Creative Giving

The success of the Greater Things Campaign depends upon each of us giving over and above what we normally do.  You may ask yourself, “How do I give more?”  Well, the best way to increase your giving is a spiritual path, where you set your heart on what God wants instead of your own desires.  If focus changes from your own desires to His,financial priorities quickly begin to shape from your spiritual priorities.  This is “Lifestyle Giving” and its challenge is finding ways to let your giving touch your living.
In 2 Samuel 24:24, David said, “I will not offer to God that which costs me nothing.”  He understood the gift that would touch the heart of God must first touch the heart and life of the giver.  This is the spirit behind Lifestyle Giving, “If it is for my God, my gift must have meaning and value to me!”
Often, Lifestyle Giving means giving up something in one area so that you can give more of yourself in another.  Three keys to effective Lifestyle Giving: reassess lifestyle, rearrange priorities and reallocate resources.
The following is a list of ideas you can use to creatively give to the Greater Things Campaign and begin the journey of Lifestyle Giving.
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Appreciated Stock |
When you donate stock, either public or private, you can avoid the capital gains tax.  Example: Stock that cost you $1,000 is now valued at $5,000.  By donating this stock to your church, you avoid paying any capital gains tax on the $4,000 that would have been a gain if you sold the stock outright.  In addition, if you have held the stock for more than one year, you will receive a charitable tax deduction for the full value of the stock donated which is $5,000.
Appreciated Property |
You can donate to the church vacant land, which you have inherited or purchased or a vacation house.  If you have owned the property for more than one year, by donating it to the church, you would receive a tax deduction for the full fair market value of the property.
You can donate a rental house to the church.  Example: You may have a rental house that you have owned and rented for the last 20 years, thus depreciating it to a very low tax basis.  If you were to sell it, you may pay substantial capital gains tax.  By donating it to the church you will both avoid the capital gains tax and receive a tax deduction for the fair market value of the house you donated.
Contribution From Your IRA |
If you are over 70 1/2, you can give a portion of your IRA to your church, and not have to pay income tax on the portion you withdraw.  If you do not need these funds to live on, this could be an excellent way to bless the ministry of your church or give to its stewardship campaign.  There are several tax advantages to this kind of gift

Charitable Remainder Trust |

You can establish a charitable remainder trust with stock or real estate.  This special type of trust allows you to receive lifetime income and make a significant gift to your church and its stewardship campaign.  There are significant tax advantages to this type of trust and careful planning is needed.  For assistance in this type of giving contact Willowbrook Church.

Increase Giving With Increased Fixed Income |

Many retired individuals depend on fixed income investments for their income.  In periods of fluctuating interest rates, obtaining a reliable safe income is a challenge.  One alternative is a Charitable Gift Annuity, from which a gift can be made to the stewardship campaign of your church.

Charitable Gift Annuities offer generous guaranteed lifetime payments at a level much higher than Certificates of Deposit and other secure investments.  In addition, a portion of each payment is tax-free and Charitable Gift Annuities offer charitable income tax deductions as well.  At death, the remaining balance in the Charitable Gift Annuity is distributed to the ministries of your choice.

Increase Giving With Increased Income |

Some people receive periodic increases in salary or bonuses from their employers.  The temptation for many of us is to increase our lifestyle to fit the higher income.  In many instances, families have decided that they will commit the full amount of salary increases.

Commit Unexpected Cash |

Often, people ask God to show them a way they can give beyond what they can presently see or afford.  Sometimes, the answers come unexpectedly.  A couple in Alabama had been praying for weeks about their commitment to the church stewardship campaign. Much to their surprise, they received an inheritance of several thousand dollars.  They gave the entire amount to their church as part of their three-year commitment, along with a commitment from their regular income.

Give From Your Excess |

A young man decided that two collector’s baseball cards worth over $20,000 he had been holding a number of years would be the most appropriate means of touching sacrifice for his family.  Some families save money over a period of years for a special project.  A couple in Louisiana had saved $80,000 to build a lake cabin.  When their church entered a stewardship campaign, they decided the needs of the church were greater than their need for a second home.

Redirect Present Expenditures |

Often, families have significant short-term expenditures for special needs.  One example is the large expenditure a family incurs for a child to attend college.  A family in Georgia realized that their daughters would be graduating from college during the three years of the stewardship campaign and, as a result, they were able to increase their commitment to the second and third years of the campaign by thousands of dollars by giving what they had been spending on their daughters. Another example would be the cash flow that is freed up when a loan is paid.

Practice Priority Budgeting |

Many families will choose to rearrange their priorities and give up something in order to give more to a stewardship campaign.  Priority budgeting may mean postponing a planned expenditure such as a new car, vacation, home remodeling, or other major purchases.  Many Christians giving to stewardship campaigns find a way to give through sacrificial commitments made in faith and coupled with priority budgeting.

In reviewing these suggested ways to give please be reminded that as a general rule, a gift of appreciated property (long-term capital gain property) is deductible up to 30% of your adjusted gross income, and a gift of cash is deductible up to 50% of your adjusted gross income, with a five-year carryover for any “excess.”  In all cases, please consult your tax advisor regarding the tax, financial, and practical implications.