What are the differences between regular and "planned" giving? Read on to find out and to see what your gifts mean to your Catholic Church, some of the benefits – to you and your family – from planned giving, as well as some of the ways you can make a planned gift.
Regular giving, in the Catholic Church, could be your weekly offertory envelope during the collection at your local parish, or giving a donation every year for the priest pension fund. A planned gift is a donation you arrange to be made from your estate after your death.
People give based on either a percentage of income or what they feel they can afford. This regular gift can take many forms: from a loose cash donation in the basket, to a cash or cheque donation in an envelope, or an automatic payment from your bank account. As long as you use your envelopes or gdirect deposit options so you can receive a tax receipt!
Planned gifts require more preparation and thought. A planned gift will not only involve some thoughtful planning and discussions with loved ones, but may involve negotiations with financial consultants and possibly legal counsel.
Planned gifts can result in an immediate donation, a donation that is distributed over a period of time, or occur when you or a family member passes away.
Planned gifts are varied. The most popular forms of planned gift is a bequest. Another popular form is a gift of securities such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds or GICs. Other forms include life insurance, RRSPs and RRIFs, real estate and more. You can even donate your unused air miles!
Everyone, really. You may assume that planned giving is just for the very rich or wealthy. Not true; we all give according to our gifts. This is especially the case when donating to a charity as there are various tax incentives that come into play that make a donation go a lot further (more on that later).
A planned gift does not need to be large enough to put an addition on the parish hall or a new roof on the building. A planned gift is a way to make a statement about what is important to you. You may have an idea of something that would help your church and want to make it happen (a particular ministry, outreach or initiative). You may want to help solve a problem or fix something that in need of repair (stairs, heat, restrooms, elevator, etc.).
Did You Know?
Your generous contributions to your church over the years have helped the poor and needy, at home and around the world. You have given hope to many when there was none.
They have helped support your parish priest(s) and lay ministers and staff. They have supported the bishop and his offices. And they have supported the many ministries and outreach programs across southwestern Ontario, ranging from helping refugees and migrant workers, youth ministry, supporting education of seminarians, professional development and continuing formation for those serving the Church, and much, much more.
You may have done all these things, and more, without realizing it or dwelling upon it. On behalf of all those who have benefitted, I thank you.
As has been the case for 2,000 years, the work of the Church never stops. A planned gift is an opportunity for you to help continue this mission in a way that works best for you.
Apart from the reasons mentioned above, there are financial incentives when considering a planned gift donation. These include reduced income capital gains tax reductions and tax receipt opportunities. Canada has a wealth of incentives to make donating easy, which sets it apart from the rest of the western world.
When Should I Consider a Planned Gift?
Anytime and at any age! Careful planning is crucial. This is the only way to ensure the wealth accumulated over a lifetime goes to the people and causes you care most about. Thinking about the end of life can be uncomfortable which is why many Canadians die without a will. Years of pinching pennies can result in a sizeable enough portfolio to push an estate into the highest income tax bracket after death. Planning ahead can protect you and your loved ones from taxation as well as help the charities you wish to help.
First, you should consult with your financial planner, accountant or lawyer. Then we would be happy to assist you. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Dave Savel, Episcopal Director of Administrative Services & Financial Administrator (519-433-0658 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark Adkinson, Director of Communications and Development (519-433-0658 or email@example.com.
One More Thing
At the same time you are considering planned giving, we encourage you to plan your funeral mass and Christian burial. This is something your local parish or Catholic cemetery can assist with.