Between 2017 and 2019, more than 1,250 people from nearly 200 Unitarian Universalist congregations pledged legacy gifts to benefit UU entities as part of the Wake Now Our Vision (WNOV) Collaborative Campaign Legacy Challenge, an unprecedented collaborative legacy challenge for UU organizations. All told, more than $100 million in new legacy gift intentions were submitted to the campaign. Of the legacy gift intention estimated amounts, 24 percent are directed to Wake Now Our Vision partners, and 76 percent are directed to UU congregations.
“The Wake Now Our Vision Campaign inspired giving to Unitarian Universalism that will impact our faith for generations to come, and it showed us how much is possible in the realm of legacy giving,” said the Rev. Lauren Smith, the UUA’s director of Stewardship and Development.
The campaign was a partnership among the UUA, the UU Service Committee, Meadville Lombard Theological School, Starr King School for the Ministry, the UU Ministers Association, and the Church of the Larger Fellowship. The UU Congregation at Shelter Rock offered $5 million to the campaign to run a legacy challenge, $4.5 million of which was available to provide a cash match for a percentage of new legacy gift intentions. New legacy gift intentions were eligible for a 10 percent match, up to $10,000. In addition to the WNOV partner organizations, legacy gifts to UU congregations were also matched through the legacy challenge. The UUA also made it possible for legacy gifts to other UU organizations, such as UU camps and conference centers, to benefit from the legacy challenge via the UUA’s Umbrella Giving Program. That program simplifies legacy giving for UU donors wishing to support multiple UU entities with one legacy gift.
Educational resources, such as guides, brochures, and workshops made possible by the Legacy Challenge will continue to be available for congregations looking to start or revive legacy giving programs. Visit “Resources for My Congregation” at plannedgiving.uua.org.