Someone just left your congregation a submarine…now what?

Gift policies do two very important things. First, they allow the congregation to consider and determine, in advance, what to do with a gift such as an organ or stock – or $100,000. Secondly, it shows congregation members that leaving a gift to their church is, in fact, an option – a good option, because they know it will be handled appropriately and appreciated. Writing a gift policy can be cumbersome, unless you have help. Deacon Mitzie Schafer is our new Regional Gift Planner for the Carolinas for the ELCA Foundation. She is here to help you.

How is her role important to our congregations and members?

Mitzie is available to assist congregations as they work to develop a Gift Policy and attain a Ministry Funding Plan. She can assist individual members of the congregation with creating a Gift Plan to designate where their assets will be directed at their passing.

With congregations, Mitzie works through the process of considering your financial wants, needs and realities. Congregations can, at times, get bogged down in the day to day of keeping the lights on and paying the staff. Mitzie facilitates healthy conversation that leads to action toward developing and attaining a Ministry Funding Plan to support the financial needs and dreams of the congregation today and for years to come. She will ensure you have a relevant and thoughtful ministry focused gift policy, while cutting the time to create it down substantially.

Mitzie is available to our members to create a Gift Plan, a one-page illustration showing how you want your assets to be distributed to provide for your loved ones and to bless the ministries and charities you care about when you pass. Assets are things like your house, retirement, investment accounts, stocks and bonds, or insurance policies. These are resources we use during our lifetime and draw on during our retirement. But once we go to heaven, where all expenses are paid, our assets can be distributed to take care of the people who live on after us and to help the ministries and charities we care about continue their good work beyond our lifetime.

You pay nothing now for the gifts you designate in your plan. It’s not like your weekly offering or your annual gift to your favorite ministry or charity, where you write a check. It’s not like a capital campaign where you cash out an asset or write a big check. A Gift Plan illustrates how you want to distribute your assets when you pass.

In many cases, you can set up a gift with a simple beneficiary designation. You can designate any ministry or charity that is important to you – local, regional, national or global – ELCA or other organizations.

Creating a gift plan usually takes just two meetings and costs you nothing. There is no charge to meet with Mitzie. She doesn’t work on commission and she is not trying to sell you anything. The ELCA Foundation and our synodical Regional Partners fund her work on behalf of families, congregations and organizations of the ELCA.
Congregations and members may contact her at or 803-413-7827 to schedule an appointment for her to come walk you through the process.

Mitzie Schafer, Deacon

Deacon Mitzie Schafer has accepted a call from Churchwide as the new Regional Gift Planner for the Carolinas for the ELCA Foundation. Mitzie comes to us with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Art in Religion from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Mitzie’s first call was shared with her husband, Rev. Jason Schafer, as mission developers for Crossroads Lutheran in Indian Land, SC. She served in development for Lutheran Family Services of the Carolinas, now Lutheran Services Carolinas. Most recently, Mitzie served the last seven years under call from the SC Synod at Epworth Children’s Home in development and as the Executive Vice President. Mitzie lives in Prosperity, SC with her husband and two children.

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