By: Barry G. Allen-President & CEO
The North Carolina Baptist Foundation encourages North Carolina Baptist churches to establish “memorial mission endowments,” to receive memorial gifts when church members pass away. It’s a wonderful idea, and I want to encourage Kentucky Baptist churches to consider doing the same thing.
For many years, the KBF has encouraged churches which have established endowment funds with us to encourage their members to direct memorial gifts into the endowments as a means of growing the endowment over time. The NCBF idea of establishing an endowment specifically for memorial gifts is just another way for church members and friends to honor and perpetuate the legacy of those special people in their lives at the time of their deaths.
Memorial gifts are not limited to just writing a check. Memorial gifts also can be made with appreciated securities, real estate, a beneficiary designation of a life insurance policy or a retirement account or a bequest in a will or a trust.
A memorial missions endowment can be established with the KBF with an initial contribution of at least $100. No earnings distributions will be made to the church until the account attains a market value of $5,000. Once distributions are available the church decides each year which missions and ministries will benefit from the distributions. So the endowment becomes a new source of perpetual support for the church’s missions and ministries and provides flexibility as priorities of the church may change from year to year.
The most wonderful feature of a memorial mission endowment is the legacies of those persons being memorialized through gifts to the endowment will continue to be remembered and included in the life of the church well beyond their lifetimes. Unlike the typical memorial gift to a church, which is spent and gone forever, an endowment gift allows the donor and the one being remembered to have an on-going involvement in advancing the Kingdom through the missions and ministries of the church until Jesus comes again.
Call me toll free for more information about how your church could establish such a fund.
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.