A man wanted to make a legacy gift to the little church he attended in a small town. It was a small town and everyone knew it as “the United Church.” It was a way to distinguish this church from the Catholic Church or any other church in town. 

He was part of the leadership team on council that annually invited individuals to leave a portion of their estate to the church. He repeatedly talked about the gift in his will and what he hoped it would allow the congregation to do. After his death, the will was read. It did include a bequest – a sizeable one for that community, to be given to “the United Church.”

Although all the local folks called it the United Church, it was not the correct name of the congregation. The United Church is the name of the national church – not the local congregation. In this case the national church was nice enough to forward the entire amount back to the local congregation after the commotion settled down.

Do you work for a local entity of a national or regional organization? Do your donors know the correct name of your organization to put in their will?

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