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What is a planned gift?

A planned gift is a form of charitable giving through your estate plan, such as a bequest in a will, a distribution from a retirement plan (such as an IRA) or an insurance policy, or an annuity. For many of us, remembering St. John’s in our estate plan is one of the best opportunities to make a major gift.


For you and your family, a planned gift through your will, retirement plan, or life insurance policy:

  • Is an opportunity to express the values you hold dear and may be an extension of your faith and practice;

  • Provides the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the future of St. John’s and its ministries for years to come;

  • May offer tax advantages for you and your heirs; and

  • Will not diminish your current income or assets.


For St. John’s, a planned gift:

  • Is a commitment to the church's future; and

  • Will serve as an enduring source of support for the mission and ministries of the church.


What if I want to my gift to be used for a specific purpose or ministry?

You may restrict the purpose or use of your planned gift in (1) a provision in your will or trust or (2) a letter to the
St. John’s business office. When your gift is received after your death, it will be placed in a restricted account to be used only for your specified purpose. All gift restrictions must comply with the
St. John’s Gift Acceptance Policy.

We strongly suggest you email  as you think about restricting how your gift will be used. We would be pleased to meet with you to help you discern how to best fulfill your intentions while sustaining the church’s mission into the future.

We encourage you to consider leaving an unrestricted planned gift to St. John’s. One can never predict what the circumstances or areas of greatest need may be when your commitment is realized or whether there will still be a need for your specified purpose years from now.


Does St. John’s have any endowment funds to which I may contribute?

St. John’s has two endowment funds to which planned as well as current gifts may be directed: the Perpetual Endowment Fund and the George Kingsley Endowed Scholarship Fund. Income from the Perpetual Endowment Fund is used to fund general operations. Income from the George Kingsley Endowed Scholarship Fund is used to fund tuition and other assistance to promote diversity among students at the St. John’s Parish Day School.


You may create a new endowment fund with a minimum commitment as outlined in the terms of the St. John’s Gift Acceptance Policy. We would be pleased to meet with you to discuss your plans. Please email


In addition, St. John’s maintains the Matthew 25 Fund from which grants are awarded for new outreach projects. Donations to this fund, including planned gifts, are welcome.


What if I don’t specify how my planned gift is to be used?

If you don’t specify how your gift is to be used, your gift will be handled in accordance with the then-current priorities and needs of the church as determined by the Vestry.


 I already have a will but want to make a bequest to St. John’s. What do I do?

You may only need to add a codicil or amendment to your current will. Consult with your legal advisor.


Can I leave a percentage of my estate to St. John’s?

Yes, this is a recommended practice. You can leave a percentage of a retirement account or a percentage of your estate to St. John’s. You can also leave a fixed dollar amount, a specific asset, or the assets remaining after specific bequests to your heirs or charities have been fulfilled.


Can I change my mind in the future about how much I leave St. John’s in my estate plan?

Yes. A lot can change over time after you prepare your estate plan, including your financial circumstances and the health of you and your family members.

What are the tax and other advantages of a planned gift from my retirement plan?

The tax and other advantages of a planned gift from a retirement plan are described in "Making a Planned Gift through your Retirement Plan."

How do I let St. John’s know I have included St. John’s in my estate plans?

Please contact Kathy Hahn, Finance Director, at or 410-461-7793, ext. 112.


Will I have to submit documentation (e.g., a provision in my will) to St. John’s to document that I have made a planned gift?

No, this is not necessary, nor will we ask you how much you intend to give St. John’s.

Will I receive an acknowledgment of my planned gift?

You will receive an acknowledgment from the Rector for your gift. In addition, you will receive a letter notifying you that you are now a member of St. John’s legacy circle, the Dorsey Society. Anyone who shares his or her intentions for a planned gift to the church becomes a member of the Dorsey Society. Membership in the Dorsey Society bears witness to the value of St. John’s in your life and encourages others to consider including St. John’s in their estate plans.


If you agree, you will be recognized by name in the church’s annual report and other documents as a member of the Dorsey Society. If you prefer that your name not be disclosed to the congregation, your planned gift will be included in the annual report as from an anonymous donor.


I want to include St. John’s in my estate plan. What do I do next?

We urge you to consult with your attorney, financial advisor, and/or tax advisor and have them review and approve the information we have provided to you. The information on our website and in our brochure in no way constitutes legal or financial advice.

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