Section 1: Background and Preamble
There is strong scriptural warrant (e.g. Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 12:13-21, 1st Timothy 6: 7-10 & 17-19, etc.) to consider ourselves as stewards, not owners, of what God has entrusted to us. God calls us to be generous and faithful stewards of all the gifts God bestows upon us – time, talent and treasure as well as the created order. Whereas the gifts we give through our weekly offering usually come as a percentage of our current income to be used for the congregation’s current expenses, the Legacy Fund is designed to channel gifts made to Gloucester Church from the accumulated assets of the members, adherents and friends of Gloucester Church. Such gifts may be given in a variety of ways, including cash, bequests, publicly traded securities, life insurance, charitable gift annuities and real estate. Such gifts are known as “planned gifts” because of the planning involved in ensuring that the donations are made in the most tax-efficient method possible. The session of Gloucester Church therefore encourages prospective donors to seek appropriate professional advice before making such gifts, to ensure that they are not failing to take advantage of the full tax benefits, nor jeopardizing their own financial security.
Section 2: The Purpose of the Fund
The Legacy Fund is set up as a general endowment fund to be used for the purpose of sustaining and enhancing the long-term ministry and mission objectives of Gloucester Church and/or The Presbyterian Church in Canada beyond what would normally be possible through the annual operating budget of the congregation. The permanent nature of the Fund provides the members and friends of Gloucester Church with an opportunity to continue to contribute to the life and ministry of Gloucester Church far beyond their lifetime and to leave an enduring legacy for generations to come.
The annual income generated by the invested capital (or a specific percentage of the total value of the Fund as agreed to by the congregation upon recommendation of the session) can be used for ministries and programs within the congregation (i.e. Ministry), mission and outreach beyond our walls (i.e. Mission), as well as repairs or improvements to our facilities (i.e. Mortar).
Section 3: Investment of the Fund
Any undesignated planned gifts given to Gloucester Church will be invested in the Legacy Fund and kept separate from the annual operating budget account. Gloucester Church has already accumulated $50,000, which is presently invested in Gloucester’s savings account. Once the money in the savings account reaches $150,000 in value, it is the intention of the session and congregation of Gloucester Church to invest the accumulated capital in The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s Consolidated Portfolio, a professionally managed balanced portfolio composed of blue chip equities and bonds, under the oversight of the PCC’s Trustee Board (Special Note: the minimum amount required for the initial investment in the Consolidated Portfolio is $150,000).
Section 4: The Legacy Fund Campaign (April –June, 2015)
In order to launch the Legacy Fund and to achieve the $150,000 target, the session decided with the unanimous approval of the congregation at its 2015 annual meeting, to embark on an enduring gifts campaign to raise the additional $100,000 in order to invest in the Consolidated Portfolio. The campaign will invite contributions to the Legacy Fund in the form of planned gifts, pledges, Honour and Memorial gifts and money raised through special fundraisers, over and above people’s weekly offerings. One of the initial uses of the proceeds of the Fund will be to provide seed money to support an Outreach Leader for ministry to children and young families.
It is important for the congregation to understand that gifts to the campaign will be donated to the Legacy Fund itself and will not be limited to ministry with children and young families. As needs and opportunities arise, future proceeds from the Fund may be used for any of the purposes specified in Section 2 above (i.e. Ministry, Mission and/or Mortar).
Section 5: The Honour and Memorial Fund’s Relationship to the Legacy Fund
Until the minimum amount for investment in the Consolidated Fund is reached, it is the intention of the session to include the Honour and Memorial Fund into the Consolidated investment. After the $150,000 goal is reached, the session will re-evaluate how to use the gifts made to the Honour and Memorial Fund and has the option to divert such gifts to other projects or giving opportunities within the congregation.
It is important not to confuse the Legacy Fund with the Honour and Memorial Fund. It is anticipated that the majority of gifts donated to the Honour and Memorial Fund will be smaller, tribute gifts given from people’s current income in memory or in honour of loved ones or to remember or celebrate special occasions; whereas, the Legacy Fund is designed to receive larger, legacy gifts given to Gloucester Church from people’s accumulated assets.
Section 6: Special Considerations and Exceptions
While the Legacy Fund is intended to be a permanent endowment for Gloucester’s long-term sustainability, the session realizes that it may become necessary to draw down a portion of capital from the Legacy Fund as Gloucester transitions from aid-receiving to self-supporting status. The session further recognizes that emergency situations or emerging opportunities may arise in the future which may also require the congregation to have access to a portion of the capital in the Fund. Therefore, in such exceptional cases the congregation may have access to up to fifteen percent of the capital in the Fund in any given year upon recommendation of the session and with the approval of a 2/3 majority of members present at a duly called congregational meeting. (Note: this access applies except where restricted by specific instructions from the donor.)
Section 7: Changes to the Fund
While many of the guiding principles for the purpose and use of the Legacy Fund are contained in this document, the session fully expects that changes and additions will need to be made from time to time, such changes to take effect, upon the recommendation of the session, with the majority approval of the members present at a duly called congregational meeting.