United Methodist Women's Legacy

First Annual 'A Day of Giving' Celebrates 150th

First Annual 'A Day of Giving' Celebrates 150th
A gift to The Legacy Fund is an investment in United Methodist Women's future.

United Methodist Women members mobilized in every conference using the Internet, toll-free calls, smartphone mobile giving, mailed-in checks and pledges to participate in the organization's first annual "A Day of Giving" on March 23. The effort is a part of United Methodist Women's five-year celebration of its 150th anniversary in 2019 by strengthening and passing on its legacy of mission.

Social media played a significant role in promoting A Day of Giving with March 23 Facebook posts reaching more than 40,000 with 2,500 "likes and shares," and United Methodist Women's website getting 6,800 "hits" on that day. United Methodist Women's website received more than 15,000 "hits" from March 22 to March 25.

A Day of Giving gifts totaled nearly $100,000 with more than 60 percent of the $83,056.67 received given online and another $11,314 in pledged gifts given by phone and mail.

And gifts are still arriving daily.

"I couldn't be more thrilled with the groundswell that this has started," said Martha Sherman Knight, treasurer of United Methodist Women. "Online giving tripled in the month of March even before we reached the actual Day of Giving."

Ms. Knight said because of Day of Giving preparations, United Methodist Women is now set up online for recurring gifts, gifts in honor of a special person and for members' gifts to be credited to their respective districts and conferences.

A Day of Giving also opened new lines of communications with United Methodist Women members, Ms. Knight said.

"I received a call from a member who said, 'I didn't get the A Day of Giving announcement postcard, but my friend did, and she told me about the event. You must not have my information.' She gave her gift over the phone, updated us with her new mailing and e-mail addresses, and she also renewed her subscription to response."

Another caller told a story about the rug that was in the parlor of Tremont Methodist Church in Boston, Massachusetts, when United Methodist Women foremothers met there to organize for mission March 23, 1869. "The caller said, 'They might want to know that I'm caring for this rug,' " Ms. Knight said.

A Day of Giving and other 150th anniversary gifts are designated for The Legacy Fund, a forward-looking permanent endowment to undergird future generations of United Methodist Women as they engage in mission with the women, children and youth of their day.

The Legacy Fund's income will ensure a regular source of support for the core expenses of being in mission. It will provide for administration of United Methodist Women's grants, scholarships, mission personnel, membership nurture, leadership development and technological updates of data and communications operating systems. The Legacy Fund's provision for such expenses will free future generations of United Methodist Women to raise and budget their Mission Giving dollars in different ways that enable them to connect even more directly with women, children and youth.

Throughout the five-year 150th anniversary celebration, every member of United Methodist Women is invited to contribute to The Legacy Fund. While any amount is welcome, members are asked to consider commemorating the year United Methodist Women foremothers first organized for mission with gifts in increments of 1869—$18.69, $186.90, $1,869, etc., or honoring United Methodist Women's years of service with gifts in increments of 150—$15, $150, $1,500. Members are also invited to name United Methodist Women's Legacy Fund in their will or as a beneficiary of an insurance policy or pension.

Yvette Moore is interim director of communications for United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 4/5/2015 11:00:00 PM

Give to The Legacy Fund:

  • Online at unitedmethodistwomen.org/legacyfund.
  • By phone: 800-278-7771

    (8 am-6pm EST, Monday-Friday)
  • Text Legacy150 to 41444.
  • By check to: Office of the Treasurer, United Methodist Women

    15th Floor
    475 Riverside Drive

    New York, NY 10115

    Write "The Legacy Fund" in the memo section.
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March 23, 1869, eight women gathered at Tremont Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts, to organize for mission focused on the needs of women and children. They started the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, a predecessor organization of United Methodist Women, and through it raised money to send a woman doctor, Clara Swain, and a woman teacher, Isabella Thoburn, to India as missionaries to serve the women and girls of that nation. A Day of Giving and the 150th anniversary will help today's United Methodist Women pass on this mission legacy to another generation of women answering Christ's call to organize for mission with women, children and youth, who are still among the most vulnerable, "the least of these" in every society.

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