Ways to Make a Planned Gift

The Episcopal Church Foundation has prepared a list of ways you can give to your church, the diocese or one of the ministries of the diocese. They also offer downloadable brochures you can use in your congregation.  DOWNLOAD Planned_Giving_Brochure which provides a general overview.

ECF recommends that you seek appropriate professional legal, tax and financial advice before finalizing any planned gift.


Bequests & Wills
The simplest way to make a planned gift is by naming your parish or other Episcopal ministry in your will. A bequest is a meaningful way to support our work without affecting your cash flow during your lifetime. Your attorney can include it when you prepare or revise your will or you can add a codicil at any time.

DOWNLOAD Writing_Your_Will_Brochure


Charitable Gift Annuities (CGA)
A charitable gift annuity is a simple contract between you and the Episcopal Church Foundation. In exchange for your irrevocable gift of cash or securities, ECF agrees to pay one or two annuitants whom you designate a fixed annuity for life, and you will be entitled to an income-tax deduction in the year you make the gift.

At ECF the minimum age to start receiving annuity payments is 55. However, you can establish a charitable gift annuity at a younger age and defer the start of annuity payments to age 55. The minimum amount to establish a charitable gift annuity at ECF is $5,000.

You will receive an immediate income-tax deduction for a portion of your gift, and your annuity is backed by all of ECF’s assets.

DOWNLOAD the Charitable_Gift_Annuity_Brochure

Charitable Remainder Trusts
A charitable remainder trust is a way to achieve your current and long-term financial, estate and philanthropic goals. A donor makes an irrevocable transfer of cash, stock, real estate or other assets to a trust which produces income for the donor or other beneficiaries, either for a fixed period of time of up to twenty years or until the donor or other beneficiary dies. At the conclusion of the trust period, the remaining principal assets will be distributed to your parish or other Episcopal ministry.

charitable remainder trust allows you to designate the beneficiary of regular payouts from trust proceeds (for either a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage) during your lifetime or for a period of time, not to exceed twenty years. At the same time, your parish is designated a remainder beneficiary. This allows you to claim a tax deduction for the estimated portion of the assets that will ultimately go to your parish or other Episcopal ministry upon death or the expiration of the fixed period.

DOWNLOAD the Charitable_Remainder_Trust_Brochure


Pooled Income Fund
In a pooled income fund your gift, of $2,500 or more, will be “pooled” with other gifts in a professionally managed investment portfolio. You, or your designated beneficiary, will be guaranteed an income for life, although the amount of income will depend on the rate of return on the fund’s investments. You will receive an immediate federal income tax deduction and a possible reduction on your estate taxes. Upon your death, or that of the final beneficiary, the remaining property will come to the parish or Episcopal ministry you name.

DOWNLOAD the Pooled_Income_Fund_Brochure


Life Insurance & Retirement Accounts
Life insurance is another way to make a sizeable gift to the church. For example: You can purchase a new policy and make the church the owner and beneficiary of the policy. This enables you to “leverage” your gift, ultimately making a much larger gift than otherwise possible. Contributions to your church to pay the ongoing premiums become tax deductible. You can make the church the owner and beneficiary of an existing policy. The current value of the policy is tax deductible, as are future premium payments. You can make the church a contingent beneficiary of an existing policy, or name the church to receive the proceeds of the policy if the designated beneficiaries predecease the insured.

Also, the remainder value of many retirement accounts can be heavily taxed when left to friends and family, but pass tax-free to your church upon your death. Review with your attorney or financial advisor to learn if this is an appropriate gift for you.


Real Estate, Appreciated Property, & Tangible Personal Property
Real estate or securities can be the source of your gift to the church. Using a Charitable Life Estate Contract, for example, you can deed your home, vacation home, farm, ranch, or condominium to the church and retain the right to live on the property and/or receive income from the property for as long as you live. You receive an income tax deduction when the property is deeded to the church and normally avoid any capital gains taxes when making the transfer. Your inheritance and estate taxes may be reduced at the time of your death. Gifts of appreciated real estate or securities allow you to avoid capital gains taxes. It is important to transfer the stock or real estate to the church prior to selling it. However, if the securities or real estate have decreased in value, you should sell the assets before making the gift, thus establishing a capital loss and a potential tax deduction.

Gifts of tangible personal property, such as jewelry, coins, works of art, automobiles, etc. may also be given to the church. You are responsible for setting an appraised value on the gift. Any gift over $5,000 must be independently appraised.


Charitable Lead Trust
The charitable lead trust, another estate planning tool, enables you to transfer assets to a trust that pays its income to the church or church related organization for a set period of time. At the end of the term, the principal and all capital appreciation returns to you or others that you name.


The Episcopal Church Foundation provides a planned giving program and consulting services. Visit their website at http://www.episcopalfoundation.org/

Making a gift from your IRA

If you are 70½ years of age or older and have an IRA you may be able to direct tax‐free lifetime transfers to certain charitable organizations, called “qualified charitable distributions,” or QCDs. Possible recipients of your gift includes your church, the diocese, the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund, the Episcopal Conference Center (ECC), the Cathedral, the Center for Reconciliation, Hallworth House or Episcopal Charities.

Without the ability to do a QCD, if you wanted to use funds in your IRA to make a charitable gift, you would first have to withdraw the funds, include the withdrawn amount in income, and then contribute the funds to charity. The latter step might (or might not) be fully deductible. Under this tax‐favored provision, you can exclude from income up to $100,000 annually of an otherwise taxable IRA distribution that is transferred directly from your IRA (including an inherited IRA) to a “qualified” charity. If you are married, your spouse can also exclude the same amount. This can include a transfer that fulfills a pledge.

US Trust (which manages our Diocesan Investment Trust Fund) has provided a brief overview. You are encouraged to discuss this with your accountant, tax lawyer or financial advisor. If you want to set up a QCD for any diocesan entity or if you church needs help in setting up a way to receive this contribution, call Joan DeCelles, Finance Director, at 401-274-4500.