while social distancing guidelines are in place), multiple times over a period of months. There’s no charge to your members to work with a counselor, and most individuals describe the process as joyful, enlightening and a blessing.

Creating a partnership

Your partnership will be customized to your needs. Smaller congregations usually don’t require as robust a program as larger congregations. And larger, more complex ministries, such as the Concordia universities, often want larger partnerships with additional services and expectations. 

Our one-year partnerships generally start at about $10,000. This offsets some of the cost of having a gift planner dedicate a set amount of time, each month, to be at your ministry and working directly with your leaders, members and supporters. At that level of partnership, most ministries typically see about 10 gift plans created each year, with the average value of those gifts being approximately $250,000. 

It’s important to note that the Foundation cannot guarantee a certain number of gifts, nor that the gifts will benefit your ministry. However, our experience over sixty years shows that nearly all partnerships perform at the averages noted above, and most donors choose to give generously to the ministry associated with the partnership. If you have any questions or concerns, we’re very transparent about what your ministry can expect and are always happy to provide testimonials or to put you in touch with other ministries that can share their experiences working with the Foundation.

For more information about how our partnerships are generally structured, see our sample partnership agreement.

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Interested in creating a partnership today?

Simply fill out the form below and we'll contact you to discuss next steps in the partnership process. 

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You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11

What Your Members Can Expect

The gift planning process we go through with individuals is called Lifetime Plan for Giving™. It’s a four-step process conducted over a few months, during which our counselors get to know the donors and help them determine the best way to structure their gifts.

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Investing the Gifts You Receive

Donors need to be confident in your ministry’s ability to steward their gifts wisely. Does your ministry have an endowment or guidelines on how it invests and uses the gifts it receives? If not, the Foundation can help. We offer endowment expertise and investment services to help you grow and govern the gifts entrusted to your care.

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Frequently Asked 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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Contact Us

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.