Giving is Growing in Faith
The St. Mark’s Annual Giving Campaign asks for your financial support for our programs and ministries in the coming year. Whether or not you have pledged or given money to St. Mark’s in the past, now is a good time to think about the meaning of giving in general and why and how much to give to St. Mark’s.
Good stewardship of our time, talents and treasures includes the notion of maximizing our resources beyond our lifetime. St. Mark’s welcomes estate gifts and has been significantly blessed as a result of forethought and planning by many who have gone before us. In our recent history, a significant bequest from the estate of Lillian Campbell helped St. Mark’s survive and thrive during a difficult time of transition.
As you contemplate how your resources will be distributed upon death, please consider St. Mark’s as a potential beneficiary of your estate. The following are a few ways you can make a significant difference in the life of St. Mark’s, without a change in your lifestyle today. As with any financial decision, it is important to consult with an attorney who specializes in estate and financial planning to ensure that your estate planning wishes are carried out in the most tax advantageous way possible.
A bequest to St. Mark’s is as simple as adding a codicil to your will. This is the most common planned gift and it may provide you with valuable estate tax savings. The following language would be appropriate for a bequest:
“I give and bequeath__________(percentage or stated dollar amount) of my estate (as that term is defined in the federal estate tax laws) to St. Mark’s subject to its governing instruments, policies and procedures, as amended from time to time.
Gifts of life insurance are another simple way to make a planned gift. You may choose to give the church a policy no longer needed, take out a new policy in St. Mark’s name or designate St. Mark’s as a beneficiary of an existing policy. Each of these ways can provide you with valuable income and estate tax savings.
Qualified retirement plan accounts are subjected to layers of taxation (i.e., estate tax, federal income tax and state income tax). For some accounts, the combination of these taxes can be as high as 75-85 percent! A charitable gift of these funds, however, may provide St. Mark’s with 100% of the value.
Charitable Remainder Trust
A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) allows you to establish a trust for the ultimate benefit of St. Mark’s while retaining the use of the income generated by the assets while you are still alive. A CRT may eliminate capital gains taxes, reduce or eliminate estate taxes, improve lifetime cash flow, and may provide for heirs as well.
A pledge is an estimate of how much money you plan to give to St. Mark’s in a given year. It is not a binding contract. Circumstances can change – and pledges may be revised up or down depending on your situation.
Your pledge makes it possible for St. Mark’s to create a budget for our staffing, ministries, programs and outreach for the coming year. Pledging is the primary basis for what we can accomplish as a church.
Just as everyone has a different financial situation, the amount of your pledge is an individual decision and will be unique and reflect your own life situation and sense of commitment to the church. The average pledge is about $2,000. Pledges of any amount are welcome and necessary for our ministries.
You may pledge by filling out a pledge card on the above link or contacting St. Mark’s for a paper pledge form.