The Saint John’s 1702 Society
At some point all that we have accumulated in our life – homes, assets, insurance, retirement plans – will be given away. In the first book of Timothy it reads, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7-8). In simplistic terms – you can’t take it with you.
You can, however, plan your legacy through charitable planned giving. That is, establishing procedures and instruments that can have a tremendous benefit for you, your heirs, and institutions such as your church.
St. John’s established the 1702 Society to honor individuals who make provisions for the church through Planned Giving in conjunction with their estate plans to preserve St. John’s for future generations. As a member of the 1702 Society, you are not just receiving recognition. Rather, you are saying: “I care deeply about St. John’s and I am making a commitment because I feel it is important for St. John’s and its ministries to endure and grow in the future.”
Charitable Gift Planning
There are a variety of ways of establishing planned gifts that benefit you as an individual as well as St. John’s Episcopal Church
- Bequest in a Will
- Life Insurance and Retirement Plan beneficiary designations
- Charitable Trusts and Annuities
Should the Bequest be designated?
This is an excellent question, and the answer is YES – or maybe NO.
Bequests that are made undesignated to St. John’s will normally be deposited into the St. John’s Endowment. In addition to our pledges, this endowment currently generates 18 % of St. John’s annual expenses to assist the church in fulfilling its mission. The Goal of the 1702 Society is to grow this endowment with gifts through planned giving
Making the bequest to an institution such as St. John’s is quite simple and can take several forms.
- An outright bequest of a specific sum of money
- A percentage of an estate
- A specific asset such as stock, bonds, mutual funds or real property
- A contingent beneficiary where the church receives the bequest if there are no surviving beneficiaries.
Consider this sample language for the bequest:
“ I give, devise and bequeath ( state the amount or percentage or asset) to St John’s Episcopal Church, 576 Concord Road, Glen Mills, PA 19342 to be used for( must be described) or to the St. John’s Foundation.”
A contingency bequest could be written as follows:
“If the above named beneficiaries should predecease me, I give, devise and bequeath the same unto St. John’s Episcopal Church, Glen Mills, PA 19342”
Already have a will? It is not necessary to rewrite one’s will to include the church. An addition to the will – a codicil – can be created and attached to the will as an amendment. As with a will, a codicil should be drawn up with the assistance of legal counsel to guarantee that state laws are followed.
The second most popular way to establish a legacy for one’s self is to designate St. John’s as a beneficiary on assets that specifically name beneficiaries. It is quite easy to name additional or partial beneficiaries on your life insurance or retirement accounts. A simple call to the holder of the assets requesting a beneficiary form to add or change the designations is all it takes. If your particular situation changes, you can just as easily change these designations while you are living.
These more complex vehicles such as a charitable gift annuity, a charitable remainder trust or a pooled income fund to provide you and /or your designated beneficiary income for life. Upon your passing the church receives the value of the original gift. Life income gifts are extremely complex and require professional expertise to set up and administer. The Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia can provide you assistance should you wish to take this route.
Should the Bequest be designated?
Yes, if the designation is broad such as outreach, maintenance or Christian Education. Just make sure the designated gift is an appropriate size to finance the objectives of the giver. Don’t saddle the endowment committee with small designated funds.
No, if the designation is too narrow or could tie too tightly the hands of future generations. For example, a well meaning person left a small endowment for a church candle fund. The endowment grew and grew. The church is now ringed with candles, but the roof is in need of repair. Unfortunately the candle fund cannot be used to fix the roof.
Bequests that are made undesignated to St. John’s will normally be deposited into the St. John’s Endowment. In addition to our pledges, this endowment currently generates 18 % of St. John’s annual expenses to assist the church in fulfilling its mission. The Goal of the 1702 Society is to grow this endowment with gifts through planned giving.