Ways to Give
Cash & Checks
Cash and checks are the most common way donations are received by the church. The church is required by the I.R.S. to produce statements for all donors who give any single gift of $250 or more. If a gift is less than $250, the donor's written records and/or canceled check are sufficient proof and the I.R.S. does not require written confirmation from the church. (Multiple gifts received by the church on the same day are considered to be one gift by the I.R.S., and if those gifts total $250 or more, the church is required to send the donor a confirmation.)
Because some donors wish to have confirmation of all of their gifts, it is important that you use a church envelope when you give and fill in your contact information. Any gifts received by the church in these giving envelopes will be tracked and a statement produced by the church for the donor. Giving statements will be produced and sent to donors in January of every year for the previous tax year.
Stock & Mutual Funds
It is possible to transfer stocks and mutual funds directly to the church. If this is done with securities that have been held for more than one year, the donor will be able to deduct the full fair market value of the securities and avoid paying any capital gain tax. If, however, the securities are sold first and then the proceeds are given to the church, the donor will still have to pay capital gain taxes to the I.R.S. A little planning in this area can help you take full advantage of the tax benefits allowed by the government. Please call us for more details before you put any transfer in motion.
In general, gifts of real estate have the same tax benefits as giving appreciated securities. If the property has been held for more than one year, the donor can typically take an income tax deduction for the full fair market value and avoid capital gain tax on the appreciated portion of the property. It is also possible that other benefits can include savings in estate taxes and avoiding probate. Please contact us to discuss this further.
Every year the church is given books, office furniture, computes, automobiles, and more. We gratefully accept all gifts-in-kind that we can truly use, or we try to direct donors to other ministries that have specific needs. Gifts-in-kind can be a little more complicated due to I.R.S. regulations, but we will be happy to help you with the process. Please arrange all gifts-in-kind with the business office before dropping off any tangible property.
Although it is seldom considered, life insurance policies can be given to non-profit organizations. If the original purpose for a life insurance policy no longer exists, a donor must make the church the owner and beneficiary of the policy to receive a tax deduction. The deduction can be taken immediately and the amount of the contribution is typically the replacement value or cost basis of the policy. Please call to discuss additional details.
Charitable gift annuities can be set up where the donor receives an immediate tax deduction on irrevocable gifts to the church, but will also receive fixed income payments from their gift for the rest of their life. A charitable gift annuity is complicated but we would be happy to discuss the details with you if this is something you would like to consider.
Wills & Bequests
A charitable gift can be given to the church through your will or other estate plans. Such a gift can be very helpful in avoiding estate taxes and can allow the deceased to give specific directions on how their estates is to be divided. If you choose to include the church in your will or estate plan, please let your attorney know the church's name and address. Further, please communicate to your attorney that the church is a 501(c )(3) organization incorporated in the state of California, and give them our tax identification number. If you have already included the church in your will, please let us know so that we can say "thank you." Don't forget that qualified retirement plans will be considered part of your estate at death, but if handled correctly they can also be deductible from the estate as charitable gifts.
Many businesses allow their employees to make donations to charitable organizations through payroll deductions, and they will often match the gift dollar for dollar. Inquire with your company's Human Resources, Matching Gift, or payroll department to see if this is possible. The church is recognized by the I.R.S. as a tax-exempt organization under section 501 (c)(3) and many people already give to the church through matching gift programs.
Year End Deadlines
Because all gifts to the church are subject to I.R.S. deadlines, please remember the following when you give at year-end. All gifts must be received by the church before midnight on December 31, or must be postmarked before the end of December, to be deducted in the present tax year.
Any gifts received after December 31 and not postmarked in December will be included in the next tax year. The date written on a check will not determine in which tax year a gift is included. Only the actual date of receipt by the church or the postmark will establish the correct tax year for the I.R.S.
Many of the ways to give mentioned above can be very effective if utilized correctly. Although the staff of the church's business office is ready to help with these gifts, they are unable to give advice on what is best for your situation. Please consult your CPA, financial planner, or tax attorney to get advice tailored to your financial situation before putting one of these gifts in motion. Unless otherwise designated, all gifts received by the church are unconditional and without personal benefit to the donor.