Giving a Legacy Gift
During my freshman year at university, I took an introductory journalism class as the first step in my journalism degree. One of the assignments was to learn to write obituaries by writing our own. While this might seem like a rather morbid assignment, it actually was rather a fun assignment as you could dream what your life might have become.
Thinking about our death is rarely a fun thing to do. But it should cause us to stop and think about what we are leaving behind — what legacy we are leaving — not only in our families or churches or ministries but in our finances as well. As you consider the future, you might want to reflect on your time in a church in the International Baptist Convention (or European Baptist Convention or Association of Baptists in Continental Europe) and consider leaving a legacy gift to the IBC in your will. Perhaps you came to faith or were called to ministry or met your spouse while in an IBC church. Perhaps the Lord used your time in an IBC church to move you to greater ministry or leadership or discipleship or missions. A great way to commemorate these events is to leave a gift that will continue to give after you are gone to ensure that others have the opportunity to experience what you have.
There are several ways to phrase a will provision for the IBC so that it will both meet the requirements for a valid bequest and accurately document your wishes for the use of your legacy gift. We encourage you to consult your attorney for specific requirements in your area, but the following are some ways that you can give.
Unrestricted bequests help meet our most urgent needs at the time that we receive the bequest (see the sidebar article on current needs). Such bequests give the IBC the greatest flexibility and can be made with a sum of money, a percentage of your estate, or a specific piece of property.
The following is sample language that might be used: “I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to the International Baptist Convention, located in Frankfurt, Germany, (the sum of ________) or (____ percent of my estate) or (specific items of property) or (the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate). This gift may be used to further the missional objectives of the International Baptist Convention in such manner as the convention may direct.”
Designating a percentage of the residue of your estate (the remainder after specific bequests are made) allows you to allocate appropriate parts of your estate in advance, while allowing for fluctuations in the overall size. This can help simplify your future planning by making it unnecessary to change your will because of changes in specific property.
If you wish to support a specific area of ministry of the IBC, we ask you to contact the IBC Office in advance to discuss the designation you have in mind. As the convention’s needs may change over time, we recommend that such restrictions be stated broadly or alternatives are included.
The IBC has received two bequests in 2017. We are grateful for those people who have left an on-going legacy so that the IBC can continue to live out its mission and achieve its vision. Others have already let us know that they have included us in their wills. Lorin Cranford, former pastor at Cologne International Baptist Church and seminar leader at the Interlaken Summer Conference, is one of those. He tells about his planned giving at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8ldYmBy7TI. If you have included the IBC in your will, we would like to hear from you also.
Charitable IRA Rollover
For U.S. citizens who are 70½+ years old, there is another option for giving that does not have to wait until you die — direct charitable distribution of an individual retirement account. This charitable IRA rollover allows certain donors to exclude this direct transfer from taxable income. These gifts can also count toward the minimum distribution requirement for IRAs. Direct charitable contributions for the IBC need to go through the International Baptist Church Ministries, a recognized U.S. charitable organization. For assistance in making a contribution, contact IBCM at [email protected]
If you have any questions about leaving a legacy gift, please contact us at [email protected]
Judith Lynn Maxwell, Director of Resource Development
Legacy Giving to the IBC
The needs of the IBC today may not be the needs of tomorrow. However, we believe that our mission as a family of churches — “to mobilize and multiply disciple-making churches” — will remain constant. Gifts given to the IBC directed toward our mission are appropriate and helpful now and in the future. Below are listed a few of the areas of current need. At the appropriate time, the leadership team of the IBC would make decisions about the most strategic areas to apply legacy gifts.
IBC Church Multiplication
• Apprenticeships specifically designed to give potential IBC church planters mentoring and experience
• Church planting start-up funds to help new IBC church planters get off to the best possible start
IBC Church Mobilization
• Apprenticeships (Pastoral residencies) to give potential IBC church pastors mentoring and experience
• Church Assistance to provide churches in transition and/or difficulty to pay for needed repairs, rent, or temporary salary supplement
• Church health initiatives that fit the need of IBC churches
IBC Ministry Personnel
• To help fund positions (short- or long-term) in areas of strategic importance