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Planned gifts to the church increase in 2010

February 15, 2011 2 Comments

by James Morgan

According to Lutheran Foundation Canada’s year-end summary, 2010 showed a significant increase in planned giving for the congregations and related organizations of Lutheran Church–Canada. The foundation reported more than $7.5 million in planned gifts, with a small portion being immediate gifts of shares and cash. Planned future gifts will come from donors’ estates, to be distributed to the LCC congregations, organizations, or endowments as specified by the donor.

“Over the next 15 years, significant wealth, the bounty of God’s worldly blessings, will transfer from one generation to the next,” explained foundation director Allen Schellenberg. “Planned giving is simply using the worldly resources the Lord has blessed us with, to meet the needs and expectations of family, while also including a gift for the ongoing mission and ministry of the church.”  Mr. Schellenberg took over as executive director when Dwayne Cleave, synod’s treasurer, also became director of LCC’s Worker Benefit Plans.

Funding for the work of the foundation is provided primarily by contributions from synod, LCC’s three districts, the Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary and Concordia Lutheran Seminary. Future planned gifts to these organizations will more than offset their present annual contribution. Currently, there is approximately $10 million invested in either endowments or custodial accounts. Over the past three years, the foundation has disbursed $184,435 from endowments, with the amounts increasing each year, from $14,283 in 2008, to $81,702 in 2009, and $88,450 in 2010.

Two full-time Gift Coordinators carry out gift development activities across Canada. Alfred Feth serves the East District, and Allen Schellenberg serves the ABC District. While there is no full-time coordinator for the Central District, development services are provided through an agreement with Canadian Lutheran World Relief and its Gift Coordinator, Tom Brook. The foundation is considering additional staffing strategies to meet their future needs. The Gift Coordinators provide seminars to congregations, conventions, and circuit forums on the benefits of gift planning and other topics related to wills and estate planning. They also assist congregations, donors, and donor’s advisors to ensure planned gifts are properly structured.

Gifts, in addition to cash, can include a variety of investments ranging from stocks to insurance policies and RRSPs. The foundation has developed more than $13.8 million in planned gifts over the past three years. Not surprisingly, when donors leave a planned gift within their estate, most leave a gift to their home congregation first, and then as able, also consider other beneficiaries.  Without exception, donors are excited that the ministries they’ve supported throughout their life will continue to be supported by their planned gift after they have been called home to be with their Lord and Saviour. 

For more information see: www.lutheranfoundation.ca

  • guest

    Great timimg!! Saint James LC council in Winnipeg had a presntation at its last meeting on the subject of a church endowment fund. Will see where it goes after presentation to the congregation.

    • Allen Schellenberg

      Congregational Gift Plans are a great way for congregations to support mission work beyond their own doors. God’s blessings as St. James further considers this opportunity.