Faithful Giving

The Heart of Planned Gifts

James W. Murphy, Foreword by Robert F. Sharpe, Jr.

Oct/2022, 256 Pages, PAPER, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781640654761



An interfaith guide to planned giving. 

Planned gifts are typically the largest gifts received by a charity and can transform religious organizations and congregations to become more sustainable, impactful, and vibrant entities for decades to come. Encouraging planned gifts to congregations and religious organizations is essential at this time of tremendous generational wealth transfer; these gifts also provide an opportunity to enhance relationships between supporters and organizations. Many congregations and religious entities fear that they cannot raise these transformational gifts due to a lack of expertise among staff or volunteers, the limited financial resources of their constituents, or the simple discomfort of addressing ultimate issues with donors. Faithful Giving can help change those dynamics.

The book is intentionally inclusive of Christian and other faith traditions by offering several case studies from a variety of Christian denominations and other religions, including Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Baptist, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and others.

Read an excerpt

JAMES W. MURPHY, a Certified Fund Raising Executive, is Managing Program Director at the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF). Active in ecumenical collaborations, he works with congregations, dioceses, and other Episcopal organizations to grow their endowments and develop their planned giving programs and various philanthropic efforts and resources. He holds a Masters in Christian Spirituality from General Theological Seminary, and a Bachelors from NYU’s Stern School of Business. He is a member of the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) and the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York (PPGGNY). He lives in New Jersey.

“Jim Murphy has written a practical, readable manual for successful planned giving donations that elucidates the best practices in several faith traditions. This is a book I wish I had read ten years ago. I cannot give it a higher recommendation. It is now required reading for all my priests and lay leaders.”
The Living Church

“[A]n incredibly useful resource that will greatly benefit faith communities and organizations across the entire religious and cultural spectrum.”
—Charles Buck, CEO of United Church Funds (UCF)

Faithful Giving is a must-read for practitioners, Imams, clergy, faithful philanthropists, and scholars of philanthropy. This book provides thoughtful insights and practical guidance from experts who daily navigate the challenges of planned giving and legal planning.”
—Shariq Siddiqui, JD PhD, director, Muslim Philanthropy Initiative, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University

“Having an active planned giving program is more important than ever for faith communities to thrive, grow, and plan for the future, especially during this critical time of change and transition in organized religion. . . . I recommend this valuable resource to all lay and clergy religious leaders who are looking for guidance and inspiration in launching a program in their own local contexts.”
—Donald V. Romanik, president of the Episcopal Church Foundation

“James W. Murphy’s book Faithful Giving: The Heart of Planned Gifts is a thoughtful and eminently practical handbook for anyone working in the field of planned giving with religious institutions. With respect given to each faith tradition, Jim sets forth practical and beautiful examples of institutions and donors working together for the better good. Any professional in the field of stewardship and faith traditions will be happy to have this book to call on for good stories and great resources.”
—Meighan W. Corbett, director of stewardship and development, The Riverside Church in the City of New York

“The relationship between faith and philanthropy is profound. Murphy and his guest authors thoughtfully explore this close relationship by examining planned giving traditions of many faiths. Case studies effectively illustrate key observations. This book will be valuable for all who wish to deepen their understanding of the important bonds of faith, philanthropy, and planned giving.”
—Philip M. Purcell, CFRE, MPA/JD, director of planned giving, The Salvation Army, Central Territory, and president-elect, American Council for Gift Annuities

“Jim Murphy has taken on the challenge of outlining the planned giving opportunity for faith-based organizations and has masterfully provided a roadmap that anyone from any faith can follow. The discussions and case studies from the variety of faith perspectives further ingrained in me that faith can be a driving force behind one’s philanthropic legacy, and it is up to each of us in our roles to harness and implement those aspirations in our own way. You will take away many practical approaches and reflections to build a successful program no matter how large or small.”
—Kevin McGowan, chief financial officer of Catholic Extension

“I found Faithful Giving to be incredibly well researched and thoughtfully structured (I love the ‘know thy’ framing especially). The case studies were enlightening, and I took something away each time (I especially liked the Muslim concept of endowing for G-d; really beautiful) . . . . It is very clear to me that Murphy and all of the contributors see planned giving as a way to help elevate both humanity and the human. I love this way of thinking about our work in raising these types of funds.”
—Dirk Bird, vice president of planned giving and endowment for Jewish Federations of North America

Faithful Giving: The Heart of Planned Gifts is a wonderful book for the philanthropic community. Whether you are first starting to incorporate planned giving into your organization’s fundraising toolbox or your program has existed for years, this book provides excellent insights and guidance to jump-start your organization’s future.”
—William D. Samers, vice president of planned giving and endowments, UJA-Federation of New York

“A must-have book for diverse faith-inspired charities as well as donors, guiding them methodically and pragmatically to reach their philanthropic goals.”
—Sonia Dhami, trustee of the Sikh Foundation International, and president of

“There are so many great insights in this book! I love the simple yet profound reminder that when an organization receives a planned gift they have become a family member of sorts; that framing is so helpful, as is the interfaith exploration of this crucial topic.”
—Mark Elsdon, author of We Aren't Broke: Uncovering Hidden Resources for Mission & Ministry


Robert F. Sharpe Jr.


James W. Murphy

Introduction: On Sustaining Religion-Community in America: A Glimpse through a Multireligious Lens

Lucinda Allen Mosher

Chapter 1.      Raising to the Level of Family and Legacy Giving

James W. Murphy

Case Study.     The Legacy of Peoplehood

Stacy B. Sulman

Case Study.     Legacy Planning in Islam

Yaqub Mirza

Chapter 2.      Building Trust with Donors and Leaders

James W. Murphy

Case Study.     An Invitation to Donors to Be Co-Missionaries in Our Ministries and Missions

David P. Uribe

Case Study.     Endowment Program for the Hindu Community

Pandit Roopnauth Sharma

Chapter 3.      Choosing Planned Giving Leaders and Other Leadership Issues

James W. Murphy

Case Study.     Helping Faithful Congregations Lift Up Planned Giving

Yvonne Jones Lembo

Case Study.     Connecting with the Vision

Perkin F. Simpson

Chapter 4.      Types of Planned Gifts

James W. Murphy

Case Study.     Insurance as a Planned Gift for Your Congregation or Religious Organization

Davida Isaacson

Case Study.     Stewardship of Real Estate—Mutual Benefits and Opportunities for Generosity

Randall Nyce

Chapter 5.      Raising Awareness

James W. Murphy

Case Study.     The Spirit of Sacha Sauda: Five Centuries of Sikh Giving: From Charity to Philanthropy

Rupinder Singh Brar

Case Study.     Leaving a Gift of Encouragement

Peter Misiaszek

Case Study.     The Essential Phases of a Planned Giving Program

Karl Mattison

Chapter 6.      Donor Planning

James W. Murphy

Case Study.     Islamic Wills and Islamic Relief USA

Anwar Ahmad Khan

Case Study.     Strategies for Planned Giving

Amy Palmer

Chapter 7.      Legacy Societies

James W. Murphy

Case Study.     Reflections on Legacy Planning in Hawaii

Peter C. Pereira

Case Study.     LIFE & LEGACY®

Arlene D. Schiff

Chapter 8.      Memorial Funds

James W. Murphy

Case Study.     Context for Planned Giving and an Opportunity for Testimony

Sarah Charters

Case Study.     Planning Your Estate: What Does It Mean to Give a Percentage? What Does It Mean to Give from Your Heart?

Charles E. Cloughen Jr.

Afterword. In Time of Covid-19

Margaret M. Holman and James W. Murphy


James W. Murphy


About the Contributors

Denominational Resources and Foundations for Planned Giving

Robert F. Sharpe, Jr. was CEO of Encore, a leading philanthropic management consulting firm.

Rupinder Singh Brar is one of the founding members of the Sikh Community Center in Yuba City, California.

Sarah Charters is President and Director of Philanthropy for The United Church of Canada Foundation.

Charles Cloughen Jr. is Planned Giving Officer at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore, Maryland.

Jane Harding is newly retired from the Stewardship & Gifts Office for the United Church of Canada.  

Margaret M. Holman is President of Holman Consulting.

Davida Isaacson is the Senior Philanthropic Advisor for The Seeing Eye, Inc. in Morristown, NJ.

Roger Janes serves as Stewardship Staff resource for the Newfoundland and Labrador Conference.

Anwar Khan is President of Islamic Relief USA.

Yvonne Jones Lembo serves as a Regional Gift Planner with the ELCA Foundation.

Karl Mattison is the Vice President of Planned Giving Resources and of the Planned Giving Navigator program at the Presbyterian Foundation.

Yaqub Mirza is President and CEO of Sterling Management Group and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Amana Mutual Funds.

Peter Misiaszek is the Director of Stewardship Development for the Anglican Diocese of Toronto.

Lucinda Mosher is the author of two books in the Faith in the Neighborhood series, Belonging and Praying.

Randall Nyce is an Everence® Stewardship Consultant.

Amy Palmer is the Director of Development for the Adrian Dominican Sisters in Adrian, Michigan.

Peter C. Pereira was the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of The Episcopal Church in Hawai’i, 1991 - 2022.

Arlene D. Schiff is the National Director of the LIFE & LEGACY® program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF).

Pandit Roopnauth Sharma is President of the Hindu Federation and President of Canadian Multi-faith Federation (CMF).

Perkin F. Simpson is the Executive Director of Urban Alliance, a faith-based non-profit located in East Hartford, CT.

Stacy B. Sulman is the Chief Legal Officer and Vice President for Personalized Philanthropy for the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science.

David P. Uribe, OMI is the Oblate Executive Director/Oblate Chaplain Director for Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate (MAMI-USA).

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  • stewardship
  • endowments
  • fundraising
  • development
  • business
  • management
  • money
  • finance

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