I. What is a legacy giving fund?
- Legacy giving funds are designed for supporters of a non-profit organization to give “over and above” gifts for the ongoing work of the organization, often after the death of the donor. Most non-profit organizations, including colleges and universities, have emphasized legacy giving for many years as a way to supplement annual giving and meet long term needs. Religious organizations, and Baptists in general, have only recently begun using them as a way to enhance Gospel work.
II. What is the purpose?
- The purpose of the fund is to supplement the ongoing budget and ministry of the church. It will allow our members and supporters to provide donations that support Kingdom work for many years. The fund documents and donor agreements will document the uses of the funds in specific areas of support.
III. What areas will the fund support?
- The legacy giving/finance team will determine the use of distributions from the fund on an annual basis. The defined areas of support include: Missions (Matthew 28:18-19), Benevolence (Acts 4:34-35), Physical Assets (II Kings 12:4-5), and Children and Student Ministries (Deuteronomy 6:5-7). In all cases, the impact is funds supplementing the annual budget to support ongoing Kingdom work.
IV. Why is adding a legacy fund appropriate at this time?
- As noted above, legacy giving has been used for many years by other non-profits, allowing supporters to gift larger funds that have an ongoing benefit. We believe it is appropriate for Rocky Creek to make this giving opportunity available for those who desire to donate a portion of their accumulated wealth, an inheritance received, or funds existing at the time of their passing.
V. How is giving to this fund different than giving to the budget?
- Both are important and this fund will serve as a supplement to the annual budget. Giving to the budget supports all church ministry for a given year. It can be thought of as giving to the church’s checking account that meets current needs and has a cash cushion for unexpected events. Giving to the legacy fund allows the church to invest the funds and use a combination of the original gift and the returns generated to support ministry for many years. The Fund can be thought of as the long-term savings of the church to provide additional funds for years in the future.
- The church periodically receives gifts of appreciated securities (stocks) to support the budget. In accordance with our finance policies, those stocks are immediately sold and the funds are used to meet budget needs. Giving to the legacy fund provides long term investment monies that will be used by church ministries for many years. Importantly, donors will continue to have the choice of giving securities and other assets in either way, depending on their desires.
VI. Who will make the investments and manage the funds?
- We have selected the Baptist Foundation of South Carolina to administer the funds, make investments, and provide regular reporting to the church. They are experienced in serving this fiduciary role and currently manage approximately 70 church legacy endowment funds.
VII. Why did the legacy team ask for “seed” money of $50,000?
- As part of the 2022 budget, the church approved providing $50,000 of seed money from existing savings, subject to establishment of the legacy giving plan. The Foundation has recommended the plan have $100,000 invested to provide minimal returns before utilizing legacy funds. This seed money from existing savings provides a kickstart to meeting this minimum amount, moving us closer to the goal of receiving annual supplements.
VIII. Can the donor designate how the funds are spent?
- Yes, with limitations. It is preferred that donors give unrestricted gifts, similar to annual budget giving, to allow the church to prioritize ministry support. The finance team will determine appropriate payouts and uses of the funds. As with all gifts to the church, the finance team has the ability to accept or reject any donations if designations or limitations do not match church policy. Designated gifts to the fund will have a limited life to meet the designated purpose.
IX. How can someone give to the legacy fund?
- Once established, there are a number of ways that gifts can be given. The most common gift is inclusion in a will or estate plan that leaves some portion of the estate to the fund. Others may want to give a gift while still alive that can be used to support Kingdom work currently and on an ongoing basis. Another popular giving mechanism is having IRA required minimum distributions sent directly to a charity like the legacy fund, creating taxable benefits for the donor. Other methods of giving will be publicized after adoption of the fund.
X. How can I include a gift in my will?
- It is easy to include a statement that you desire to leave a certain dollar amount or percentage of your assets to the church upon your death. At a future time, your executor or trustee will follow the instructions you leave.
- One benefit of our relationship with the South Carolina Foundation is their relationship with a firm that assists in preliminary work leading to the preparation of a will. They will invest time to document your desires at no cost if some portion of your estate is left to the church. The result for the donor is a lower cost of will preparation as your attorney will have the information necessary to quickly prepare estate documents. We will be publicizing this information in more detail after passage of the resolution to establish the fund.
XI. The church approves the annual budget. How will the church be informed of the status of the legacy fund?
- The finance team will work with the Foundation to provide annual reports on the status of the fund, including account balance, returns, distributions, etc. In addition, regular reporting of gifts, inclusion in estate documents, etc. are planned.
XII. How can I learn more?
- Going forward, we are planning to provide regular reminders of various ways to give and support the ongoing ministry of Rocky Creek.