By Jerry Love, LBF communications
Webster says statistics is “a branch of mathematics dealing with the collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of masses of numerical data.”
In other words, statistics uses raw data to tell a story. Sometimes the revelation from the data can be surprising, confusing, or even overwhelming, but there are times when we should give the numbers a little more attention.
Take for instance the study released last fall by the Natural Marketing Institute which revealed a numerical picture of the heart and attitudes of regular givers.
Their study called the 2015 Healthy Aging Database studied the giving patterns of adults over 40 in a wide range of situations. The one element that stood out from the rest was this:
Of those surveyed who were regular in their tithes and gifts to faith based organizations, 37% would likely include a gift to their church or other ministry as part of their estate plans. Over one third of regular givers would likely leave a gift. Of those surveyed, 19% were VERY likely to leave a gift in their will or in a trust. That’s a pretty strong response.
The sad news is that only 3% had already taken action to implement a plan to give to a church or ministry from their estate. The underlying implication is many will give… if asked!
There is much competition for the money of donors/givers. Educational institutions (including Christian education), arts and cultural societies, international aid, health care, human services – the list is long. The difference between most of these organizations and churches/ministry organizations (faith based organizations) is that these “other” organizations ask! Many of these institutions have whole departments dedicated to “making the ask.”
I am not proposing that every church or ministry create a staff position to solicit gifts. However, with a little thought and planning – and help from the Foundation – you can prompt your members and supporters to prayerfully consider leaving a gift from their estate. Here are a few simple suggestions:
- Include a simple statement such as “Remember <church or ministry name> in your estate plans” in your printed communications (Sunday bulletins or newsletters, mailers). The same statement can be included in any regular electronic news communications.
- Create a brochure that promotes bequests and other “planned gifts” to your church or organization. The Louisiana Baptist Foundation can assist with the content of the brochure.
- Host a presentation or seminar for members/supporters to promote estate stewardship and encourage gifts to your ministry. The LBF staff can tailor a presentation for any group from 20 minutes up to a three hour workshop.
- Link your website to the Foundation’s site which offers information and tools regarding planned gifts.
The Louisiana Baptist Foundation was established by the Louisiana Baptist Convention in 1944 to encourage and assist with gifts on behalf of Louisiana Baptist churches and ministries. We can help you with information, presentations and assistance with gifts to support your ministry. Call our office at 1-877-523-4636 for more information.