Planned giving, the Rev. Dr. Dustin Petz says, means more than just “remembering” the church in your last will and testament.
That’s why Petz, the president and CEO of the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation, is hosting three workshops, Leaving a Lasting Legacy, in the state this spring.
The workshops are March 12 at Garden City First UMC, March 19 at Topeka First UMC and April 9 at Hutchinson Trinity UMC. Each is free, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and includes free lunch.
“My intent is to be able to help churches – or other entities, but churches are the main focus – to learn more about legacy giving, planned giving, either how to start a program or grow the program that they currently have,” Petz, who has been with the foundation since July, said. “It’s about sharing vision, making a transparent process, and making an ask, inviting people to remember the church in their estate planning.”
A former pastor, Petz says planned estate giving falls into author and religious leader Lovett Weems’ analogy of a three-legged stool in its importance to the church.
“We haven’t always made it happen,” Petz said. “Other institutions are pretty good at making those asks. It’s grown a significant amount in a wide array of community foundations. They’re doing a good job in helping people think about that.”
Giving doesn’t necessarily need to be for capital improvements to church property, Petz said, and that donors can specify destinations for their gifts including campus ministry, camping ministry or Fresh Expressions.
“We have a few things we champion, if you will, programs that we support and will give some granting resources, but largely we’re trying to help people give in ways they’re passionate about and help different organizations and ministries throughout the state,” he said.