Planning now to make a gift in the future for the work of the church, such as a bequest in your will or a gift of life insurance, lays the foundation for a stable and exciting future. Your gift will make a lasting difference and sustain the ministry you value most for generations to come.
Direct Your Gift
You can choose to give to any ministry or mission of the United Church: your local congregation, Mission & Service—which supports many ministries, including global partnerships, education programs, United Church camps, the development of new churches, and much more—for immediate use. You can also choose to have your donation lodged in an endowment fund, creating a permanent legacy in The United Church of Canada Foundation.
No matter what form your gift takes, it will help bring Christ’s vital and vibrant message of love and hope to others.
Types of Lasting Gifts
Bequests: Making a Gift in Your Will
A gift in your will is the most common form of planned or legacy gift. You can direct your gift to any area of the church’s work, such as to your congregation, or divide your gift among several programs and ministries of the United Church. Your estate enjoys the tax benefit from the gift.
A gift in your will can be a specific amount of money, a percentage of your estate, a property, or another asset. You can also specify when the church receives this gift—for example, when other named beneficiaries have died, or when other bequests have been filled. If you plan to gift property or other non-cash items, please contact us to ensure we can honour your wishes.
Life Insurance: Affordable Gift Today, Major Gift Tomorrow
For a relatively small outlay of cash, a gift of life insurance can become a significant future gift for the church without reducing the size of your estate.
You can create a gift of life insurance by
- making the United Church the beneficiary of a new or existing policy
- making the United Church the owner and beneficiary of a new or existing policy
Each option has different tax implications for your or your estate’s taxes.
RRSPs, RRIFs, and TFSAs: Tax Benefit to Your Estate
RRSPs, RRIFs, and TFSAs can be a large portion of your accumulated assets at your death. On your death, however, 100 percent of the proceeds from these are included in your final tax return. Your estate will have to pay taxes on the full amount.
If you make the United Church the beneficiary of the proceeds of any registered fund, the church will issue a charitable tax receipt for the full amount of the gift. This in turn will have considerable tax benefits for your estate that will significantly offset the amount of your gift.
Stocks, Mutual Funds, and Bonds: Tax Benefits for You
A gift of publicly listed stocks, mutual funds, or bonds can be a good way to make donations to your church and the ministries you care about because there are no taxes on capital gains for donated publicly listed securities.*
Because you don’t pay capital gains tax and you get a charitable tax receipt, the cost of making a gift using stocks, mutual funds, or other securities can be less than if you made a gift of the same amount using cash.
Transferring the shares, mutual funds, or other securities is easy. You simply instruct your broker to send the securities to The United Church of Canada Foundation. Then the Foundation provides you with a tax receipt for the value of the shares or units at the close of the markets on the day the Foundation receives them. The Foundation sells the shares or units as soon as possible and then follows your instructions for the use of the proceeds of the sale—for example, sends it all to your congregation or sends some to your congregation and some to Mission & Service. There is a very small brokerage fee for this service. Your congregation may have its own broker to facilitate gifts of securities. If not, The United Church Foundation is happy to help.
You may also wish to consider donating listed securities in your will instead of making a cash bequest. Because capital gains will not be taxed, your estate could realize considerable tax savings that may increase the amount your beneficiaries inherit.
*Stocks, mutual funds, or bonds listed on the TSX, NYSE, etc.
What Are the Financial Implications to Me?
Each type of gift has different benefits to you and the church, as well as different tax and financial implications. The United Church provides trained staff to help you make the best choice for your current circumstances and needs around choosing how to make your gift. We also encourage you to seek independent financial advice about any gift, and to discuss this information with the members of your family who should be aware of your decisions.