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Support the Church in Northeast Ohio and make a difference with your gift.
Demonstrate your gratitude to God for all the gifts with which God has blessed you.
Catholic Charities Appeal
Angel Scholarship FundFund A DreamFaith & Values Appeal
Priestly FormationHeart of a Shepherd
Women’s Giving CircleNortheast Ohio Catholic MagazineTV MassDiocese of Cleveland Archives
Enrich lives in Northeast Ohio through spiritual, educational, and charitable support.
We help foster faith-based stewardship in the community for the spiritual, educational and charitable needs of all.

Parish Legacy Giving Resources

Legacy Giving Resources for Parishes

We believe every parish should have a basic legacy giving program, and the Catholic Community Foundation is pleased to provide this valuable resource to help you along the way. 

Whether you are looking to build your legacy giving program from the ground up or maximize your existing efforts, the CCF is committed to helping your parish strengthen its future. 


Here's how the CCF can drive success and grow your legacy giving program:

  • Inspire and educate your parishioners with customized resources
  • Keep you up-to-date with best practices
  • Customize campaign kits created exclusively for your parish
  • Navigate the world of non-cash giving with in-person trainings and webinars
  • Build relationships by acknowledging donors with your own legacy society

Q & A about Legacy Giving at your Parish

What is legacy giving?

Legacy giving is the thoughtful process of planning for gifts to charity, such as a parish, to be made during lifetime or death. Legacy giving is not just for wealthy individuals. Because legacy gifts are often made from assets, rather than income, nearly everyone with some assets has options to consider a legacy gift to benefit his or her parish.

How much can we expect to raise from a legacy giving program?

Legacy giving offers the highest return on investment of all fundraising types. For every dollar spent on fundraising bequest gifts, you can expect an average return of nearly $57.
Plus, not only do legacy gifts have the highest ROI, but they’re often the largest gift a donor will ever make, and many times greater than most annual gifts. The average bequest left to a charitable organization ranges from $20,000 - $72,000.

How long do we have to wait to see the results of our legacy giving efforts?

On average, most nonprofits receive legacy gifts within seven to ten years after a donor makes the commitment — only a few years longer than most campaign pledge periods.

Our parish doesn’t have anyone on staff with financial planning expertise. How can we pursue a legacy giving program?

The key to a successful legacy giving effort is not technical knowledge, but personal follow-through with parishioners. The majority of legacy gifts will come in the form of simple bequests, which do not require any special expertise to accept. The Catholic Community Foundation is here to help with tools and resources.

Won’t asking for legacy gifts lower my weekly offertory?

Legacy giving has actually been found to trigger a 75% increase in annual gifts. In 2014, Dr. Russell James, a Texas Tech professor and planned giving expert, conducted an in-depth analysis of charitable giving. He found that donors who add a charity to their wills increase annual gifts by more than $3,000 in the following years. Of course, the key is effective donor stewardship. You have to build and maintain relationships with these donors to drive increases in annual giving.


Legacy Giving Resources for Parishes

Why should parishes make legacy giving information available?


Why do parishioners want to create legacy gifts?


Questions & Answers about FreeWill


Sample wording for legacy giving website


Legacy Gift Intent Form


Parish Legacy Giving Brochure Sample


Access FreeWill Here


Legacy Giving Bulletin Blurbs


By educating, informing and creating awareness about estate planning and legacy giving, you will be offering parishioners the chance to name the parish as a beneficiary of their will, trust, retirement account or life insurance policy – and express their gratitude to God.

Contact Jackie Brauser at or 216-696-6525 x1640 for information on how to get started at your parish. We are happy to meet with parish leadership.

Create Your Legacy

Demonstrate your gratitude to God for all the gifts with which God has blessed you.

Angel Scholarship Fund

Your participation in the Angel Scholarship Fund strengthens our schools - and our future - in countless ways.

Ways to Give

There are several ways you can support the ministries of the Church in Northeast Ohio and make a profound impact.