Planned Giving and Endowment Support

Stewardship coaching for endowment programs

Overview

Recent surveys indicate that 51% Americans aged 55 to 64 do not have a will or estate plan.

Our S4Us team experience indicates that this is true among our congregations as well and among those who do have such documents, many have never thought about including their congregation or the UUA in their plans. When such inclusion is introduced, many find that they are interested in making legacy gifts, and want to be remembered by us after they have gone.

Legacy giving is a win-win for all concerned. Congregations need programs to communicate these opportunities and volunteers to make it easier for people to make legacy gifts.

Our team can assist in developing and implementing an effective planned giving program, or improving an existing program that is not performing, as well as ensuring your endowment program is in good shape. Compared to other resource-gathering activities, this is a low intensity effort, requiring only a few dedicated volunteers and a modicum of time.

A fully functioning planned giving program brings a defined and inspiring purpose, effective policies, and sound investment plans. The program speaks to your mission and to Unitarian Universalist values via an effective communication and education strategy.

We can assist your congregation in developing such programs, in preparing testimonials, establishing honoring spaces and techniques, as well as a management plan for program sustainment and growth.

Benefits:

  • Addresses the whole of members’ lifespan
  • Helps families find beneficial and comprehensive financial, legal, and tax planning
  • Creates a program to honor our founders and predecessors
  • Enables the congregation to recognize and thank those who make planned gifts
  • Provides potentially significant financial resources to the congregation over time
  • Enables members to invest in the future of Unitarian Universalism and your congregation

 What we Offer:

  • We provide expert advice and assistance to establish strong planned giving and endowment programs. Although an endowment and planned giving program are related to each other, their management is differentiated, and may be directed by two different teams: an endowment committee and a planned giving team.
  • The Stewardship Team can support the initial setting of the endowment and its key documents. When considering the use of lay leaders to oversee the investments of the endowment, a congregation may consider the Unitarian Universalist Association Common Endowment (UUCEF). The Stewardship Team supports this as an option for many individual congregation endowments, as the UUCEF has an admirable performance record. Using the UUCEF frees up lay leaders to invest their time and energy in encouraging member participation and in allocating program resources, rather than managing investments.
  • Our consultation for the planned giving team starts with an orientation of the leaders on the processes of a planned giving program. We will work with them to understand the sensitivities around talking to people about legacy, about best practices and opportunities, and coordinating other functions of the congregation.
  • We help review or create documents, timelines, programs, worship services, and other plans. We can help ministers and staff understand their role in the process. We support the training of volunteers who can ask members to consider the congregation with their long-range plans, providing advice about deciding who to approach and how to do so. We provide recommendations for coordinating with financial planners, tax planners, lawyers, and others.
  • Congregations benefit from having an outside consultant to help them launch an endowment and to initiate or reinvigorate a planned giving program. This is an enduring, sustaining campaign; an investment rather than a fundraising mindset is helpful. Consulting support for establishing, educating, and mentoring the committee will enhance its success and make the work of volunteers and leaders far easier.
  • The Stewardship Team can support the initial setting of the endowment, with its key documents. After that an endowment committee is usually charged with tracking funds, investment decisions, and reporting. Our consultation for the planned giving team starts with an orientation of the lay leaders on the processes of a planned giving program.
    We will also work with them to understand the sensitivities around talking to people about legacy, about best practices and opportunities, and engaging other functions of the congregation.
  • We help review or create documents, timelines, programs, worship, and other plans related to this initiative. We can help the ministers and staff to understand their role in the process.
  • We support the training of lay people who can ask members to consider the congregation with their long range plans, provide advice about approaching specific people, and make recommendations for coordinating with associated professionals (financial planners, tax planners, lawyers) during program implementation and sustainment cycles.

When considering the judicious use of lay leaders to oversee the investment of the endowment, a congregation may consider the the Unitarian Universalist Association Common Endowment (UUCEF).

The Stewardship Team supports this as an option for many individual congregation endowments, as the UUCEF has an admirable performance record and using the UUCEF frees up lay leaders to invest their time and energy in encouraging member participation and in allocating program resources, rather than attempting to manage investments.

Congregations benefit from having an outside consultant to help them launch an endowment and to initiate or rehabilitate a planned giving program. As this is more of an enduring, rather than a time delimited campaign, an investment rather than fundraising mindset is helpful. Consulting support for establishing, educating, and mentoring the committee will ensure its success.