By Lee Walker | 3 of 4 in the Year-End Giving series
The Bible Center Church congregation is known for generosity. Through the years the Lord has enabled us to fund big projects (like building a hospital in the Amazon, providing a vehicle for a missionary in Bolivia, and developing an amazing campus on which to worship and serve) as well as “keeping the lights on” for ever-expanding ministries here in Charleston (like The Maker’s Center).
Sometimes that generosity comes from creatively developed resources. As you consider how best to give to the church in December this year, please be reminded there are powerful ways to give that don’t involve a checkbook or credit card. Here are some examples:
1. Real Estate
Gifts of real estate can be very generous. For example, last December former Charleston residents, now living in another state, donated a building to the church. The donors were able to claim a tax deduction for the full value of the property and the church was able to sell the building and realize $100,000 of income. Obviously, this was a great blessing and a significant contribution supporting the ministries of our church.
2. Stocks or Other Securities
Likewise, stocks or other securities can be contributed to the church sometimes providing significant tax advantages. If a stock has appreciated in value, you can claim the full current value of the stock as a charitable contribution but avoid paying any capital gains tax. Bible Center enjoys a relationship with a local broker (a member of the church) who handles the receiving and selling of the stocks at no (or minimum) cost.
For individuals over the age of 70 ½, did you know you can donate up to $100,000 from a qualified IRA without paying income tax on the withdrawal? This year there is no required minimum distribution (RMD), but even as that provision expires in 2021 a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) can satisfy the RMD requirement and still be tax-free. The contribution can come directly from the IRA to the church without being added to the donor’s income. For some, this could also mean fewer taxes paid on Social Security benefits.
4. Arrangements Involving a Beneficiary
Another opportunity exists with regard to any financial arrangement that involves a beneficiary. This would include retirement accounts such as an IRA, life insurance, annuities, and wills. You can name the church as a beneficiary, partial beneficiary or contingent beneficiary. Of course, the gift won’t be available to the church until sometime in the future. But this is a very efficient way to contribute since such gifts do not go through probate but come directly to the church.
The New Testament concept of proportional giving, that is, giving as God has blessed, can manifest itself in many ways. In December 2020, in a year of great challenge, may God use us to fully fund what he wants to accomplish through the ministry of Bible Center Church.
For questions about church contributions feel free to contact our Senior Development Officer, Lee Walker, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-346-0431.
Lee Walker is a graduate of Appalachian Bible College and has an MBA from Marshall University. He previously served for 29 years at ABC, working mainly in administrative areas including Development and Business. For 16 years he was Executive Vice-President of the College. Pastor Walker began his service at Bible Center in 1998 and served as Executive Pastor until 2017. He is married to Marty, has two children, three step-children and 17 grandchildren.