‘Planned giving’ can help CSA campaign

Record Editor

Erin Zuber is the new director of planned giving for the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Stewardship and Development. (Record Photo by Glenn Rutherford)

Now that the 2012-2013 Catholic Ser-vices Appeal is well underway, Erin Zuber wants you to know that there is an additional way for the people of the Archdiocese of Louisville to support the annual fund-raising effort.

Zuber has been director of planned giving for the Office of Stewardship and Development for the past six months, and she’s been busy telling parishioners and parish leaders about her new position — and about some novel ways to contribute to the CSA.

“This effort began with the archdiocese strategic plan back in 2009,” she explained last week during an interview at her Chancery office. That plan included a new em-phasis on planned giving as a way to financially support the ministries and missions of parishes throughout the archdiocese.

Zuber, 43, who lives in the Highlands with her husband, Chilton and their three children — Michael, 16, Eleanor, 10, and Amelia, 8 — offers a simple and direct definition of planned giving.

“It’s giving from one’s assets through trusts, life insurance, bequeaths and wills,” she said. “You don’t have to be wealthy to bequeath your parish or a ministry something from your estate.”

But you do need to be a responsible and serious financial planner, she noted. And above all, regardless of your age, you need
a will — a legal “last will and testament.”

“Wills and bequeathed giving is what most people think of when you talk about planned giving,” Zuber acknowledged. “But it’s important for people to know that the term ‘planned giving’ isn’t just about following 70-year-old people around” and talking to them about their wills.

“It’s really a matter of us asking that their parish, that the archdiocese, be ele-vated to the level of being part of their family, to being remembered in wills,” she explained. “Planned giving is applicable to all age groups, and for young families it’s especially important to have plans drawn up for your family” to make sure that their needs and your legacy are properly passed on.

“People who are middle-aged need to start looking at tax issues and thinking about their children and grandchildren,” she explained. “There is a need to be sure you’ve established a will that has tax protection for your family.”

While the notion of planned giving must be considered family by family, Zuber stressed that the new emphasis on the topic “is as a parish initiative.”

“We want people to support, through planned giving, the work, the mission and the ministries of their parish,” she said. “In the CSA efforts this year, we’re asking people if they’ve considered their parish in their estate planning.”

If they haven’t, and if they want more information or consultation about the subject, Erin Zuber is available.

“We have brochures that explain the types of giving that’s available, and the archdiocesan and parish ministries and missions you can give to,” she said. “We’re talking about Catholic Charities, your parish, your parish school — whatever interests you we can have a match for your planned giving. I’m available to meet and we can sit down and discuss what you want your legacy to be.”

Through the parish-driven effort, she said, the CSA wants to make potential donors aware of “the importance of taking care of your assets.”

“The gifts you have, your assets, are gifts from God,” she noted. “We’re merely stewards.”

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