Fourth Century Fund

Please Join the New “Fourth Century Fund”

A Planned Giving Initiative that will help First Parish earn Matching Funds for Accessibility, Safety & Other Capital Improvements

The Parish Board is supporting the launch of our “Fourth Century Fund” to encourage planned giving and take advantage of a one-time matching grant program through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) headquartered here in Boston.

Have you considered including a gift to First Parish in your will? Have you already done so? Now is the time to do it! Through the UUA’s Wake Now Our Vision Program, the UUA will immediately match up to 10% of any planned giving, using a one-time grant program designed to encourage parishioners all over the country to include planned legacy giving to congregations and UU organizations in their wills and other financial plans. Your decision to provide support to First Parish after your death will result in an immediate donation now to First Parish. This matching gift will be earmarked for projects that will improve building accessibility and safety here at First Parish.

In order to take advantage of this opportunity, we need to act quickly. The administrator for the fund at the UUA anticipates that all of the matching grant money will have been spent by the end of 2018. So if you have been thinking of including First Parish as a beneficiary in your will or naming First Parish as a beneficiary of a policy or retirement fund, now is a great time to act!  In order to participate in the match you will need to download and complete a short two-page application, and also provide a copy of the page of your will or other paperwork that documents your gift. The form is available on the UUA website at

If you decide to participate, it will be helpful if you let us know – and, of course, we have no need to know any specifics of your planned giving.

If you have already named First Parish in your will, you may still be able to participate and bring matching funds to First Parish. Please talk to us!

Thank you for considering joining the Fourth Century Planned Giving Program.

Questions?  Contact Karla Baehr, Margie Beal or Charles Sandmel at .

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How will the money I leave to First Parish be used, and how will the matching funds be used?

    Your legacy gift to First Parish will go to our endowment, for the support of salaries, programs and the building, as voted by the congregation when it adopts an annual budget and endowment draw every year. The 10% match will be designated for capital improvements including making our building and grounds more accessible for people with disabilities and safer for all.

  • What if I don’t have much money? Is there a minimum sized bequest in order to participate?

    No, there is no minimum gift in order to participate. Any sized bequest will result in an immediate donation of 10% of the value of your legacy gift to First Parish up to $10,000. No match from the UUA will be less than $1,000.

  • Where is the UUA getting the money for this matching grant program? If they have this much money, why are we paying UUA a fee every year in order for our congregation to belong?

    The UUA is calling this one-time program Wake Now Our Vision. The source of the matching funds is the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, Long Island. Shelter Rock has – for many years – given major gifts to the UUA and through the UUA to other UU organizations. This is their biggest grant yet!  Through it, they hope to encourage legacy giving throughout the UU denomination.

  • What are the other UUA organizations that are eligible to receive funds under this program?

    There are six UU organizations cosponsoring this effort. They are: Starr School for the Ministry, Mead Lombard Theological School; Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Church of the Larger Fellowship and the UUA itself. You can chose to name one or more of these organizations as a beneficiary, along with First Parish, in which case the matching funds will be shared by the groups you have named as beneficiaries.

  • But I have no idea how much money I will have in the future! How can the UUA and Shelter Rock give 10% of an unknown amount?

    You also don’t need to know how much money you will have in the future in order for the match to take place.  Shelter Rock and the UUA have a procedure for making a good faith estimate.

  • My spouse/partner and I are leaving the bulk of our money to each other, so that the one of us who lives longest will be provided for. Can we participate?

    Yes, you can participate; your will can be written so that the funds designated for First Parish are kept for the use of a surviving partner and then go to FPB after both of you have died.

  • What if I/we have already named FPB in our wills?

    If your planned gift was included in a will or you named First Parish as a beneficiary since January 1st, 2017, you can complete the program paperwork and your donation will be matched. If your will was written before then, but you have not yet informed First Parish of your plans, you can also participate. The only people who can’t participate are those who have informed the church in writing that they have left money to the church via wills and documentation of beneficiaries written before 2017.

  • How long will this program last? I’m not sure about other changes I may need to make to my will.

    About 60% of the matching funds have been used, and the program administrator anticipates the matching gift program will be over around the end of 2018. So please act soon if you would like to participate.

For Further Information:

More information – and the form for downloading - are available directly from the UUA at

On September 30, we will have information available at Planned Giving table at the Engagement Faire after the Sunday service.

But please don’t wait until September 30 if you would like to talk to someone or ask questions about this program! Please contact Karla Baehr, Margie Beal or Charles Sandmel at

Thank you for considering contributing to the Fourth Century Fund at First Parish!