Workshop materials from Leadership Institute on March 23, 2019

A ‘Parish Legacy Society’ as Planned Giving
How to create and nurture a Legacy Society, honoring those who name your church in an estate, a will or trust. Hear success stories about this and learn some innovative approaches to planned giving.

Click here for Planned Giving and other resources

Vestry 101
So … you are a new member of the vestry! What ARE your responsibilities related to the vision, leadership and fiduciary health of your church? Get support and training to become wise and empowered leaders, with practical nuts and bolts to make your vestry experience effective – and even fun!

Episcopal Church Foundation- Vital Practices

Roles and Responsibilities of Elected Leaders

_Vestry_101 Vestry Papers Issue

Improving your church’s online presence
What are prospective visitors looking for when they check out your church online? Learn about current best practices for your congregation’s Facebook page and website, and some things to avoid.  We’ll evaluate examples of great and not-so great websites in other parts of the country.

Wellness check for your church’s online presence

Online assets ownership worksheet

Resources for enhancing your online presence

A sample media and video policy with release form

Copyright Guidelines for Churches

Photo Release Template

Wardens Face Time with Bishop Knisely
Senior and Junior wardens, receive guidance and support about this crucial lay leadership office in our changing churches. What IS your role – as chief ecclesiastical officers – with the congregation, clergy and staff?

Show Me the Money: Old and New Guidelines for Treasurers
Church treasurers, you are not alone – so don’t do it alone! Money managers: Learn healthy practices of transparency and fiduciary responsibility essential to being a safe church. Also find out about potential sources of revenue — grants, loans and diocesan resources.

Click this link for Resources

HR: Hiring, Firing, Retiring … and Everything in Between
Hiring, firing and retiring can be done professionally and with grace. This session features education and troubleshooting for church leaders in the basics of personnel and human resource management for church staff.

Episcopal Church Foundation-Vital Practices

Employee Management Checklist

Model_Personnel_Handbook_for_Parishes — from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

Human Resources List

Community-Building in an Age of Isolation and Division
Now, more than ever, our church has something urgently-needed and beautiful to offer society. How might we build new forms of intentional community and fellowship to offer healing to a divided world? Learn some fun ideas to bring people together and have a ball!

All Our Children-Partnerships between Church and Schools

Community Garden Help – URI

Blessing Boxes

Pastoral Care for Baby-Boomers and More
Pastoral care, with appropriate training and guidance, is a ministry of all disciples of Christ. Learn how to create, nurture and equip healthy congregational care teams. Train lay leaders now to meet the needs of aging “boomers” – and all generations.

Lay Pastoral Care Resources

Starting a Lay Pastoral Care Ministry Team

Memory Cafes

Eucharistic Visitors  (NOTE: order this resource at, select “pay by check,” use in your church name and address — the staff will see that you are a RI church and will zero it out so you can just ignore the invoice. This only works for the Episcopal Churches in RI. Call 800-941-2218 if you have questions or concerns.

Publicizing and organizing events in the digital age
What’s the difference between digital and paper-based approaches to publicizing events, and how can they work together? What determines what events get publicized in diocesan publications?  Bring examples of particularly successful and creative strategies you’ve used to add to our discussion.

Church event publicity

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

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.

Planned Giving

  • Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices has many resources on planned giving
  • Thrivent Financial provides workshops on a variety of topics; they also provide financial consulting to individuals or the congregation. Part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the profits from Thrivent are given as grants to agencies and churches. Brian Schmeling is our local representative.
  • Our Diocese is hosting a series of workshops by US Trust (our investment firm) on planned giving. Contact Canon Grenz or Mary Ann Mello for information.

Donating Stock and Securities

The Diocese cannot carry out its many ministries without the generous gifts of supporters both past and present. One way you can contribute to our ongoing work is to donate stocks or other securities. Contact Joan DeCelles, Finance Manager, for information on how to transfer ownership of stocks to the diocese. Our thanks and tax donation information will be provided.

Project Resources

Project Resource is a teaching and resource movement that assists philanthropy and raises funds needed in God’s mission. If the clergy and lay leaders around the nation could be taught how to raise money and how to invite new members, the mission would be released to flourish. Project Resources seeks to place in the hands of every congregant the power to motivate and transform resource development in their churches so that ministry is in no way constricted by a lack of money or of congregational vitality.

Through a strategy that employs the best minds in financial development, membership marketing, congregational empowerment, and communications, Project Resources seeks to make directly available to every church the teaching resources they need to raise funds and people. Just imagine a Bishop and their team of teachers coming home to their diocese to teach any clergy person or lay leader how to raise new money and new congregation members. Imagine having ready online access to hundreds of model documents needed in all aspects of development and membership marketing, including pre-designed Word-templates in which a church need only drop in names, type, and images. Imagine finding and downloading a pledge-card template, a phone-a-thon script, a major gifts teaching seminar, a planned giving program model, a membership campaign schedule or a pledge campaign plan with the click of a cell phone button. Imagine clergy and lay church leaders well-versed in all aspects of resource development so that their time is spent growing churches rather than ministering to anemic budgets.

Project Resource is not primarily about raising money or increasing membership, though these will be side-benefits. We are seeking to change entire systems of church leadership around financial and human resource development. We are proposing to accomplish this by training teachers to be effective adapters of materials and strategies so they fit the demographic, cultural norms, and available resources of their specific region. These teachers will then equip their dioceses for the work— remaining as consulting teams focused on teaching raising money and people for God’s mission.   Project Resource is sponsored, as a service resource, by The College for Bishops and The Development Office of the Episcopal Church.

Project Resource is sponsored as a service-resource by The College for Bishops and The Development Office of The Episcopal Church.

There are a wide variety of resources on annual giving, planned giving, major gifts and more at the Project Resource Website. The resources below are what we received when our team attended the conference. But there are more resources available on their website.

Day One Resources

Dive into Project Resources with a brief meditation on the resurrection icon and a conversation about what it means to pull a church or diocese from sleep to wakefulness regarding resource development. The program models various tools to use when engaging the topic of development such as base fears, resistance, and avoidance. Materials look at over-arching statistics and set goals for movement over ten years – looking at needs, capacity, people, funding, calendars, and goals.

Day Two Resources

This second batch of Project Resource materials focus on pledge campaigns. Starting with case development (why we deserve the money we seek to raise and how to communicate that need.) your stewardship team will learn the basics of the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversation as a way to develop a case which has donor investment. The resources continue to look at conversations church leaders can have around what the future of what annual support will look like as generations and technologies change. This segment covers detailed strategies for communications.

Day Three Resources

At this point, Project Resources narrows its focus on major gifts and planned gifts. Icons used for meditation in this module include a new icon on the Rich Young Ruler and the great icon of the Myrrh-bearing Women of Easter. Strategies for all aspects of major gifts work include prospect identification, moves management, metrics tracking, special events, cultivation for differing levels of engagement, and donor appreciation. This batch of materials also looks at the intricacies of how clergy members maintain the relationship with members of congregations while also managing cultivation and solicitation work around major gifts. This segment also include stories of donors whose personal wealth makes them major donors. Learn about what major gift donors do and do not appreciate when being approached by churches and dioceses.

For more information or to schedule a training session on Project Resources, contact the Diocese Congregational Development Committee’s Project Resources Team: Lora MacFall (, the Rev. Sunil Chandy ( or the Rev. Veronica Tierney (