Why a Legacy Gift?

By B. J. Hickert, CFNEK Marketing Chair
St. Matthew Parish, Topeka

Why should I leave a legacy gift to Catholic Schools, Churches and Charities upon my death?  Here are my top six reasons:

  1. As an example for my children.  I doubt my children will remember many of my words, but they do see my actions.  A legacy gift in a very tangible way shares with my children my belief that we have a responsibility to use the gifts we have received to better the lives of others.
  2. To recognize persons who made a difference in my life and my family’s life, and support organizations that will make a positive difference in the lives of others – after all, isn’t our only lasting gift the positive impact we have on the lives of others?
  3. Because my charities did not get their fair share during my life!  I have not been able to give 10% of my earnings for charitable purposes so far in my life, but with gifts to my charities at the time of my death, I can “catch-up” my gifts to achieve this goal.
  4. Considering the modest size of my annual gifts, a charity may not miss my annual gifts after my death, but if you think about the collective impact of the annual gifts that end each year due to the death of patrons, my gift (in combination with others) may be missed.  An endowment gift at the time of my death allows my charity to receive annual distributions of income long after I am gone.
  5. Because I trust Catholic schools, churches and charities to use my gifts to improve the lives of my descendants and other persons in Northeast Kansas long after my death, in the same ways that these institutions cared for, educated and helped me, my family and my ancestors for the last 100+ years.
  6. Because it’s easy -- I accomplished everything listed above in a few minutes simply by completing a beneficiary designation to give a percent of a retirement account to my Catholic school, church and charity upon my death.