Is “Perpetual Endowment” the Best Way to Treat Large Bequests?

The following first appeared on the blog of Bloomerang, the non-profit customer relationship management software company where I work.    I appreciate the opportunity they give me to share new ideas with a broader audience.

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to be part of an ad hoc task force at an organization with a substantial quasi-endowment, researching other endowed institutions as part of making recommendations for what we called a Financial Master Plan.

Like several other institutions in Indiana and around the country, this organization was blessed to be named in Mr. Eli Lilly’s will in 1977. Even better, the $5.1 million that this organization received in two chunks in 1977 and 1979 was unrestricted. It had no limitations on how the funds could be used. The organization could have spent it all on a bigger building, or it could have granted it to other causes. What the organization did, as have most prudent organizations for the past 60 years or so, was to treat it AS IF it was a perpetual endowment.

For almost forty years, those funds were invested it in such a way as to produce a reliable stream of income for mission – in most years, about 5%, sometimes a bit more; and sometimes, making an additional draw for a capital project or a new initiative. But the organization always reinvested enough of its earnings to maintain the original purchasing power of the principle, as a hedge against inflation. Even after those expenditures and the market crash of 2008, today those assets are worth over $20 million – when inflation would have required them to have grown to “merely” $19 million.

This organization has also seen, as have many other endowed organizations, that an endowment (or a quasi-endowment, which is what this one actually is) can become counter-productive to fundraising – both to healthy annual giving, and especially toward receiving additional planned gifts or bequests. The organization has received a few additional bequests over the years, but most of them were, frankly, token gifts – not transformational six- and seven-figure bequests that could launch new programs. Our research of ten similar-situated institutions around the country found that every one of them had faced the same challenges.

The recommendations that this task force made two years ago were put on the back burner while the organization went through a leadership transition. I imagine when the new executive is in place,  some (and probably NOT all) of them will be implemented.

Meanwhile, I’ve continued to research, write, and speak about our findings.

One member of our task force has been pointing out for years that the notion that treating a huge gift like this – or accumulated investments in general – as a perpetual endowment, the principle of which must be maintained forever, is NOT a requirement of the law, or even the ONLY way to utilize such a gift. It’s only “best practices” because the Ford Foundation said it was … less than two generations ago.

One alternative approach to using a large estate gift is to treat it not as a perpetual endowment, but as a trust – a self-liquidating asset that generates a much higher rate of return over a shorter period of time, such as one generation. I have not found many examples of non-profit organizations using this strategy; but there are a number of individual philanthropists who have used their estates this way.

Here in Indiana, the Herman Krannert Trust and the Nina Mason Pulliam Trust were set up this way. Both Krannert and Pulliam instructed their trustees to invest their estates in such a way as to spend them down gradually, over 10 to 50 years, while generating a far larger “spendable” stream of revenue than 5% in the meantime.

I’m sure many of us at some point in our lives bought enough life insurance to do this same thing – not enough to make sure our kids never had to work a day in their lives – but to last just long enough to get our kids through college. That’s what I did in 1992.

I think where this particular institution may end up is to decide to continue to treat a portion of our investments AS IF it were a perpetual endowment – enough to cover two or three core programs.

And that would free up another sum – perhaps $10 million? – to be treated as a trust that could generate twice as much usable income over twenty years – adding $450,000 to $500,000 a year in money that we could spend on new initiatives; while our annual giving supported the rest of our long-standing programs

And this has been my advice to a number of organizations, including churches of various denominations.

How do you ask someone to name you in their will in a substantial way? How do you give them guidance as to what you need? “As much as I can get” is never a good answer. For donors who want to “do perpetual good,” encourage them to make permanently-restricted endowment gifts into a fund that maintains one essential program that you will offer as long as your organization exists..

And for donors who just want to do good but not dictate their desires 100 years from now, ask them to make an estate gift sufficient to maintain their annual giving for a generation … until the next generation is able to replace it.

So, for a family that is giving $1000 a year, an estate gift of $10,000 to $12,000 would, invested as a trust instead of as a perpetual endowment, generate that same $1000 a year for 20 to 25 years – long enough for the institution to cultivate a similar family from the next generation. It would require an estate gift of twice that much to “perpetually endow” their support – if indeed the institution needs to last forever – and in the meantime, the perpetual nature of those funds could disincentivize others to give.

I’ll conclude with one real-world example. I’ve been working with a church on the west coast. This small church in a transitional neighborhood has about 60 families and an annual budget of $170,000 – enough to pay a pastor, a part-time secretary and a part-time sexton. They raise $110,000 a year in pledges, and $60,000 by renting their bigger-than-they-need parking lot to a nearby business during the week.

Last year they were approached by a non-profit organization with a proposal to sell a portion of their parking lot for the development of mixed-income housing – a proposal aligned with their mission. The offer was one million dollars. What should they do with that one million dollars?

One option would be to treat it as a perpetual endowment – in which case it would produce at best $50,000, and under current conditions maybe more like $45,000, a year. They wouldn’t be able to replace the income they were giving up.

But I shared the idea of a generational trust. Accepting this offer and investing the proceeds in an annuity that worked like a trust would mean creating a situation where they could expect perhaps $90,000 to $100,000 for eighteen to twenty years – enough to replace their lost income, and have an additional $30,000 or more per year to put toward program for two decades. And set a stake in the ground – that the two-thirds of current member households headed by people over age 55 should start  supporting their church not only with their pledges out of their income, but with a share of their accumulated wealth from their estate.

As of today, that is the course they are pursuing.

How does your organization treat large bequests? Let me know in the comments below!

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An Endowed Institution Closes Down?

Something fascinating is playing out at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts this year.    Last week, the board of the seminary (a 42-year-old institution created by a merger of two other schools with histories going back 150 years) voted 11-4 to stop awarding degrees in May 2017.

In effect, they are declaring that they are going out of business, at least as a full-time seminary.   They will offer their full menu of classes and programs for two more semesters, with no layoffs; but also with no commitment to continue to offer classes (or employment, presumably) beyond that.

ecusa-aThe surprising twist in this story is that this is an organization with a $53 million endowment.   For the vast majority of us in the non-profit world, the idea of shutting down operations with $53 million in the bank is unimaginable.

However, in this case the Trustees are probably making a sound, if painful, decision.   EDS has been spending over $6 million a year on its operating budget in recent years, and it is probably not realistic to employ a faculty with the range of expertise necessary to provide graduate degrees in ministry and theology for much less than that.

However, last year they only had 43 full- and part-time students, from whom they collected $1 million in tuition.   They raised about $1 million in contributions (and spent $1 million doing it).   Most of the rest of the $4.5 million in “revenue” they needed to cover their expenses came from draws against that $53 million endowment.    That’s a draw rate of 8.5%, in an era when most trustees are moving to reduce the standard of what is considered sustainable from 5% towards 4%.

The school has quietly taken the unusual step of posting, on its website, a full 26-page report that they commissioned from a consultant, outlining what kinds of increases in revenue from tuition and fund-raising, and what kinds of reductions in expenses, would be necessary to balance a budget by 2022.   It’s a remarkably transparent move.

I think the trustees of EDS are taking prudent action in light of larger trends.   The Episcopal Church now has about 1.8 million baptized members in the United States, down from a peak of 3.4 million in the 1960s.     As membership declines, so does the ability of a local congregation to support a full-time priest.   Here in Indiana, 27 of the 47 parishes in the Diocese of Indianapolis have operating budgets of less than $150,000 and most of them have either a less-than-fulltime rector, or share a priest with another parish.

There are currently ten Episcopal seminaries in America, counting EDS; and several of them are struggling and/or contemplating mergers.    Perhaps the Episcopal Church doesn’t need ten, or maybe even seven, different seminaries, to educate the number of priests that the denomination can employ.

In this case, it is possible that the Trustees of EDS are not only making a good decision; it is possible that to have pursued the opposite course of continuing operations in pursuit of some unrealistic future enrollment and fund-raising goals would have been exactly the wrong decision.   That might well have been a decision that put their own pride and the employment of their staff above the mission of the organization and the intentions of their donors.

What happens next will be worth watching, and has all kinds of potential for creating innovative pathways for other struggling organizations to consider.

Quotes from trustees on the school’s website and in the Boston Globe and national church publications indicate that the school will use the coming year to explore a variety of options.   They may pursue yet another merger, pooling their resources with another seminary while reducing redundancies.   They may find another educational partner in the institution-rich Boston area, that allows them to continue to offer theology degrees as well as some other degrees.

But they also may morph out of being a graduate school altogether, because there are other ways to fulfill their mission.    Their published mission statement reads, “The purpose of Episcopal Divinity School is to educate lay and ordained leaders for Christ’s Church and for the world who serve and advance God’s mission of justice, compassion, and reconciliation.”     Nothing in that statement requires issuing doctoral degrees per se; perhaps EDS could fulfill its mission and the evolving needs of the national church by re-launching a program based on lay leadership education that required a different mix of faculty members.

Another path could involve getting out of the business of being a school altogether.   They could evolve into a private foundation that awards scholarships.   In this case, they could sell their property for another $20 million and have almost all of the earnings on a $70 million endowment to use fulfill their mission by “educating lay and ordained leaders” at other institutions.

All of these alternatives might be complicated by the fact that about half of the current endowment is composed of donor-restricted funds.    It will be worth watching to see if and how some of these funds – say, a $2 million gift that was restricted by the donor to endow a chair in Hebrew – can be repurposed.

Again, for most of us, it is hard to imagine having $53 million in the bank, and to be talking about going out of business.   But I don’t think this is an institutional failure.    What it might be is one more cautionary tale about the dangers of having an endowment that provides more than half of one’s income.

Such an endowment can become a crutch, a means of unconsciously avoiding adept responses to societal trends.   I’m often critical of endowed organizations that begin to make protecting their capital their top priority, with fulfilling their missions getting the secondary share of their attention.   I don’t think that’s what is happening in Cambridge, at least not now.   I wish everyone involved the best.




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One of the many things that makes New Orleans such a wonderful, surreal, and spooky place is its above-ground cemeteries, especially the Cemetery of St. Louis (pronounced “san loo-ee” ) on the edge of the French Quarter.

4860186056_40939790f8_bBecause so much of New Orleans is at or below the water table, caskets had a tendency to refuse to stay underground.  The cemetery at St. Louis is composed almost entirely of these familiar narrow mausoleums.

I learned on a tour once that these crypts can actually contain the remains of whole generations of a single family.  They contain space above ground for two bodies, and a shallow pit below the lower shelf.

Once sealed, these above-ground tombs become stone ovens in the hot Louisiana sun, effectively cremating the remains in less than a year.  In fact, health laws require that once sealed, a crypt cannot be re-opened for a year and a day.

But the pattern in these old mausoleums that have been in families for generations is this:  once re-opened for the interment of a recently deceased, the ashes from the previous burial are carefully removed and placed in the pit below … where they mingle with the ashes of their ancestors for something like eternity.

There is a distinctive non-Western message in such a tradition.   In death, as in life, nothing lasts forever.  For all of us, our greatest legacy is the one carried on by the family and loved ones we leave behind.   Our children and grand-children and friends will carry and pass on specific memories – and attitudes and values – that they associate with us, the mortal and finite person on earth.   Once they, too, have passed, we can all hope that the attitudes and values have been passed on again to yet more generations.   But the specific memories will most likely not be.

I think about this when I think about my own legacy.  I like the idea of being interred in the columbarian at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, where my children can bring their grandchildren after I am gone, to see the church and the school that they worshipped in, learned in, and worked summers at – and see the marker for Sally and me while they are there.

We also plan to leave a chunk of our financial estate to Trinity, assuming the parish has decided by then how it wants to use additional estate gifts.   See, Trinity already has more than ten times it’s annual operating budget in assets, which are held in investments that Trinity has historically treated as a perpetual endowment.    I have no interest in leaving  several thousand, or tens of thousands, more dollars into a magic lock box that will be spitting out four cents on the dollar a hundred and a million years from now.

It strikes me that trying to make one’s gift last forever – to make it dictate the behavior of the recipient for generations into the future –  is futile and even counter-productive.

It’s one more effort to cheat death, to defy the nature of the universe, to play God.  It doesn’t work.

My estate gift to Trinity will come with the expectation that it be spent immediately, or at most, invested in such a way as to generate ten cents on the dollar for twenty years, at which point it will be exhausted.

Just in time for the next generation to make a similar gift to replace it.

At that point the ashes of my gift can be commingled with the ashes of the gifts of the saints that went before me.

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What did Jesus say about tithing?

What did Jesus say about tithing?

4158746991_d26df84219_zNot much, actually.  From the written record that survives, it seems he talked about tithing almost as little as he did about homosexuality (which is to say, not at all).  Actually, his one reference to tithing was a critical one, in Matthew 23, when he admonishes the Pharisees for giving ostentatiously while neglecting to pay attention to justice and mercy.

In my experience with “mainstream Protestant churches,” we don’t talk much about tithing either, probably because very few of us come anywhere close to the 10% standard that the word clearly means.  If you do some internet research on the topic, you’ll find hundreds of thousands of references — including a sizable number of essays that say tithing is an anachronism that doesn’t really make sense in our modern world.

But it’s also hard to deny that the Bible talks a lot about tithing — defined as giving, giving to the church, giving back to God, but GIVING — ten percent of your income.  And not just ten percent, but the first ten percent – the “first fruits” of your harvest, or your income.  And while not even the literalist interpreters agree on exactly what that means, it’s clear that the intention is to make giving more than an afterthought – to make it a priority, and a measurable portion of your budget, before making other commitments.

So, no, the scriptures don’t suggest that Jesus spent much time encouraging people to tithe ten percent.  No, Jesus said things like,  “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21).

And, “Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven” (Luke 12:33).

And, “ In the same way, you must give up everything you have. Those of you who don’t cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33).   Those 33rd verses are real downers!

Certainly, I’m not one to build entire philosophies out of single out-of-context Bible verses.  My point here is simply that, if you’re looking for reasons to believe that the Old Testament prescription to give away 10% of your income is excessive and outdated and unrealistic, don’t look to the words or example of Jesus for help.

I do think that religious communities have a unique opportunity, based on the premise that we believe there’s something more to life than “he who dies with the most toys wins,” to make a transformational impact on society in terms of charitable giving.

Whether or not you want to be literal about ten percent, and whether or not it goes to the church or to other charities, those of us who believe in following the example of Christ have a calling to consider “giving” to be more than an afterthought.

And those of us who work and volunteer for the leadership of churches have the opportunity to reinforce that message with our members several times a month, and to demonstrate the outcome and benefit of that giving on a regular basis.  Here I’m not only talking about the obvious ministry of worship and children’s education which our society acknowledges as a social good, but especially the outreach that we do, feeding and clothing and caring for our neighbors.

Lots of charitable organizations that feed and clothe and care for people don’t have a weekly opportunity to have one of those recipients thank their donors!

Those of us in churches have an opportunity to “move the needle” in terms of how much our society shares with others.   As a society, Americans have given 2% of their income to all charities for as long as we’ve been tracking it (60 years).  Churches used to get half of it; now it’s about a third, but it’s still the largest chunk.  But that 2% hasn’t changed in six decades.   Cutting marginal tax rates from 91% to 71% to 28% didn’t increase giving at all.  Budging them back up to 35 % didn’t decrease it at all.  Government fiscal policy doesn’t move giving.  Caring moves giving.  People move giving.

My primary focus in this blog isn’t tithing or annual giving at all; it is for churches in particular and non-profits in general to start looking at estate gifts – gifts given out of a person’s accumulated lifetime wealth, not their annual renewable income or harvest – in a different way.

The same society that has kept a lid on giving at 2% for two generations has also taught us that the way to treat a large one-time gift given as a bequest is as a perpetual endowment – to invest it forever, generating pennies on the dollar for the advancement of your mission each year, until the end of time.

Those of us in churches have a unique opportunity to change that paradigm, too.  If we can embrace the notion of making giving a priority; of sharing something approaching 10% of our current income with others, before saving and spending the rest for ourselves …

Can’t we also maybe embrace the notion of sharing 10% or more of our estates with others, before passing on the rest of it to our children (who are in most cases also still creating their own income and wealth)?

And if every generation did that, then it wouldn’t be necessary or even desirable for an estate gift to be locked and buried in a magical endowment that generated a few pennies a year until the end of time.

No, Jesus didn’t say much about tithing, and he said even less about perpetual endowments.  But I’m reasonably sure that he wouldn’t sign off on a 4% return on investment.

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The Value of Hand-written Notes

A blog post I read today is prompting me to take a break from the philosophical/ theological angle, and write a bit about the basic blocking and tackling of annual appeal fund-raising.

213926774_d48ea850e8_mThree or four years ago, the stewardship team at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis added an additional step to the acknowledgment process in our annual pledge drive.   We simply started having committee members and vestry members write short hand-written notes of thanks, in addition to the formal letter on church letterhead signed by the rector and the warden.

It’s an easy way to get everyone involved in the stewardship process, and it just makes intuitive sense that the personal touch will be noticed and appreciated, and will make a difference.

And indeed, we’ve had record-setting pledge results in two of the three years since we added this practice to our portfolio.   Of course, there have been many other good things happening at Trinity that also have affected people’s willingness to pledge.   Is there a way to actually measure or evaluate this little added step?

Today, I came across this post from Ryan Johnson of the YMCA of the USA on the website of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  In working with a local YMCA on its development practices, he found that that organization had a remarkable “retention rate” of 63% of its first-time donors in the $250-$999 range — that is, 63% of those first-time donors renewed their support the next year.   Among first-time donors in the $100-$249 range, the retention rate was 29%.   (The national average renewal rate of all first-time donors to all charities is 23%.)

What was the procedural difference in how these gifts were handled by the local YMCA?   The $250+ donors received hand-written thank you notes.

Now, once again, there is more going on here than just the note.  Probably, people in a position to make a $500 first-time gift are more likely to be in that position again a year from now.   Larger gifts are more likely to have been solicited by a peer to whom it is hard to say no.

Still, it’s hard to imagine that the personal note didn’t have some effect on that striking improvement from 29% to 63% renewal rates.

It is also interesting that the title of this article references the term “stewardship.”   In AFP parlance, stewardship suggests being a good care-taker of your donors.   In church circles, we use “stewardship” almost as a (less threatening?) substitute for “giving” — and “asking.”  But in the broader sense, the term stewardship in the ecclesiastical dictionary refers more globally to acknowledging that life is a gift from God; to taking care of God’s creation; and to giving to others by giving back to God.

And taking care of creation certainly includes taking care of donors!

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Avoiding moths and vermin

I wasn’t going to get into Biblical foundations next, but last week’s liturgy was just too timely.

At the Ash Wednesday service at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis and elsewhere across the country, the Gospel reading was from Matthew Chapter 6.

This is, of course, the chapter in Matthew that contains Jesus’ instructions to the disciples on how to pray — The Lord’s Prayer. This scripture lesson, however, was drawn from verses before and after that passage, in which Jesus tells his followers to practice their righteousness — praying, giving alms, and fasting — in private, and not publicly “as the hypocrites do.”

I thought it was interesting that we would kick off Lent talking about praying in privacy, just before I went out into the world with an ash smudge on my forehead — one of the most visible pronouncements of faith that I ever make. But that’s not the point of this blog.

3233536133_a140ddd337_m (1)The scripture reading jumped ahead to the end of Matthew 6 to address one of Jesus’ clearest statements, I think, for those of us charged with managing institutional assets: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust (or vermin) consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

(A few verses later, this is where Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”)

Now, I’m not saying that Jesus specifically forbade us to build or keep endowments. He was addressing individuals here, not institutions. And he wasn’t talking about blue chip stocks or derivates, which are (arguably) less susceptible to moths and vermin than were the measures of first-century wealth. I try to avoid staking out specific personal and professional strategies based on single verses.

Still, from the viewpoint of holding up each verse of scripture against the overall witness of Jesus’ ministry as a whole, it’s hard to imagine that Jesus would have been a big proponent of maintaining institutional wealth.

After all, this chapter of Mark is often linked to Chapter 12 of Luke, where Jesus tells the story of the rich fool — the man who collected such a bountiful harvest that he tore down his barns and built bigger ones, and then was notified by God that, “you fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”

When a group of us at Trinity went to work on a financial master plan and engaged early on with some Bible study, the passage where we spent the most time — in addition to Genesis 47, from whence this blog is named — was Matthew 25, the Parable of the Talents. A wealthy master goes on a long journey and entrusts three servants with varying sums of money (and talents were significant sums, perhaps as much as 20 years’ worth of a laborer’s wages) to manage in his absence.

When he returned, the two servants who had been given two and five talents had both doubled their master’s money. Jesus doesn’t specify how, although some translations reference “trade.” Perhaps one of them bought a large amount of frankincense and traveled to Nineveh, where he could exchange the oil for fabrics that he brought back to Palestine and sold for twice what he paid for them. Perhaps one bought a parcel of land and built a mill on it that created jobs and doubled the property’s worth.

The third servant hid his one talent under a rock so it would not be stolen. The master derides this man as lazy and wicked — “you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest,” which would have been the least that he could have done with it! — and casts him out of the community.

I don’t think Jesus was opposed to prudence.  Both the Old and New Testaments do talk about providing inheritances for children, but I believe in teaching those children that they have the same responsibility for providing for themselves, for giving to others and giving back to God, and to sustaining the future of God’s church, as we do and our parents did.

And institutions, unlike individuals, are not  going to reach a point where they are too old to work and need to have set aside assets to sustain them in their dotage

I believe in spending less than we acquire, in capital reserve funds, and indeed in giving at least as much out of our estates as we do out of our annual incomes to the work of the church. I just don’t believe in churches or any non-profits holding endowments in perpetuity. We shouldn’t bury it under a rock, or even in a hidden room under Trinity Wall Street, as Nicholas Cage discovered in the movie National Treasure. (Although to be fair, in the movie it was ancient Masons, not modern Episcopalians, who had placed that hoard there.)

Investing it in banks to earn interest is, indeed, the least of what we can do with it. What is the most?

So, now that I’ve started down this path, I’m going to tackle tithing next. But first I’m waiting for the suit of armor that I ordered on eBay to arrive.

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The Tip of the Iceberg

This is a continuation of a blog that began here.

A friend asked me how much money is in charities’ endowments, and what kind of difference it could make if half of it was used differently.   I did some research and found that the top 286,000 registered charities in the US hold three trillion dollars in assets.   One trillion of that is in the hands of foundations that every year give away $50 billion in grants to other charities.

If philanthropic foundations decided to give away half their trillion dollars in assets through a 20-year generational annuity generating $50 billion a year, and continued to hold the other half in perpetuity and only make grants totaling 5% of that half, then their grantmaking would increase by 50%, to $75 billion, next year. Of course, that would only last for twenty years, unless they went to work asking the next generation to leave some of their wealth to replenish the fund.

Between philanthropic foundations giving away an extra $25 billion a year, and operating foundations making an extra $50 billion a year in investments in their own missions, that’s an increase of $75 billion every year. $75 billion is only 5% of the total $1.6 trillion that charities generate and spend every year … but if you take out the hospitals and universities that bring in most of a trillion dollars of that total revenue in fees and government grants and contracts, and just look at charities that are dependent primarily on donations and the income from bequests (like churches), an additional $25 to $50 billion would be the equivalent of an 8% to 16% increase.8341271744_0199c2ded4_n

But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. The real crux of this matter is that the total wealth of Americans today is about $58 trillion. Now, half of that is in the hands of 1% of the population, which is fodder for a whole separate conversation. More germane to this discussion, two-thirds of it is in the hands of people aged 55 and older. Last year, Americans who died left behind estates valued at $1.2 trillion dollars, by one conservative estimate. State and federal estate taxes claimed about two percent of that. Another $26 billion — barely two-tenths of one percent — was bequeathed to charities.

That’s where the opportunity lies, I believe. How can charities — and particularly churches, which claim a central role in the lives of many members, see them several times a month, and can be seen as the main conduit through which those members make a difference in the world — start to convince our supporters, and our culture, to start leaving more than .2% of their accumulated wealth to others?

Perhaps more of those kind of gifts would be forthcoming if the impact that they could create was more immediately visible. I don’t have any wild notion that a good communication plan alone could double or triple that number in the next few years; but the capacity is certainly there to do several times that.

Several times more than double or triple $26 billion.  A year.

Perhaps it starts with the vision, and the visible impact, of how that kind of money could change the world.

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