Legacy Foundation

Certain moments in life cause us to think about our legacy. Maybe our kids are graduating from high school and going off to college. Maybe they’re graduating from college and entering the workforce full time. Maybe it’s a mid-life career change, or nearing the end of a working career. Maybe it’s a charitable organization or a missions trip that inspires an eternal perspective. Or maybe our days are slowing down as we draw near the end of our lives.
These moments are times for reflection: Did we do right by our children? Did we make a difference in other’s lives? Did we manage God’s resources wisely? Did we have an impact in the advancement of God’s Kingdom? What kind of legacy will we leave?
Bethel CRC’s council has approved The Bethel Legacy Foundation to promote stewardly living and growing in generosity for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. The Foundation has five funds, so that we can give to what we’re passionate about, to that which The Spirit has called us: Mission, Benevolence, Building, Ministries, and Christian Education. In addition, the Foundation allows for creative lifetime and estate gifts to reduce expenses or taxes and maximize the gift.
The Foundation is not meant to replace regular giving. Instead, it allows our Bethel CRC family to have a greater, ongoing Kingdom impact in new ways. Imagine the impact we can have during our lives, and long after we’ve passed. And remember that God’s imagination is so much bigger than ours! As we give our time, talents, and resources, our hearts grow in generosity and our perspective becomes more Kingdom-minded. We serve an incredible God – one who gives us resources to steward, and then invites us to join Him in advancing His Kingdom, and grows the generosity of our hearts and draws us closer to Him in the process.
What is a foundation?
A foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports charitable activities. Foundations are often created with gifts or endowments: money or assets given by individuals, families, or business. Foundations make grants or operate programs with the income earned from investing the gifts.
Why start a foundation?
Instead of relying 100% on annual giving, what if Bethel’s family had additional funds to put to work in God’s Kingdom…funds that allowed us to advance the Kingdom in new ways, funds that allowed us to have an impact, to play a role, not only during our lifetimes but long after we’ve passed? What if Bethel’s family had funds to help sustain ministries of the church during leaner economic times? Our family, God’s Church, is an organization that can have incredible impact for the glory of God locally and throughout the world. The Foundation, through lifetime and legacy gifts, can enhance that impact, with God’s blessing, more than we can imagine.
How will Bethel be using the Foundation gifts?
Bethel will be using the gifts to have a greater, ongoing Kingdom impact in new ways. The Foundation has five funds set up to support the following areas:
1) Missions
2) Benevolence
3) Building
4) Ministries
5) Christian Education
This allows donors to give to the areas that they are passionate about—where they see need and feel the Spirit moving them toward. Funds from the Benevolence and Building can be used as needed (discretionary), whereas the Ministries, Christian Education, and Missions Funds will generate an annual income payment.
Is the Foundation meant to replace current church giving?
No. Gifts to the Bethel Legacy Foundation are meant to give the Bethel Church family the opportunity to grow in generosity, to help keep an eternal perspective in the stewardship of God’s resources, and to help create a legacy of serving God’s Kingdom for generations to come.
Who administers the Foundation?
The Barnabas Foundation administers and oversees investment management for not only Bethel’s Foundation, but for the foundations of many other churches. The Stewardship Committee will distribute gifts from Bethel’s Foundation, with immediate oversight from the deacons and broader oversight from the council.
What does the Stewardship Committee envision for the future of the Foundation and its impact on Bethel?
The committee is currently working to create some targets and goals for the committee and the Foundation, to be approved by the council.
Why Barnabas?
Barnabas has the infrastructure in place to quickly and efficiently set up a foundation. Using Barnabas allows Bethel to avoid the legal costs and administrative work in creating and maintaining our own foundation. Barnabas also has a wealth of Biblical-based resources available at no charge to us, and they work with many like-minded churches and schools across the nation.
How much does Barnabas charge for their services?
Barnabas charges an annual fee of $400-$550 for administration of the Bethel Legacy Foundation, depending on size of the church. The investment advisors that Barnabas uses charge an annual fee of 1% of the balance of the Foundation for their ongoing investment management.
When can gifts be given to the Foundation? Only through my estate at death?
While it’s common for gifts to be given at death via a will, a trust, or beneficiary designations on an annuity, life insurance, or retirement account, others may choose to also give during their lifetime so that they can bear witness to the fruits of those gifts.
What kind of gifts can be given to the Foundation?
Cash, stock, real estate, life insurance, retirement accounts, annuities, commodities, livestock, and business interests can be given to the Foundation. In fact, there are many tax incentives for giving assets other than cash which allow your gift to go much, much further.
Where should I start if I’m considering giving a gift or naming the Foundation in my will or estate plan?
Start by contacting a member of the Stewardship Committee. From there, we can direct you to additional resources that will help you make an informed, Kingdom-minded decision. Committee members are Allen Mulder, Harold Schiebout, Lou Ann Franken, Ron Fedders, Tom De Jong, Tom Rozenboom, and Vonda Post.