Planned Giving

First Church members and friends are invited to become a part of our Foundation for our Fifth Century by establishing a planned gift to First Church. A planned gift is arranged during the donor’s lifetime, but not received by the Church until the donor’s death. For many members and friends of First Church, a planned gift is a powerful way to make a lasting gift. A planned gift may also result in advantaged tax treatment for donors:

  • A bequest is deductible for federal estate tax purposes and there is no limit on the amount of the charitable estate tax deduction.
  • There are no income taxes on IRA or retirement plan assets left directly to First Church.
  • Massachusetts estate tax is not levied on charitable bequests. In general, charitable bequests are not subject to state inheritance or estate taxes.

Please let us know about your future gift by completing our Planned Giving form.

Planned Giving Form

Ways to Give

Beneficiary Gifts

A simple way to make a planned gift is to designate First Church as one of the beneficiaries of a retirement account (such as an IRA, 401(k) or 403(b)), a life insurance policy, or a donor advised fund.


You may make a bequest by including language in your will or living trust designating that a portion of your estate be directed to First Church.


There are other possibilities, such as establishing a Charitable Remainder Trust. Please let us know what you have in mind so that we can work with you to set it up.

Designating your gift

Gifts are allocated according to church policy, by vote of the congregation, honoring donor intentions.

Unrestricted gifts

Gifts given without restrictions offer the congregation the greatest flexibility to respond to needs for ministry. Depending on the gift, either the Treasurer, Executive Council, or the congregation will decide what is best for the use or investment of the gift.

Restricted gifts

These gifts will be spent for the purpose indicated by the donor.

fifth century fund gifts

The Fifth Century Fund was established in 2020 to support the ministry and mission of First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, UCC. The Fund is invested according to the Church’s investment policy. Annual expenditures are made according to the Church’s spending policy, currently 4% of the average balance of the Fund. Expenditures in excess of this amount may only be made by vote of the congregation.

Endowment Gifts

Endowment gifts are legally and permanently restricted and may be disbursed only according to state law, either for general church purposes or for restricted purposes as specified by the donor. The original gift may never be spent.


What happens if I give an unrestricted gift?

  • Gifts of less than $1,000 are added to our Memorial Fund.
  • The allocation of gifts of $1,000 – $5,000 is decided by the Treasurers.
  • The allocation of gifts of $5,000 – $40,000 is determined by the Executive Council.
  • Gifts of over $40,000 are allocated by vote of the congregation.

What are the types of beneficiaries?

  • Primary Beneficiaries – one or more beneficiaries who will inherit according to the percentages established by the owner of the account.
  • Secondary or Contingent Beneficiaries will inherit only if the primary beneficiary is unable or unwilling to do so.

How do I name FCC as a partial beneficiary of an IRA?

  • Your IRA requires that you list one or more beneficiaries who will inherit the IRA upon your death, and to indicate the percentage of the account to be received by each beneficiary. You can list First Church as one of these beneficiaries by listing its legal name, address, and tax ID.
  • First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, UCC  11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138  Tax ID: 04-2104074

What if I have already Set up a donor advised fund?

  • Your DAF includes designation of one or more “successor trustees.” This can be a friend or family member who will then recommend grants according to your instructions, which could include First Church. Or you may name First Church as a successor Trustee.

What if I’ve inherited an IRA?

  • Inherited IRAs are governed by specific rules, which may require distributions beginning the year following the original owner’s death. A distribution directly to First Church from the IRA can provide tax savings.

For more information on naming First Church as a beneficiary or including bequest language in your will or living trust, or if you would like to talk with someone about your gift, please email