Gift and Estate Planning:
Stewardship in Action

In Matthew 25, Christ teaches his disciples an important lesson about stewardship. He tells them the story of a master who, before leaving on a journey, entrusted each of his servants with a certain amount of money, or talents. Upon his return, he asked them to account for what they had done with the sums given to them. Those who had invested the talents wisely were rewarded with more responsibility. But the one who did not, the one who held onto the talent and didn’t let it bear fruit, was stripped of his responsibility.

Through that parable, Jesus helps us see that the question for his disciples is not how much we’ve been entrusted with, but rather what we do with what we’ve been given. That’s Christian stewardship. It is the careful and responsible management of the financial resources God has entrusted to us. We are all called to use what God has given us prudently and faithfully, providing for our own needs, while at the same time, helping build up his kingdom in the world. When you make a planned gift to Franciscan University you are exercising faithful Christian stewardship. You are giving back to God, using your resources to bring glory and honor to Him.

What is Gift Planning?

Gift planning means choosing ways to give to Franciscan University that help you meet both your financial and charitable goals. We can work with you and your financial advisor to help you find ways to give that will allow you to earn income, pay fewer taxes, and get more from your estate. Planned gifts are a wonderful way to help others while helping oneself. With thoughtful planning, we all have the power to make a substantial difference. That’s what effective gift planning is all about.

Why Franciscan?

The number one reason people provide financial support to Franciscan University is they believe in what we do and want to help us fulfill our mission—educating the next generation of faithful Catholic leaders according to the mind and heart of the Church.

When you include Franciscan University in your estate, you declare to your family and friends that you believe in and care about our mission. Your planned gift becomes a clear declaration of your Christian faith. It also is a direct investment in the future of those who will dedicate their lives to serving the Church and building a culture of life in the world

What, Where, and How to Give

The best way to achieve your goals is to contact Franciscan University and begin a conversation with us. The possibilities and means used to make a gift are best considered in a dialogue that helps you to decide what you really want and lets you know what your options are for making that happen.

Once you’ve decided this, the next step may be visiting a trustworthy attorney or accountant to receive their input. It is important to have professional advice from someone who knows your finances, assets, and income; possesses expertise in the area of taxes and/or estate planning; and has a legal responsibility to look out for your best interests. Franciscan University’s Gift Planning Office can be in contact with you and your professional advisor to assist in the process of planning and completing your gift.

What You Can Expect From Our Gift Planner

Sometimes a gift to Franciscan University requires a good bit of conversation. A donor may face questions and concerns about how to do this. These conversations are confidential.

To help with the gift-planning process, Franciscan University provides a planned giving director who is available to assist you. What can you expect from him?

  • He will honor your confidences, respect your privacy, and follow your wishes.
  • He will provide information about gift opportunities available to you based on your preferences. He can also provide tailor-made illustrations showing how you’ll benefit from a particular planned gift.
  • He will be in touch with your advisors if and when you desire it. He’ll be able to discuss and explain the gift with your advisors, as well as give them any required information they need about Franciscan University. This can save time and expense.
  • Once your gift is made, he will maintain contact with you to ensure you are informed about the results of your gift. He will keep you in touch with Franciscan University.
  • There also are some things he will not do. Namely, he will not pressure you to make a gift to Franciscan University. Nor will he attempt to be your legal or financial counselor. In fact, he will urge you to get advice from your own attorney or accountant before you make your gift.

Contact Us

We greatly appreciate our generous friends and alumni who carefully plan their gifts. If you would like more information, ideas, or help with this process, please call Paul T. Bernetsky, Director for Leadership and Planned Giving, at 740-284-5845 or email him at


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Legal Disclaimer

The materials provided on this Web site are for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal or tax advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your own tax or estate planning advisor, preferably an attorney or certified public accountant, before making any substantial gift.

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