Jump directly to the Content

Encouraging Estate Gifts in Your Church

Ways to effectively—and legally—promote this form of giving.

Last Reviewed: March 25, 2021
Encouraging Estate Gifts in Your Church
Image: DNY59 | Getty Images

Americans gave more than $30 billion dollars in bequests made through wills and estate plans in 2016, according to a 2017 Giving USA report. But few churches talk to their members about how they can make such gifts to their churches after they die. For example, a 2013 study of Southern Baptist pastors found that 86 percent provided no information to church members about estate planning.

"Many pastors are apprehensive even when speaking about tithing," says John Kea, executive vice president and general counsel for the Nashville-based Southern Baptist Foundation. "Few know where to start when talking about estate planning."

And few churches have the infrastructure in place to help church members who want to make a bequest, Kea said.

Yet many church members may be open to remember a church in their estate, said Steve Allison, a financial services representative for Covenant ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • May 15, 2018
  • Last Reviewed: March 25, 2021

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Charitable Contributions Tax Reminder 2021
Charitable Contributions Tax Reminder 2021
Encourage giving by informing your donors about tax deductions they could claim.
Best Practices for Receiving Charitable Contributions
Best Practices for Receiving Charitable Contributions
Practical help and clear understanding on issues surrounding charitable contributions.
Talking to Your Congregation About Money
Talking to Your Congregation About Money
Helpful insights on talking about money and encouraging people to become generous givers.
Church Fundraising Campaigns
Church Fundraising Campaigns
Discover tips on raising and borrowing money.