Diocesan Council approved a way that Anglican individuals and families can set up special funds to benefit the diocese or their home parishes - and have a continuing involvement in how money is spent.
"What I find exciting about this is that it's a way for people to give money, and ensure that their kids and grandkids stay connected somehow to the Church," said the Rev. Kevin Dixon, chair of the diocesan Planned Giving Committee, who brought the program to diocesan council for approval.
|Glen Mitchell, diocesan Director of Planned Giving|
Glen Mitchell, diocesan director for Planned Giving, said that federal tax laws require that the Church have the final say in how money given to it will be spent.
But each time a "Legacy Fund" is set up, a written contract will specify that the donor or the donor's family must be consulted every year.
Already a $30,000 Legacy Fund has been set up by Ronald Legeer to benefit Holy Trinity White Rock, said Mitchell.
The planned giving director said that Legacy Funds - sometimes called "donor advised funds" - are the fastest growing type of philanthropy. No longer does a donor have to set up a private foundation in order to establish a long-term endowment.
The provision that the donors are to be consulted before the money is spent each year means they'll be "meaningfully engaged in their philanthropic decisions" - and able to hold the Church accountable.
Mitchell said that the minimum amount for a Legacy Fund will be $10,000. (One can set up a fund with less money but the income from the fund will not be available for distribution until the amount in the fund reaches $10,000.)
Such donations may come from Anglicans when they come into an inheritance, sell a business, sell a large holding of real estate or securities, Mitchell said. In all cases, the donor gets immediate tax relief when the fund is set up.
Legacy Funds can be created so that just the fund's income is spent. Or they can be established so that over time all the capital in the fund as well as the income is used. A fund can be passed between generations, if the donor has designated a successor advisor. Or the fund can end when the donor dies - unspent money will go into the Anglican Initiatives Fund.
Legacy Funds work out to be far less costly than setting up a private foundation, Mitchell said. Diocesan Council approved a fee structure of 0.4% of investments per year that will go to pay the investment counsel, and 0.3% for the cost of managing the program. In addition there may be a $500 initial cost of setting up the fund. These figures compare with costs ranging from 0.75% a year (through the Vancouver Foundation) to 5% per year (using the provincial government's trustee model).
The capital will be held by the diocese and invested in its consolidated trust fund. The diocese will consult the donor annually about distribution of income, issue cheques, collect and retain receipts from beneficiaries, and report the results.
The income from Legacy Funds can go to any group approved by the Diocesan Council (see table at right).
For more information about establishing a Legacy Fund in the Diocese of New Westminister, contact Glen Mitchell at (604) 684-6306, ext 218, or email email@example.com.