Online & Legacy Giving
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. II Corinthians 9:7
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Information about Legacy Giving
Legacy or Planned Giving
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
God's Word teaches that He is the owner of all things, and we are to be His steward. This would include all He has entrusted to us. When viewing our family's possessions through His eyes, we can discover ways to provide for our family and our faith at the same time with legacy or planned estate giving. The First Baptist Church of Hazard Endowment Fund was created to complement, not substitute for, regular giving through tithes and offerings by providing long-term giving options through wills, trusts, and estates. Why give? Can I be assured that there will be good stewardship of my gift? Will any gift I can afford make a difference? How can I make a legacy gift to the Church?
Why Give? LEGACY OR PLANNED Gifts
You likely already support the work of First Baptist Church through your regular tithes and offerings, which provide the financial means for the Church to support local and international missions, pay the salaries of church staff and operating expenses, and preserve and maintain the infrastructure of the Church’s physical assets such as the building on Main Street and the parsonage here in Hazard, Kentucky. The vast majority of your tithes and offerings are received either as non-designated gifts, which are accounted for and expended in accordance with the Church’s annual budget, or in the form of designated “special” gifts made to support a particular mission activity or a project undertaken by the Church.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
The purpose of “legacy” or “planned giving” is not to replace the regular tithes and offerings of the membership, nor to solicit you to contribute more to the Church than would be prudent, nor to deprive your family of resources you have worked faithfully to save for their benefit. The Endowment Fund’s purpose is merely to create an opportunity for members of this Church to use a portion of their resources to support an existing or future special project, mission or activity or simply to create a lasting personal legacy to support the mission of the Church after they have gone on to Heaven. Every faithful local congregation should aspire to survive as a thriving New Testament church until Jesus returns someday. Who will replace you? You will be missed in the fellowship of our local Church, the ministry of the Church will suffer from your absence, and the impact of the loss of your personal tithes and offerings will be felt. If that matters to you, then legacy or planned giving opportunities are merely an acknowledgment that the loss of your faithful support will pose a future challenge to the Church.
CAN I BE ASSURED THAT THERE WILL BE GOOD STEWARDSHIP OF MY GIFT?
Regular tithes and offerings (including specially designated offerings) are received and expended through the normal budgeting and expenditure processes of the Church. Staff is accountable to the Church through the Budget Committee, the Church Council, and the other standing and ad hoc committees of the Church. Legacy or Planned Gifts to support future ministries or projects or gifts to create a personal legacy of support to the Church will also be subject to the normal budgeting and expenditure processes when used, but legacy or planned gifts will also be overseen by a Legacy Gift Committee which will be responsible for monitoring the management of prudent investment and accountability mechanisms designed to provide good stewardship of any planned giving resources.
THERE IS NO PLAN FOR COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO MAKE ANY INDIVIDUAL OR SPECIFIC INVESTMENT DECISIONS WITH PLANNED GIFT FUNDS.
The members of the Legacy Gift Committee will not be speculating about the funds that are contributed by the congregation. Subject to Church approval, the Church will establish accounts with the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, the Southern Baptist Foundation, or-if necessary and approved in the future-other similar religious-oriented and affiliated investment management entities to hold, manage, invest, reinvest, and distribute funds back to the Church in accordance with each specific planned gift or bequest. The Kentucky Baptist Foundation has been in existence since 1945 and actively manages for the Kentucky Baptist Convention and numerous churches and even individuals hundreds or thousands of accounts currently totaling in excess of Two Hundred Million Dollars. The Southern Baptist Foundation similarly manages accounts for the SBC, for churches, and for individuals. It has distributed more than Four Billion Dollars to Christian organizations since it was formed in 1947. Both Foundations disclose that they invest only in companies and investments that do not conflict with Christian values and principles. Detailed information on each of these organizations can be found here: Kentucky Baptist Foundation https://kybaptistfoundation.org/, and Southern Baptist Foundation https://www.sbfdn.org/.
ENDOWMENT FUNDS SHOULD BE INVESTED WITH PROFESSIONALS WHO AFFIRM THE “DONOR BILL OF RIGHTS” DEVELOPED BY THE EVANGELICAL COUNCIL FOR FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY.
When you give, your gift should be subject to standards and policies that assure you, your estate, and your heirs a “Bill of Rights” as a donor, which was created by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Whether it is the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, the Southern Baptist Foundation, or other fund managers, you or your heirs should have the right to:
- Know how the funds of an organization are being spent
- Know what the programs you support are accomplishing
- Know that the organization complies with federal, state, and municipal laws
- Restrict or designate your gifts to a particular project within the organization’s mission objectives
- A timely and courteous response to your inquiries about finances and programs
- Visit the office and program sites of an organization to talk personally with the staff
- Give cheerfully without being pressured by the organization
- Obtain a copy of the organization’s most recent audited financial statements
- Know that there is a responsible governing board providing oversight of the organization’s mission
THE ENDOWMENT FUND IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE YOUR OWN ESTATE PLANNING IF YOU PREFER AND HAVE ALREADY MADE SUCH ARRANGEMENTS.
Of course, members who have existing or who choose to make future estate planning arrangements can always elect to utilize their own preferences for specific trustees, trust companies, or other entities for retention and investment of estate assets, and may or may not elect to coordinate with the Legacy Gift Committee on the making of such financial arrangements. First Baptist Church of Hazard already has two examples of past planned giving which illustrate how members can make individual choices to benefit the future mission of the Church:
Lee and Nora Crutchfield, former community members, created a personal or family trust and retained J.P. Morgan company, an independent trustee, to manage funds for the benefit of First Baptist Church and other beneficiaries. The funds are distributed to the Church annually by the trustee and are available for general fund uses approved in the Church budget.
Jessie Horn, a former FBC member, bequeathed funds in her estate directly to the Kentucky Baptist Foundation for the benefit of First Baptist Church, and the Foundation distributes funds from the account quarterly for general fund uses approved in the Church budget.
Not everyone can afford to provide independently for long-term arrangements for their money and asset management after death, however. Those who intend to make planned gifts directly to the Church without selecting or employing independent trustees or specifying future investment terms will have the comfort of knowing that professional expertise will be used to achieve good stewardship of any gifts made directly to the Church’s Endowment Fund. They should also take comfort in knowing that the local members of the Church’s own Legacy Gift Committee will monitor the financial reports and evaluate the performance of those professionals selected to manage the funds, and the Committee will report back to the congregation regularly so the Church can maintain good stewardship of its resources.
WILL ANY GIFT I CAN AFFORD MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Many people may forego the idea of making legacy or planned gifts because they do not believe the size or amount of a gift they could reasonably afford will make any difference in the long-term ministry of the Church. The best answer to that doubt is that even a small gift will make a spiritual difference to you! Recall the story of the widow’s two mites told in Luke Chapter 21:1-4, “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” We do not want any member of First Baptist Church to impoverish himself or herself for the ministry of this Church, but small gifts have the potential for eternal benefits both here in this world and beyond.
Even small gifts can achieve or help achieve big results. If someone had invested $1 in a local Church investment fund back in 1925, how much would that investment be worth now? With prudent investment, income compounding, and capital gain, you would not be surprised to know that the $1 could be worth a few thousand dollars today. You may wish you could donate $1,000 to the Church through your estate, but you could never afford a gift-either in life or in death of more than $100. With proper stipulations on the terms of your bequest, the gift of $100 could be invested in the Endowment Fund, left to grow into $1,000, and then the future income and/or principal of the entire gift could be released to be a perpetual fund in your memory. That is a single example of how small things matter.
HOW CAN I MAKE A LEGACY OR PLANNED GIFT TO THE CHURCH?
If you have existing wills, trusts, or other estate planning in place:
You may have an existing will, trust, or other estate planning already established for you and your family. If you have made plans for a gift or bequest to support the Church or if you plan to modify your existing estate plans to make provision for the Church, you can exercise complete control over the manner and execution of your estate and the distribution and expenditure of any gift. If you are willing to do so, you may wish to consider notifying the Church of the proposed details of your gift. Prior notification does not create an irrevocable commitment to make the gift on your part should conditions or circumstances change, and the details of your intentions will be treated with utmost confidentiality. Notifying the Church merely helps the Church to engage in planning and budgeting decisions to ensure good stewardship of its resources.
If you don’t have a will, trust, or other estate planning, and you could use some help:
If you do not have an existing will, trust, or other estate planning already established for you and your family, the Church has access through the Kentucky Baptist Foundation and the Southern Baptist Convention to a number of resources that can assist you in formulating a plan for your estate and can coordinate with a personal attorney of your choice in creating and implementing that plan. For more general information on the resources that may be available to individuals through the KBFand SBC, please visit https://kybaptistfoundation.org/individuals-and-families and https://www.sbfdn.org/ways-to-give/basic-components-to-have-in-place/.
Most people will simply need to include a specific provision for a donation to the Church in their new Will or in an amendment or “codicil” to their existing Will. A proper form for a gift intended to be used for any future general fund purposes of the Church would be:
“I give and bequeath to First Baptist Church of Hazard, Kentucky, for investment in its Endowment Fund, the sum of $____________ (or other described property) to be used by the Church for any of the general ministry and purposes of the Church.”
Or you may choose to make provisions in your will for a bequest for a specific designated purpose. You can give to specific ministries or for dedicated purposes such as building enhancement. You can specify whether your gift will be disbursed over a specific time period of your choice or will be held perpetually. An example of the former would be a bequest to be disbursed to the Church to replace some or all of your normal tithes and offerings for a selected time period following your death. An example of the latter would be a gift, whether large or small, which is intended to memorialize you or another family member and to support the Church in perpetuity until its mission is complete. There may be other opportunities to include terms and conditions within the bequest to tailor or “customize” the gift to your specific intent as a donor. The form of your gift may also dictate whether and to what extent you may receive favorable tax treatment from your charitable contribution, so you should consider whether to seek advice from your attorney, accountant, or other professional in formulating your gift, and you should decide whether to inform and to coordinate with the Church on the terms of your gift. If you consult the Church, we also may be able to refer you to the Kentucky Baptist Foundation staff or Southern Baptist Foundation staff for advice on the type and terms of any gift best suited to carry out your intent.
THE ENDOWMENT FUND CAN ACCEPT GIFTS OF MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF PROPERTY, AND DONORS MAY BE ABLE TO ACHIEVE TAX SAVINGS BY SOME TYPES OF GIFTS.
The Endowment Fund accepts many types of gifts: bequests from an estate of cash, securities, personal property, or (some) real estate; gifts by designation of the Church as sole or joint beneficiaries of life insurance policy proceeds, annuities or 401k or IRA account proceeds; lifetime legacy gifts in memoriam of deceased family, friends or fellow members of the Church; lifetime or testamentary special gifts for a designated purpose like a scholarship or for a recurring ministry to be used over time and not made the subject of a current expenditure; and lifetime or testamentary gifts which are held in a pool of assets like a building or capital construction fund to produce earnings that may be used to maintain or improve the infrastructure, preserve an existing ministry or fund a new ministry. The Southern Baptist Foundation notes on its website, “On a purely pragmatic level, the value of estate planning is clear in avoiding or minimizing taxes and planning the most efficient way of achieving your family’s financial goals. In the absence of an estate plan, all of these decisions come under the authority of federal and local state governments. Believers have a compelling reason to consider estate planning because God instructs us to be wise stewards. With proper planning, we can direct more resources to the ministries we love and help advance the Kingdom.”
Where can you get more information? Contact the staff at First Baptist Church at (606) 436-3533 or contact the Kentucky Baptist Foundation at https://kybaptistfoundation.org/, Toll Free 866-489-3533 or the Southern Baptist Foundation https://www.sbfdn.org/ Toll Free: 800.245.8183 for additional advice.