Everything these days seems to be getting more complicated, and charitable giving is no exception. There are lots of options that didn’t exist before, and some twists on old ways of giving, so I’m taking this opportunity to outline the various methods of making donations to St. Chad’s.
First of all, a reminder on cash contributions. Yes, we do take cash! But in order for you to receive an acknowledgment from the church for your cash gift, we need to know that it’s from you. The best way to do this is to put it in an envelope with your name(s) on it and note any special designations, such as flowers. You can no longer claim cash donations as a tax deduction unless you have a letter from the charity acknowledging the gift. Your quarterly Contributions Report from St. Chad’s serves this purpose.
Of course most people choose to donate by check. If you are paying by check, simply write any designations (e.g. Building Fund) on the memo line. Unspecified gifts will be credited towards your pledge for the year, if you have made one, or to plate offerings if not. You may use one check to contribute to two or more purposes, such as your pledge and a donation to the flower fund, as long as you write the different amounts on the memo line.
If you buy something to donate to St. Chad’s, such as office equipment or beans for the Storehouse, you can fill out an expense reimbursement form, attach the receipt, and mark the line indicating that you are donating this amount to St. Chad’s rather than requesting reimbursement. The monetary value of your donation will then be included in your Contribution Report, simplifying your record keeping for taxes.
Unfortunately, St. Chad’s does not accept credit cards. We would be charged a 2% fee to accept them, and that would cut down significantly on our operating revenue.
If you would like to transfer money directly into St. Chad’s checking account, you can do so from your bank; we cannot initiate such transfers from our side. Please see the Treasurer if you need details on how to do this. You may also wish to consider using online Billpay for your payments to St. Chad’s. Most banks offer this service at no charge. You can simply instruct the bank to send a monthly or weekly check to St. Chad’s and relieve yourself of check writing chores!
One option that some of our members have started using is the United Way. If your place of employment supports United Way, you can simply designate St. Chad’s as the recipient for all or any portion of your United Way pledge, and let United Way handle all the details.
Another gifting option is to transfer assets directly into St. Chad’s brokerage account at Fidelity. There are several tax advantages available by doing so. First of all, if you transfer stocks or other property that has appreciated, you can claim a charitable tax deduction for the full value of the assets transferred to St. Chad’s, without paying capital gains tax. If you were to sell the asset first and then donate the proceeds to St. Chad’s, you could still claim the charitable deduction, but you would have to pay capital gains tax on any appreciation.
You may also designate St. Chad’s as a beneficiary of your will or trust account. By so doing, you can specify exactly how the money is to be used, as long as it’s a church-related purpose of course.
Any of the above offerings can be used to satisfy your annual pledge. If you are new to the church, we invite you to fill out a pledge card for the remainder of the calendar year. This helps your church in its ongoing financial planning. Please see any member of the Stewardship Committee, the Treasurer, or the Secretary for a pledge card.
Most of these techniques are also applicable to gifts to the St. Chad’s Foundation, which is a separately incorporated charitable organization. Gifts to the Foundation will ultimately be used for the benefit of St. Chad’s, but you may not designate exactly how those gifts are to be used, since that is determined by the Foundation’s Board. Consult any Board member for more information on gifts to the Foundation.
Gifts to St. Chad’s may be designated for any operating or outreach expense, including specific organizations such as the Storehouse or specific purposes such as altar flowers. And yes, we do have a Building Fund, so contributions can be made to this project at any time. A complete list of funds is available in the Treasurer’s monthly report.
Please consult the Treasurer for details on any of these methods of donating to St. Chad’s. If you would like to discuss any special arrangements for donations, please contact the Rector or the Treasurer, as appropriate. You should also consult your tax or estate planning professional for the applicability of any of these methods to your particular situation.