Did you know that over 30% of charitable giving in the United States occurs in December, with 10% occurring the last three days? End-of-year giving has always been important for many congregations and non-profits for balancing the budget and paying the bills. However, end-of-year giving can also provide additional support for specific needs beyond the operational budget.
Beyond asking your members to fulfill their 2023 financial commitment, ask for additional gifts to fund a specific project related to mission, ministries, mortgage, or maintenance of the buildings and property. Let donors know how their extra gift will make a positive impact in people’s lives.
As you open the door for additional giving, also encourage stewardship of their accumulated assets through the following strategies for year-end giving:
- Provide guidelines for receiving gifts of stock, bonds, or mutual, funds. For example: stock purchased years ago for $5,000 could have a market value of $20,000. Rather than selling the stock and paying income tax on the $15,000 capital gain, you can transfer the stock to a church or non-profit and take a tax deduction based on the market value of the stock at the time of the gift. In this way, you would maximize your gift, and minimize your tax liability.
- Individuals age 70 ½ or older may want to consider making a gift commitment through a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). A QCD is a direct transfer of funds from your IRA to your church or non-profit. QCDs can be counted towards satisfying your required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the year. A QCD excludes the amount donated from taxable income, which is unlike regular withdrawals from an IRA.
- It’s always a good time to encourage long-range gift planning (wills, bequests, trusts, and family foundations). Designating a percentage gift in your will allows you to make a significant future impact that may not have been possible during your lifetime.
It’s not too late to promote year-end giving through whatever communication channels make the most sense for you, including e-mail blasts, bulletins, newsletters, postcards, etc. So in the Advent and Christmas seasons of giving, ask your members & supporters to consider extra and creative giving. As always, when they give, thank them.
Blessings to you for a joyful Advent season!
Fred Stoltz, Sr. Program Director
The James Company