Creative Giving Options to Support Franciscan Missions

You can ensure that the missionary work of the Franciscan Order will continue to thrive for years to come.

By designating Franciscan Missions in your will or as a beneficiary of various assets, you can ensure your values are carried on, creating a lasting legacy. Gifts can be structured to meet your needs and those of your family. And many planned gifts have positive tax benefits to the benefactor.

Jump to: Wills & Bequests ,   IRAs ,   Living TrustsBeneficiary Designation

Contact Us for Assistance

If you are interested in supporting Franciscan Missions, we encourage you to talk to your attorney or financial planner and to call our donor relations coordinator.

Contact: Ms. Linda Knight
Major Donor Relations Coordinator
Phone 262.383.2428

Our legal title is:
General Secretariat of the Franciscan Missions, Inc.
PO Box 130
Waterford, Wisconsin 53185 USA
Federal Tax ID: 39-1396579

Want to know more about how you can use your assets to support Franciscan Missions?

Read the latest Legacy of Hope newsletter below or view all.

Fall 2023 | Legacy of Hope

Something Important Could Be Hiding in One of Your Drawers

Most families have a “catch-all” drawer. You know the drawer – it is the one that collects everything from coupons to clothes pins, to the gadget you received at Christmas three years ago. Everyone needs a “catch-all” drawer.But sometimes catch-all drawers can inadvertently hide valuable items that can be easily forgotten, especially when the drawer is in the room where you keep your important papers and documents.

Click to read more >

Wills & Bequests

If you have not yet written your Will or Trust, now is the time. You will have peace of mind because you have made your wishes known and have made all the necessary arrangements for your wishes to be carried out. Without a Will, others will decide where your assets go. With a little planning, you can make a gift that helps us care for our sisters and brothers, especially those on the margins of society who are often forgotten.

If you already have a Will, it is simple to ask your attorney to add a codicil (like a PS on a letter) that will state your gift to Franciscan Missions. The cost of creating a codicil is minimal, but the impact will be immeasurable.

In your plan, you can designate:

  • a specific dollar amount
  • a percentage of your estate
  • a residual amount after your loved ones have been provided for

Some friends of Franciscan Missions name us and other charitable organizations as final beneficiaries to receive whatever is left in their estate after providing for other beneficiaries. Others decide to designate a percentage of the assets in their estate for charitable use or to give a certain dollar amount or specific property.

Not always. Even modest estates today are larger than the average estate of past generations. More people find it possible to make a “gift of a lifetime” through their estate after they know the needs of loved ones are met.

See our guides for planned giving


Did you know that your IRA offers you a great opportunity to help support the Franciscan Missions while also enjoying some tax benefits? By making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA you can support our work with the poor and enjoy a tax advantage by doing so.

A QCD effectively lowers the amount of your taxable income, which means that even those who do not itemize on their tax return can benefit from this opportunity. Those who are subject to a Required Minimum Distribution could find this quite attractive.

To make a Qualified Charitable Distribution, please contact your IRA plan administrator. To repeat, be sure that you do not take the distribution from your IRA first; this would result in the distribution being considered taxable income.

The QCD is available to those age 70 ½ or older. If you are age 73+, you can make a Qualified Charitable Distribution to us as part or all of your Required Minimum Distribution. 

  • Gifts must go directly from your IRA to the Franciscan Missions (our legal title is: The General Secretariat of the Franciscan Missions);
  • The gift cannot exceed $100,000 per year.

Living Trusts

A living trust is a special kind of trust (a legal entity) that you create during your lifetime to hold your property, money, or other assets for your own benefit. After you have created your living trust, you then change the ownership of your property, assets, bank, and other financial accounts from you as an individual to your living trust. The trustee—probably you—manages your financial affairs, so you retain control over your trust as long as you choose.

A successor trustee is named, who can step in to manage the trust when you are no longer willing or able. Then, at the end of your lifetime, your successor trustee can quickly and efficiently distribute your money and property, avoiding the potential delay and expense of a court supervised probate.

Through your trust, you can name Franciscan Missions as a beneficiary in one of the following ways:

  • Allocating an exact amount of funds
  • Allocating a percentage of the trust
  • Assigning a charity as the beneficiary
  • Allocating the remainder of funds, after all other bequests are distributed

A living trust does not necessarily avoid or reduce estate taxes, and it does not eliminate the need for a will or other estate planning. There are costs and other considerations to weigh as you determine whether or not a living trust is right for you. Good and sound legal advice is essential.

See our guides for planned giving

Beneficiary Designation

One of the simplest ways to make a gift to Franciscan Missions is the Beneficiary Designation. You may also remember Franciscan Missions by naming us as a beneficiary of various assets. This supports the life-giving work of Franciscan missionaries without changing your will or parting with any assets now. It is as easy as filling out a form. You can name Franciscan Missions as the sole beneficiary of your assets or as one of several beneficiaries, which include your loved ones.

Assets you could consider designating for Franciscan Missions include:

  • Retirement assets such as IRAs, 401(k) and 403(b) plans
  • Commercial annuity
  • Life insurance policy
  • Bank accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Stocks or savings bonds

Benefits of making a gift by beneficiary designation:

  • Your assets remain in your control if you need them
  • It requires no changes to your will
  • You can change this designation at any time
  • Funds passed to Franciscan Missions are not subject to any taxes
  • Your loved ones can benefit from some of the asset value
  • Support a cause you care about
See our guides for planned giving

When you give, you become part of our Legacy of Hope

When you remember Franciscan Missions in your estate plan, you become a perpetual member of the Legacy of Hope. Your dedication to delivering hope becomes your legacy of hope. Your legacy gift is a symbol of your helping hands. You will continue to deliver hope to people in need for years to come.

We will inscribe your name in our Legacy Book as a member of the Legacy of Hope. You will receive these spiritual benefits:

  • Remembrance in the daily prayers and Masses of Franciscan missionaries around the world
  • Perpetual remembrance in a daily Mass at the Franciscan sanctuary of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska in Poland
  • Remembrance in the Mass at Franciscan Missions Chapel, Waterford, Wisconsin, on June 13, the feast of St. Anthony of Padua

Previous Legacy of Hope newsletters

Spring 2023 | Legacy of Hope

We Are Ambassadors for Christ

“We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us.” (2 Cor 5:20) We read these powerful words of St. Paul at the start of the season of Lent. These words reminded me of you during a recent meeting of the friars here. Because of your great generosity, we were able to provide support to people in need at 33 Franciscan missions throughout the world. Five chapels will be built as part of the Come, Let’s Together Build the House of God mission in India. Mentally challenged…

Click to read more >

Fall 2022 | Legacy of Hope

“If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another”

This is one of the favorite expressions of a Franciscan that I lived with back in the 1980’s. He was always pleasant and talkative, even early in the morning when I had not yet had my morning coffee. We called him Fr. Jack even though that was not his real name, and I never knew why or how he acquired that name…

Click to read more >

The information presented on this website is for informational purposes only. Please consult an attorney or financial adviser for legal or tax advice.