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Resources for Processing IRA Charitable Distributions – Encouraging Word – July 2018

Resources for Processing IRA Charitable Distributions

WELS members looking to authorize a gift to the Lord’s work through their IRAs, and congregations needing a template to acknowledge an IRA qualified charitable distribution, can find these resources at wels.net/qcd. The page also shares articles for promoting this giving opportunity.

Anybody 70.5 years or older can transfer up to $100,000 per year to charity free from federal and potentially state income tax. Those who don’t need the required minimum distributions from their IRA might consider directing those to ministry to save on taxes, then using the cash that would have gone to charity for other needs.

Contact your local WELS Christian giving counselor for free assistance.

Helpful Hint – Encouraging Word – July 2018

Teaching Stewardship to Children

Share this month’s planned giving article, “Ideas for Teaching Stewardship to Children” via your church newsletter, e-mail, or web site. The article contains practical ideas for teaching stewardship to children including modeling a generous lifestyle, managing money, donating, and volunteering. Most important, though, is regular time in God’s Word with our kids so that we have God’s power to redirect our focus from ourselves to others.

Helpful Hint – Encouraging Word – November 2017

Purposefully Promote Planned Giving

The purpose of a congregational planned giving program is to promote planned giving in the congregation—to educate, encourage, enlist, and excite members about using planned giving instruments to support the Lord’s work in their congregation, their synod, and other WELS organizations.

  • Educating means sharing the mission and vision of the congregation—and how members can support the mission and vision—through all available means of communication (printed, online, presentations).
  • Encouraging means providing ongoing communication, events, and programs to assist each member with realizing his/her charitable goals.
  • Enlisting means asking individuals to participate in helping support the mission of the congregation through current and deferred gifts.
  • Exciting means celebrating the “gift of giving” within the congregation.

The purpose of this manual is to help your congregation jump-start a program of promoting planned giving opportunities to members . . . May God bless your use of this resource for the benefit of the people you serve as they praise Jesus with offerings that help to spread his Word throughout the world!

Congregational Planned Giving Program. Waukesha: WELS Ministry of Christian Giving, 2015. Page 3.

Online Tools Personalize Gift Benefits – Encouraging Word – July 2017

Online Tools Personalize Gift Benefits

With the help of planned giving vendor PG Calc, WELS Foundation has updated its website with online tools to help users personalize the benefits of different giving options:

  • The Explore Gift Options tool walks the user through several questions to help them find the best gift for their personal situation.
  • The user can Run a Personalized Gift Illustration for a tailored diagram of any gift.
  • As a person navigates the WELS Foundation site and reads about certain gifts (for example, the charitable gift annuity) they can click to view a specific illustration for that type of gift and personalize the illustration to their situation.

As always, if somebody is interested in learning more or would like assistance with making a gift, WELS provides Christian giving counselors at no cost or obligation to help WELS members carry out their charitable goals.

WELS Foundation executive director Jim Holm hopes prospective donors find the tools useful. He says, “We want to make it as easy as possible for those supporting WELS ministry—their church, synod, or another WELS organization—to explore the options available.”

Helpful Hint – Encouraging Word – May 2017

Giving Opportunity Continues in 2017 and Beyond

The “qualified charitable distribution” was made permanent by the U.S. government as of 2016. This means the giving opportunity remains a beneficial option for WELS members in 2017 and beyond. Anyone 70.5 or older can make qualified charitable distributions from their IRA of up to $100,000 per year to their church, synod, and other WELS organizations without counting the distributions as income for federal tax purposes. If a member does not itemize income tax deductions, they might consider giving to their church via this method. Due to the tax savings, they could free up money for personal needs or to expand their giving.

Interested members can learn more from your congregation’s local WELS Christian giving counselor by calling him at 800-827-5482.

You can share this information by copying and pasting this article, or find other articles at our planned giving articles archive on WELS Cloud (login required) and sort by the topic “Qualified Charitable Distribution.”

Helpful Hint – Encouraging Word – March 2016

Celebrate Gifts!

“Some of the best publicity [encouragement] for planned giving is . . . actual gifts! Share when gifts are received or endowment distributions made—how much is going to help which ministries. Share joyful testimonials of members who have made gifts. Hold and share coverage of a ‘thank you’ event for those remembering your congregation in their estate plans or with planned gifts. Mention in an after-service announcement the ministry goals that could be achieved through a certain amount of gifts (this may tie in particularly well to certain church year seasons, e.g. End Times). ‘The service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God’ (2 Corinthians 9:12).”

Congregational Planned Giving Program. Waukesha: WELS Ministry of Christian Giving, 2015. Page 9.

Helpful Hint – Encouraging Word – November 2015

Illustrate Planned Giving with WELS Foundation’s Gift Guide

As you encourage stewardship among members, don’t forget to let them know about planned giving opportunities including estate planning and other options for supporting the Lord’s work and family while receiving tax benefits.

Direct people to WELS Foundation’s online Gift Guide either by providing the URL (http://giftguide.wels.net) or linking to it from your website. The gift guide provides an overview of options for supporting your church, regional WELS ministries, or the synod through a planned gift—and even lets people calculate benefits according to their personal situations.

Downloads

IRA Charitable Distributions

As of 2016 anybody 70.5 years or older has a new option for making gifts to the Lord’s work at church, a local WELS-affiliated ministry, and/or a WELS area of ministry: your IRA!

Typically IRA distributions are taxable, but, as of 2016, Congress made permanent the opportunity known as the IRA qualified charitable distribution where direct transfers from an IRA to charity are free from federal and potentially state income tax for anyone 70.5 or older. Consider directing IRA distributions to WELS to save on taxes, then using the cash you would have given for other needs.

Under the new law you and your spouse, assuming he or she is 70.5 years or older and has an IRA, may each make direct transfers of up to $100,000 per year to charity. Rather than being treated as taxable income, direct transfers to charity are wholly excluded for federal income tax purposes. These transfers do not generate a charitable deduction, but the relief from tax impact is often more advantageous. Consult your tax or financial advisor to determine the most appropriate gift assets for your situation.

Contact the investment firm that handles your IRA to request a direct transfer of IRA assets to a particular WELS ministry (download an authorization letter template below). To ensure that your IRA transfer is not taxable, the check must be made payable to the charity, not to you personally.

You can give to multiple WELS designations by directing your transfer to WELS Foundation. WELS Foundation will distribute funds to the ministries per your instructions and provide you with the proper acknowledgement.

If interested, talk to your financial planners and your local WELS Christian giving counselor to learn more.

Congregational Planned Giving Program

Our weekly offering at worship is not the only opportunity we have for giving to the Lord. We honor the Lord when planning for the transition of our accumulated wealth (our “estate”) at life’s end. There are also a variety of other opportunities that enable us to support the Lord’s work now (while at the same time receiving tax benefits). The Bible encourages planned giving—intentional, cheerful management of our blessings to care for family and to return a portion of our possessions to our Creator and Savior God.

The purpose of the congregational planned giving program is (Part I) to help your congregation jump-start a program of promoting planned giving opportunities to members. Part II shares an easy way to start a congregational endowment fund through WELS Foundation. Part III tells how to set up a congregational planned giving committee to provide further manpower for carrying out this work. Part IV discusses how to establish and administer an endowment fund. Finally, Part V highlights WELS organizations that can help you with any of these steps.