It’s December – the time of year when we think about giving. For most of us that is a fun, joyful, even suspense-filled experience. I remember as a kid picking out or making special gifts for each family member. One year I wrapped each gift separately and then put them all in a big box and wrapped it. The thrill of everyone in the family guessing what the big gift might be, and then the joy of watching them open it, was a bigger gift to me than the presents I received. Giving creatively brings a special joy.
It is with this heart that we want to make you aware of some special options you can employ in your giving this December, or anytime. We trust that your giving springs from your love for the Father of the greatest Gift, and we hope these creative ideas help multiply your joy.
A Simple Switch
Here’s a creative switch you can make that automatically increases your giving by 3.5%. If you are currently giving by credit card, consider switching to an electronic fund transfer (EFT). It actually increases your gift toward kingdom work by more than the 3.5% that the credit card companies take because it saves our finance department lots of processing time. It may seem like a small change, but it represents a bit more than a cost of living increase for your global worker.
There’s another creative idea – give your global worker a “raise.” Most of us start supporting a global mission worker and ten years later are still supporting them at the same level. Increasing your monthly contribution by 2-3% will match the anticipated cost-of-living increase for 2021. Again, it may seem like a small thing, but one that would bring a smile to the face of your worker, affirming them in their work.
Giving from an IRA
Here’s an idea for seniors who are required to take minimum distributions from their IRA. If this applies to you, you can make gifts directly from your IRA to the organization of your choice. Making charitable gifts this way can be a good plan of stewardship, because it reduces your taxable income, but not in the traditional way. Instead, the giver simply avoids paying federal income tax on the distribution from their IRA. You’ll want to check your state law to verify whether or not your state income tax is also avoided.
Big Box Ideas
Giving stocks is another creative way to advance kingdom work. When one has a financially successful year in the stock market, it can bring special joy to pass some of that on to an individual mission worker, a project, or simply “where most needed.” If this is something you want to do, call our finance department. It’s a simple process and they are happy to assist you.
For some, the real joy comes by doing something more out-of-the-box, namely giving non-cash assets. Examples of that would be contributing part of a business, property, artwork, jewelry, or antiques. This can get complicated which is why former One Challenge board member, Jeff Jensen, put together a team of volunteers to help folks navigate such donations. It’s called the One Challenge Advisory Council. They exist to help donors fulfill their kingdom philanthropy goals with optimal asset management and great joy.
Planning for Future Giving
For most of us, our greatest contribution to God’s kingdom work on earth will happen when we pass. This, of course, requires estate planning. With the right will or trust, you have an opportunity to bless each of your surviving loved ones according to their needs and abilities while also continuing the work of God’s mission. What an amazingly creative way to keep supporting the people and projects important to you, even after you have graduated to heaven.
For years One Challenge has found PhilanthroCorp’s experienced team to be a trusted advisor in such matters and offer their services to you at no cost.
If your desire is to set up a Charitable Gift Annuity, then we recommend Orchard Alliance, with whom we also work and share common values. They can help you beginning with a free consulting session to discover what your financial goals are and how best to achieve them.
If you have a non-cash asset that you want to donate and need professional consultation, OC’s Advisory Council would be happy to assist you free of charge.
Here is an Estate Planning Support Options chart to help you determine which of these three free services will best serve you.
As you move into the holidays and the season of giving, we wish you great joy in your generosity.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. You shouldn’t give if you don’t want to. You shouldn’t give because you are forced to. God loves a cheerful giver.”
II Cor 9:7 (NIRV)