Most people will only leave a gift in their will if they think their church will use it for worthwhile projects, not simply to fund operating costs. A legacy policy allows the PCC to prepare and discuss how they would wish to see a gift used. It can also help to reassure those interested that the PCC has a policy in place.
PCCs should agree a policy on how potential legacy income will be spent, and then communicate it to the congregation. It is also advisable to discourage restricted gifts since the needs of a church will change over time.
An Example Legacy Policy:
“At St Agatha’s we welcome all gifts in Wills, however large or small, and we promise to use your gift to make a difference in our parish. Our PCC legacy policy is to use gifts to help fund significant development projects; whether buildings, equipment, mission or staff.
Since needs change over the years, we encourage you to leave a gift in your Will for the general purposes of the parish rather than for a restricted purpose. We will discuss possible uses of your gift with your executors when the time comes, bearing in mind your known areas of interest in the church (e.g. music, buildings, children and youth, overseas mission or aid) and the church’s priorities at the time.
You can be confident that your gift will be used to make a real difference to our future mission and ministry.
We will acknowledge gifts in whatever way the donor and/or his/her executors feel most appropriate too. Equally, we can make sure that gifts remain anonymous if the donor prefers.
If you would like to talk to someone in confidence about the sorts of purposes your gift might fund, and how (if) you would like your gift to be acknowledged, contact ___________________________, on/at ___________________________________.
If you would like to make a gift to our church in memoriam, please come and discuss this with us too. It can be a wonderful and appropriate way to remember a loved one.”
Alternatively you can click here to download a Legacy Policy Template (word doc)