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Giving to First Church

Giving is an act of faith. Neuroscience has proven that practicing generosity, including habitual giving, makes us happier than keeping all of our money for ourselves. Sounds a bit cheeky coming from a church—but we believe it, because we have seen generosity’s soul-magic work wonders in our lives. We “plant” our treasure in a community garden (so to speak), and watch it yield more than it ever would in our private plot. What Jesus said is true: “where your heart is, there will your treasure be also.” [Matthew 6:21] 

Your financial giving to First Church Berkeley is what provides the vital revenue needed for the operation and maintenance of our buildings, paying our staff, and funding the important work of our ministries. Your gifts help further the mission and values of First Church Berkeley. And if you’d like to learn more about how we spend our money, and understand more about our sources of giving and financial health, read through our Annual Report. All of our budget information is publicly available. Your support of First Church Berkeley, whether through your financial support, participating in worship, volunteering, being active in our ministries, and keeping the congregation and wider community in your prayers – is deeply needed and appreciated. Thank you!

Ways to Give

There are many ways to make a financial gift to First Church Berkeley! Please consider becoming a Sustaining Giver to First Church Berkeley to help with the church’s ongoing operations and ministries, as well as remembering First Church Berkeley in your estate planning, through Planned Giving to the First Church Berkeley Legacy Circle. 

Become a Sustaining Giver to First Church Berkeley

Your sustaining (on-going) giving to First Church Berkeley provides vital revenue to support the church’s annual operating budget. Sustaining gifts large and small are always welcome! Learn more about Sustaining Giving at First Church Berkeley here. You can make a sustaining gift to First Church Berkeley at any time in the year through a number of ways:

Set up Automatic Giving through Realm Database

Requires signup – contact Kit Dunbar, Church Business Manager, at kdunbar@fccb.org

First Church Berkeley
2345 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Make a one-time gift to First Church Berkeley

If you’d like to give a one-time gift to support our work on behalf of the Kin-dom of God, please use the links on this page to give through Realm or PayPal. You can also mail checks or money orders to First Church Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley CA 94704. We appreciate your support!

Donate Stock or other Securities

Donating securities is a wonderful way to make a charitable gift to First Church Berkeley. The process is simple with the following information:

BrokerMorgan Stanley
AttnEgan Brown
Email AddressEgan.Brown@morganstanley.com
Account NameFirst Congregational Church of Berkeley
Account Number:  030-129580-244
OTC#0015
Phone510-891-5215

Please contact First Church Berkeley’s Business Manager, Kit Dunbar, at 510-225-6814 or kdunbar@fccb.org to notify the church about what stock(s) you are donating (name and number of shares), and how the stocks should be applied, and so we may credit and thank you for your contribution! Your securities will be transferred to Egan Brown, First Church Berkeley’s designated broker. We will sell the stocks upon receipt. You will receive a letter from the First Church Berkeley Business Manager detailing your gift for tax purposes. Please contact Kit Dunbar if you have questions.

Become a member of First Church Berkeley’s Legacy Circle through your planned giving

You can make a planned gift (sometimes called a “deferred gift”) to First Church Berkeley through your will or trust, retirement funds, life income gifts (e.g. gift annuities that provide the donor with income during their life and after their death provide remaining principal of the gift to the church), and certain life insurance policy arrangements. Planned gifts are almost always funded from accumulated resources or assets rather than income, and are typically planned for during the donor’s lifetime but not actually received until after the donor’s death. Planned giving enables individuals to make sound financial plans that take into their own needs and those of family, as well as commitments to church and charities. By including First Congregational Church of Berkeley in your planned giving, and by completing the Legacy Circle Form, you become a member of the church’s Legacy Circle and help contribute to the financial sustainability of this important faith institution for generations to come! Learn more about planned giving and the Legacy Circle by reading the Legacy Giving FAQ. Planned gifts are added to First Church Berkeley’s endowment which is prudently invested and managed by the church’s Endowment and Investment Committees. Learn more about the endowment in the church’s Annual Report.

The Legacy Circle supports these types of legacy gifts, including:

  • Bequests to First Church Berkeley in your will or revocable trust.
  • Designating First Church Berkeley as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or other retirement account.
  • Designating First Church Berkeley as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy.
  • Charitable Gift Annuities
  • Pooled Income Fund Gifts
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Donations of marketable Real Estate

Learn more about Planned Giving and the First Church Berkeley Legacy Circle by reading the Legacy Giving FAQ.

Submit information about your planned giving to First Church Berkeley:

Learn more about the planned giving programs of United Church Funds (UCF), the leading provider of investment management and planned giving services to the United Church of Christ churches and ministries. For more information on setting up a Charitable Gift Annuity, Pooled Income Fund gift, or Charitable Remainder Trusts, visit https://ucfunds.org/planned-giving/.

Stewardship Educational Resources

Just as we don’t view stewardship as a “once a year” thing, like only thinking about “annual pledging to the operating budget,” First Church Berkeley considers stewardship a year-round faith-inspired activity which will ensure the long-term sustainability of this important faith institution in Berkeley and the broader community. Likewise, our church’s stewardship program includes an emphasis on continual congregational engagement and education. We try to hold 2-3 workshops per year on a variety of topics, including financial management, wills and bequests, and planned giving. Previous workshop materials and upcoming opportunities are shown below.

“Last Wishes Workshops”

You can participate in any of the workshops, or all three. Free of charge. Please RSVP to Louise Halsey at lhalsey@fccb.org to secure your space in the workshops. Go to https://www.firstchurchberkeley.org/last-wishes-workshop/ for more information.

Saturday May 30, 10-11:30am: Funeral & Memorial Service Planning
Louise Specht, Rev. Molly Baskette and Derek Tam

Clarify your wishes and hopes for the kind of service you would like to be remembered in. We’ll sing hymns, talk about location, participation, prayers, rituals and more, and will keep a completed copy of your plans on file in the church archives for the (hopefully far-off) day when we will need them to fulfill your wishes. 

Saturday June 13, 10-11:30am: Wills, Trusts and Legacy Giving
Nick Kukulan, co-Chair, Stewardship, Finance & Administration Ministry  and Rev. Andy DeBraber, Major Gifts Officer, United Church of Christ

Explore the world of wills, trusts and legacy giving to your church or any other community/agency you would like to support after your death. Find out the mechanisms so you can finally do these important tasks you have possibly been putting off for years. Parents and young adults most welcome!