First Parish in Needham Logo

23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, MA 02492

Giving at First Parish

Giving Overview

First Parish in Needham is financially self-supporting and self-sustaining. We rely on our members and friends to raise our operating budget each year and to give generously to ensure the long-term financial health of the church.

We strive to be a congregation of generous givers, and recognize the joy and satisfaction that comes with being able to share our resources, financial and otherwise, to build our blessed community. Our financial contributions are an investment we make in living our values and creating a community where those values are nurtured and thrive.

“At the heart of Unitarian Universalism is the faith that every person can make a meaningful difference in our communities and in the world.

We have faith in generosity, a conviction that our shared gifts of love and labor can heal ourselves and others.

Spent one way, [money] can make us comfortable, boost our self-image, and make us feel secure. Spent another way, money becomes the tool of our faith and our commitment to the things that matter to us.”

~ Rev. Terry Sweetser

Annual Budget Drive

Overview

The Budget Drive team asks for your pledge to help our community achieve the 2022-2023 Annual Budget Drive goal of $375,000. To achieve this goal, we are asking all pledging individuals and households to increase their annual pledge by about 5% from last year.

The times continue to be enormously challenging but we can take heart that First Parish is there for all of us and is engaged, both within the congregation and with the larger community to support our spiritual, social, and human needs.

We can joyfully celebrate the beautiful restoration of our historic bell tower this past year. When we complete this effort with the installation of the weathervane atop the steeple, look to the display points on the compass just below, then think about True North. The search for meaning and direction is often called Seeking True North and there is probably no better time than now for all of us to re-imagine what that signifies for us as individuals, families, and as members of this blessed First Parish community.

Your ongoing financial contribution to the church is just one way that you can join us in seeking direction and comfort in a dynamic world. Especially during the pandemic when some of our other income sources (such as rentals) have understandably declined, the goal of $375,000 in pledges is all the more important.

Four Ways to Make Your Pledge

It is our goal to collect your pledge plans as quickly and easily as possible with four convenient ways to pledge:

Please pledge as generously as you are able to our 2022-23 Annual Budget Drive!

Thank you!

How Much Should I Pledge?

For many of us, coming from other denominations or stepping inside our doors for the first time, it’s difficult to benchmark how much to pledge. We hope our congregants will be financially generous both with First Parish and with other worthy faith-based and service organizations.

Your financial commitment to First Parish should reflect both your personal situation in terms of financial ability and the value you place on your experience as an integral part of our faith community. The UUA Fair Share Giving Guide suggests an annual giving range of 2-10% of household income. As a starting point, we invite each First Parish household to consider giving at a level of 2.5%. Based on individual circumstances, some households pledge more and some pledge less. The average pledge last year was about $2,500.

Whether you can afford a little or a lot, we ask that all members and friends demonstrate your commitment to First Parish by making a pledge. Our bylaws call for every member to contribute.

Should your circumstances change during the year, please contact Rev. Catie Scudera or the parish administrator to adjust your pledge.

How Do I Pay My Pledge?

You select the method and payment schedule that works for you.

Many parishioners mail checks to the office or place them in an envelope in the offertory plate.

Others appreciate the convenience of paying online, using Realm, via credit card or direct from their bank account. Or you can pay by text-to-give.

You also may pay by donating stock and other securities.

For details about arranging stock transfers, or for any assistance in payment methods, please contact the parish administrator.

Legacy Giving

What is Legacy Giving?

Legacy Giving (or Planned Giving) can transform the future of First Parish and ensure that it thrives well into the lives of future generations. By making a Legacy Gift to our endowment fund, your support of First Parish will last beyond your lifetime.

The typical person who makes a legacy gift isn’t a millionaire or independently wealthy. Rather, most legacy givers are simply members who want to make a commitment to the future of our liberal faith.

Thank you to the more than twenty members of First Parish who have already made commitments, resulting in over $30,000 in challenge funding!

Leaving a legacy to First Parish only takes a little planning. It can be as simple as including a bequest to First Parish in your will or trust, or naming First Parish a beneficiary on your retirement plan or insurance policy. See below for more information.

Types of Legacy Gifts: Overview

There are various options for making legacy gifts to the parish. We encourage you to work with your attorney and/or financial advisor to select the approach that is right for you.

Four basic options are outlined below:

  • bequests;
  • retirement plan beneficiary designations;
  • life insurance beneficiary designations; and
  • charitable gift annuities.

There are additional options you may wish to consider under certain circumstances, including pooled income funds, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable lead trusts, that will not be discussed further here. Pooled income funds are more attractive in a higher interest rate environment. Charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts are more complex and individualized vehicles better discussed with your professional advisors.

Bequests

A bequest is a provision in your will or revocable trust designating a fixed dollar amount, a percentage of your assets, or the remainder of your estate will be given to First Parish in Needham, upon settlement of your estate. Most bequests are fully revocable while you are alive.

Language for Wills

You may add a simple codicil to your will to create a bequest for First Parish. You can make a specific bequest by identifying a block of stock or bonds, a specific parcel of real estate, or other clearly identified marketable asset. Or, you can make a cash bequest in a specific amount or as a percentage of your estate. You can also make a residual bequest from the remaining assets in your estate after all other specific bequests and settlement costs are satisfied.

Most bequests are undesignated which makes them available for general use as part of the General Endowment Fund. This fund exists in perpetuity and generates annual income for First Parish. If you wish to designate a bequest for a particular program or other purpose at First Parish, please contact the parish administrator to ensure your bequest can be accepted.

The following sample language can be used to fulfill your charitable objectives:

Specific Amount: I give, devise, and bequeath $ ______________ to First Parish in Needham.

Percentage Bequest: I give, devise, and bequeath __________ % of my gross estate to First Parish in Needham.

Residuary Bequest: I give, devise and bequeath the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to First Parish in Needham.

Language for Trusts

You may amend your revocable trust to create a bequest for First Parish in Needham. This can be done at any time or as part of a review and updating of your trust, which is recommended every 5-10 years as the relevant laws change. You can make a specific bequest by identifying a block of stock or bonds, a specific parcel of real estate, or other clearly identified item. Or, you can make a cash bequest in a specific amount or as a percentage of your estate. You can also make a residual bequest from the remaining assets in your estate after all other specific bequests and settlement costs are satisfied.

Most bequests are undesignated which makes them available for general use as part of the General Endowment Fund. This fund exists in perpetuity and generates annual income for First Parish. If you wish to designate a bequest for a particular program or other purpose at First Parish, please contact the parish administrator to ensure your bequest can be accepted.

The following sample language can be used to fulfill your charitable objectives:

Specific Amount: The Trustee shall distribute $ ______________ to First Parish in Needham.

Percentage Bequest: The Trustee shall distribute __________ % of my gross estate to First Parish in Needham.

Residuary Bequest: The Trustee shall distribute the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to First Parish in Needham.

Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designations

You can designate First Parish as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), or 403(b) plan, for a specific amount or a percentage of total assets. Such gifts can save on income and estate taxes.

Leaving a portion of your retirement plan account to First Parish in Needham can help you get the most value from your estate and protect your heirs from taxes. These retirement assets are subject to income taxes when paid out to a taxable entity (i.e., most people, even your spouse or children), even when the estate is too small to owe estate taxes. These taxes can reduce the amount received by your heirs by up to 35 percent.

In contrast, nonprofit organizations such as First Parish are eligible to receive the full amount at your death without facing any income tax liability. Income taxes can be avoided or reduced through a carefully planned charitable gift. There are three common approaches:

  • Designate First Parish in Needham as a primary beneficiary for a percentage (1 to 100 percent) of your retirement plan account.
  • Designate a specific amount to be paid to First Parish in Needham before the remainder is directed to family or other individuals.
  • Make First Parish in Needham the contingent beneficiary to receive the balance only if a loved one, as primary beneficiary, doesn’t survive you.

To implement your wishes, please contact your plan administrator, then complete and sign whatever forms are required. This can often be done on-line. You may wish to contact your attorney to be sure you are using the correct language.

Life Insurance Beneficiary Designations

You can designate First Parish in Needham as a beneficiary of all or a portion of your life insurance benefits.

A traditional life insurance policy (with an accumulated cash value) can be a valuable asset. If the original purpose for the protection no longer applies—such as to educate children now grown or to provide financial security for a spouse now deceased—a life insurance policy can be redirected to help support a worthwhile cause such as First Parish in Needham.

To implement your wishes, please contact your life insurance agent or company and obtain and complete the needed change of beneficiary form. You may wish to contact your attorney to be sure you are using the correct language.

Charitable Gift Annuities

First Parish’s Charitable Gift Annuity program is professionally managed and administered by the Office of Legacy Gifts at the Unitarian Universalist Association and State Street Global Advisors. First Parish’s parish administrator can help connect you to the UUA to establish a charitable gift annuity.

A charitable gift annuity is a good arrangement for someone looking to augment their retirement income because it generates a fixed dollar income for the rest of your life. In exchange for your irrevocable gift of at least $10,000 in cash or publicly traded securities, the UUA will pay you a lifetime income based on your age (minimum 65) at the time of your gift. At the end of your life, money remaining in the annuity (the ultimate gift) is distributed to First Parish (and/or the UUA) as you specify. The gift annuity can be for one or two people, so a spouse or other loved one can also receive payments for life.

A portion of the initial gift is income tax–deductible based on IRS rules about the expected value of the ultimate gift. Charitable gift annuity payments are partially income tax–free throughout your estimated life expectancy. If you use appreciated stock to make a gift, you can usually eliminate capital gains tax on a portion of the gift and spread the rest of the gain over your life expectancy.

Legacy Gift Form, Giving Guide & Contacts

Thank you for your interest in making a Legacy Gift to First Parish in Needham.

To notify us of a legacy gift/record a bequest, complete our Legacy Giving Form  and return it to the church office.

For more information, download our Legacy Giving Guide.

UUA Planned Giving Information:

 

Tax Information/EIN

  • First Parish in Needham is an IRS-qualified tax-exempt organization.
  • We are a member in good standing of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
  • First Parish’s federal identification number (FEIN) is 04-2347461.
  • A completed IRS Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification is available upon request.
  • For tax purposes, bequests, legacies, devises, or transfers to the Church are deductible as they accord with the provision of the Internal Revenue Code.