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GRACE STEWARDSHIP

The Grace Episcopal Church Foundation

The Grace Episcopal Church Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 charitable organization with a mission to support the “maintenance, restoration, replacement, repair, and improvement of the buildings, properties, and facilities of Grace Episcopal Church.”

The Grace Foundation, commonly known as the “Grace Fund,” was established in 1995. In its more than 20 years of existence, the Grace Foundation has provided over $1.4 million toward maintenance and renovation of Grace’s buildings. Its current assets are approximately $1.5 million. 

The board of the Grace Foundation consists of the Rector and six members elected by the Vestry of Grace Episcopal Church. It receives requests for funding from the vestry, and both groups work closely with Grace’s Buildings and Grounds Committee to plan for ongoing maintenance of Grace’s historic buildings. 

The Development Fund Trust

The Development Fund Trust (DFT) of Grace Episcopal Church was created in 2011, bringing together assets from a number of endowment and restricted funds held by Grace Church. Its board consists of the Rector, Senior Warden, and treasurer of Grace Church, three members elected by the vestry, and one member elected by the congregation at its annual meeting. 

The DFT serves as a repository for all major gifts and bequests to Grace Church. Its mission is to support the ongoing mission of Grace Church, with the first call on its funds Grace’s annual operating budget.

Since its foundation in 2011, the Development Fund Trust has distributed more than $700,000 to Grace Church activities and ministries, including the operating budget, the mission development fund, and the Giving Light, Giving Hope capital campaign. Its current assets stand at over $2.4 million.

 

What Is Planned Giving?

  • Planned giving encompasses a variety of ways that gifts can be made to the church from accumulated resources. It usually involves financial or estate planning; however, it is not reserved for the wealthy. 
  • Planned giving is a means by which anyone concerned with the wise use of his or her personal resources makes a considered choice about their ultimate disposition.
  • In general planned gifts are made through:
    • A Bequest in a Will
    • A Life Income Gift such as a pooled income fund, a charitable gift annuity, or a charitable remainder trust
    • Gifts of Special Assets (real estate, closely held stock, life insurance, retirement accounts)
  • Planned giving establishes a way for a donor to provide for family members while remembering the church as well. It often enables the donor to provide more for his or her heirs and to make a larger gift than thought possible. 
  • Planned gifts often reduces taxes. 
  • Planned gifts can be designated for an organization’s general funds or its endowment. 
  • Planned gifts are either outright gifts (i.e., gifts of appreciated securities, real property, personal property, etc.) or deferred gifts (i.e. bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts).

A Bequest in a Will

Perhaps the easiest and most common way of making a planned gift is through your will. Yet over 50% of Americans do not have one. If you die without a will, the state will divide your assets among your spouse and children (regardless of their age); appoint an administrator that may cost the estate large fees; and appoint guardians, who may or may not have been your choice, for your dependents. The state makes no charitable contributions, and it will ensure that your estate pays as much tax as possible.

By making a will, you appoint your own administrator; you name the guardian of your dependents; you control applicable taxes; you can create a family or charitable trust; and you can share your resources with your family, church, or other institutions as you choose.

A bequest in a will can take the form of a set amount of money, a percentage of an estate, a specific asset, a trust, or the naming of a church-related organization as a contingent beneficiary. Sample language for including the church in your will might be: “I give, devise, and bequeath (state amount, asset, or percentage of the estate) to (name and address of your church) to be used (describe use) or as the church’s governing board or vestry deems appropriate.”