A Message on Planned Giving from the Rector, the Rev. Susan R. Sowers
Dear Parish Family,
St. Christopher’s has been blessed by the generosity of its members since our founding in 1957. Along with annual stewardship giving and capital campaigns, planned gifts have clearly undergirded the ability of our church to thrive for over 60 years.
Did you know that through one of our existing Endowment funds we can annually support almost $70,000 toward the maintenance to our facilities without dipping into the monthly operational giving that goes toward our mission of serving Christ in others? That’s a life-saver, and is necessary to our growth as a parish! While $70,000 is a substantial amount, it funds only a portion of our needs.
I’d like each of us to consider how we might contribute to the Endowment Fund to sustain the life of St. Christopher’s even after we’ve “gone to the Lord.”
Planned gifts will be spent each year for the benefit you intend. The St. Christopher’s Endowment Trust has an independent group of trustees (members) who oversee the funds. They meet quarterly and confer with a professional investment firm who helps invest our funds.
You may choose to establish an endowment for a particular purpose that interests you, or you may add your gift to an already established endowment that targets a purpose you support. If you decide to make a gift to one of the three existing endowment funds, you can choose the fund that best suits your goal for the gift, or allow the Vestry the discretion to put the gift where it is most needed. The Vestry has set a threshold of a $100,000 gift to start a new endowment fund for a particular purpose of your choosing.
Any member of our Parish Planned Giving Committee will be more than happy to help you understand the importance of planned giving and to provide you with information on purposes and methods for making a gift.
Please take some time to scroll through the information on this website. I prayerfully hope that it will inspire you to begin this important work of joining others in securing the sustainability of our mission in serving Christ and his world.
Gratefully Yours in Christ,
What is a Legacy Gift?
Example of various purposes for your gift:
A Brief History of Planned Giving at St. Christopher’s
St. Christopher’s first endowed fund was initiated in 1991. Today, St. Christopher’s benefits from three funds with a total endowment value of $2,455,519 generating approximately $85,000 annually to support a broad range of ministries, one of which allows the Vestry the discretion to select a purpose for the gift. When needed, we benefit from the use of the Maura Street Endowment house, and we have access to low-interest loans when we desire to make large Capital Improvements. It is the McCabe Fund, which provides for the major maintenance of our facilities and campus. This fund alone has recently contributed nearly $70,000 annually for structural repairs. Additionally, our Harrell Scholarships offer assistance to those who previously served as acolytes or as part of the Youth Group and that are seeking advanced degrees.
Existing named endowments which benefit St. Christopher's
Why Legacy Giving is Critical to Securing the Future of ST. CHRISTOPHER’S
The annual operating budget is funded primarily by annual stewardship pledges.
Planned giving ultimately provides an additional and reliable source of funds to sustain St. Christopher’s and its ministries, while also allowing parishioners to make a difference and to enrich themselves spiritually in the act of giving.
It’s simple: Planned gifts matter if you believe that St. Christopher’s matter.
Click here to see attached article, “Why Churches Should Have a Ministry of Legacy Giving”.
The St. Christopher’s Legacy Society
When you make a bequest or contribution of any size to St. Christopher’s, either in your will or via a trust agreement, you will become a member of the St. Christopher’s Legacy Society. With your permission, the Church will recognize all parishioners who have made a provision for the church as part of their estate plan. The amount is always confidential.
Resources and Support
A member of our Planned Giving Committee can help you learn more about planned giving.
Legacy Giving Committee Members
You should always consult with your financial advisor and attorney.
Your Next Steps
Begin your introspection
While gifts of all amounts are needed and welcome, given the need for long term funding, a minimum amount has been established to endow a named fund. These named funds should be of an amount adequate to provide for long term or perpetual contributions to the Church’s needs and missions. To support these long term needs, the Vestry has established a minimum commitment of $100,000, to allow for a separate endowed and named fund. The endower may work with the Church to determine the specified purpose to which the principal and income from the endowment may be applied. At the direction of the donor, these larger gifts may be added to existing funds or the General Endowment Fund. We invite anyone considering creating an endowed fund to work with the Church to determine the use of the principal and income. The only guideline that applies is that the fund must be consistent with the Christian mission and values of St. Christopher’s.
For a gift of any size, acknowledge your commitment by completing the attached Confidential Letter of Intend, and submit it to the Rector or a member of the Committee. Click here to download the Letter of Intent
Just to get your imagination engaged, listed below are just some of the possibilities for the use of funds that the Planned Giving Committee has identified. Many of these types of donations should be designated gifts handled by the Church.
Special Pastoral Support Programs
Buildings, Grounds, and Support Services
Let’s keep it as simple as possible. Estate planning and provisions for planned giving can be expensive, but providing for a gift is also as simple and inexpensive as completing a simple Codicil to be attached to an existing will.
Including a Bequest to the St. Christopher’s Church Legacy Society in your will. Simple form Codicils will be available at the church for your consideration.
Unrestricted General Bequest
I give the sum of $ [amount], unrestricted to the Wardens and Vestry of St. Christopher’s Church, a qualifying 501(c)(3) charitable organization having an address of 3200 N. 12th Ave., Pensacola, Fl, 32503.
Unrestricted Specific Bequest
I give all of my right, title and interest in my [XXXX] Stock, together with the proceeds and reinvestment thereof, unrestricted to the Wardens and Vestry of St. Christopher’s Church, a qualifying 501 (c) (3) charitable organization having an address of 3200 N. 12th Ave., Pensacola, Fl, 32503.
Unrestricted Residuary Bequest
All of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal property, tangible or intangible, and wheresoever situated, I give devise and bequeath X%, unrestricted to the Wardens and Vestry of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, a qualifying 501(c)(3) charitable organization having an address of 3200 North 12th Ave., Pensacola, Fl, 32503; and Y% to John Doe, outright; and Z% to Jane Doe, outright.
Articles & Resources
Wall Street Journal - 12/07/18
The Secret way Seniors can Keep Deducting Gifts to Charities