Jeremiah 29:11 –“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We hope you have a better idea about the subject of planned giving from the previous five weeks and also about ways you can participate in it at St. George’s. You have no doubt realized that “one size doesn’t fit all” when it comes to planned giving. We have just scratched the surface of some of these topics, particularly with last week’s life income gifts or the donation of long term assets directly to the church.
What matters in the end is how your financial picture can improve at the same time the church benefits. Some churches such as St. Paul’s Episcopal in Richmond have a long history of planned gifts from which they are benefiting.
Our planned gifts history has been spotty: We can do better. Gifts for our trusts and funds are requested only in Lent and Advent. I remember only one charitable annuity. We have at least eight people who have named St. George’s in their wills. The most significant gift was over $500,000, which brought the Endowment Fund to life and is the basis for the gifts it makes yearly for church projects.
Please consider the vast range of possibilities and then come forward and make a gift yourself. We can definitely do better. In any case, the next step is yours, with some examples from this series:
- Consider a gift this Easter for the Memorial Trust Fund or Endowment Fund. There are no minimum amounts. Anyone can do this. The donation will live on beyond this Easter or next.
- If you don’t have a will, consult an attorney in 2017 and make one. If you have one, have you reviewed it recently for provisions that need changing? Please consider adding a gift to St. George’s in your will.
- Do you have any appreciated stock? You may have thought about selling it since it has done well. Consider donating it to St. George’s in the name of the Memorial Trust Fund or Endowment Fund, and let the church sell it for you, giving you a deductible contribution for the value of the appreciated stock on the day of donation and saving you capital gains tax as well.
- Similar advice is for other long term assets. Consider making a listing of your long term assets to see how they could be made to work better for you.
- Are you needing additional income? Transfer assets to Charitable Annuity or trust. You will still have them but gain a tax deduction on the year of donation, income over a number of years with the residual passed on to St. George’s. Planned Giving for all parties in one stop!
- Do you have a charitable IRA and are 70.5 or approaching that age? Do you need the “required minimum distribution” (RMD)? If not, have your IRA holder transfer the RMD to us and avoid the tax impact!
In any case, I would definitely talk to your accountant, financial planner or attorney for additional suggestions on how planned giving can benefit your financial situation as well as the church. If you need names of professionals, please contact me for some suggestions without any endorsements.
I am ending these articles with a question for you – “Were these articles helpful? Are you more likely to make that planned gift? Do you have questions you would like an answer? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.