5 Gift Strategies That Lower Your Taxes and Lift Up the Global Church

27 August 2020 |

“Our gracious God is a generous God, and he is at work within his people to make them generous too.” -Langham Founder, John Stott

Langham recognizes the generous giving of our friends and supporters (like you!) as God’s provision and grace, and we are blessed that together we are part of His work to equip the next generation of biblical leaders in more than 130 nations.

Because everything we have belongs to the Lord, we are simply called to be wise stewards of what He has given to us. While generous hearts and a kingdom mindset fuel our giving, many donors also want to give in ways that make the most financial sense – often enabling them to give even more!

If you have been making charitable gifts from your checkbook to Langham or other ministries, there may be other ways to give that would provide you substantial tax savings now and in the future.

Read on for five smart and simple ways your gifts to Langham can benefit you at tax time and make an impact on the global church. And, take advantage of our FREE downloadable Planned Giving Guide with even more tips and strategies.

Generous Christians like you have found these smart and simple giving strategies make for more strategic—and sometimes more impactful—giving.

When you make a gift to Langham or other ministries you care about, consider these five simple giving strategies that may benefit you at tax time.

1) “Bunch” your donations: With the recent increase in the standard deduction ($12,400 for singles and $24,800 for married couples), most donors no longer itemize their deductions because they are less than the standard amount. However, if you are able to “bunch” two or more years of charitable giving into one year, you may find that your deductions for that year exceed the standard amount, often resulting in a considerable tax savings. When taking this approach, it’s often best to share your plans with the ministries you support or to combine this type of giving with a Donor Advised Fund (see below).

2) Give through a Donor Advised Fund: A Donor Advised Fund is like a “charitable check book.” When you make a gift (cash or other assets) to a Donor Advised Fund you become eligible to deduct the amount of that gift (up to 60% of Adjusted Gross Income for a cash gift) in the year when you make the gift. You can then make charitable contributions out of the Donor Advised Fund at any time. This allows you to “bunch” your gifts (see above) for tax purposes, but also allows you to give regularly to Langham and other ministries. They are also great ways to engage the whole family in learning stewardship and engaging a lifestyle of generosity. The fund can serve as a simple alternative to a family foundation in which your family joins together in making strategic decisions to support Langham and other ministries you love.

3) Give from Retirement Funds: If you are over 70 ½ years old and have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), it may be smart for you to make your charitable gifts to Langham directly from your IRA. Rather than taking funds out of your IRA as income (and paying taxes on that income), you can make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA. You won’t receive a tax deduction for this gift, but it also does not count as income when you file your taxes each year. Since QCD’s have the effect of reducing your adjusted gross income, they may also reduce the amount you pay for Medicare premiums each month.

4) Give Appreciated Stock: If you have held appreciated stock for more than one year, it may make sense to donate that stock to Langham instead of making a cash gift. If you sell the stock and make a gift from the cash, you will pay capital gains on the appreciation. When you donate the stock to Langham Partnership or another qualified nonprofit, you receive a tax deduction for the current value of the gift, and also avoid paying capital gains taxes. If you wish to keep the stock, it might even make sense for you to donate it now (eliminating capital gains taxes on the appreciation to date) and to buy it back at the current price with the cash you were otherwise intending to donate.

5) Give through a will, trust, or beneficiary designation: Many donors would love to give more, but are simply not sure if they will need their resources in the years ahead. Since we do not know the number of our days or what our future needs will be, a legacy gift makes a lot of sense. A legacy gift allows you to keep resources available should you need them, but also allows you to make a significant and strategic kingdom impact with your remaining resources when the Lord calls you home. Making a legacy gift of certain assets (like tax deferred retirement funds) can also reduce the taxes your heirs would pay if they receive those funds as income. For more information on ways to think about legacy giving, you can see this article. Of course, if you chose to include Langham in your plans, we would love to welcome you to The Cross of Christ Legacy Fellowship! Please let us know.

If you have any questions or if you want to discuss the various gift options available to you, please contact Langham’s Planned Giving Director, Kevin VandenBrink (legacy@langham.org or 314-488-0256).

This information is not intended as tax, legal or financial advice.  Please consult your financial advisor or legal professional for advice related to your specific circumstances.

Download Your Free Planned Giving Guide

Download our Planned Giving Guide below, an e-book resource developed to help you best steward your God-given resources to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.

Free Download: Planned Giving eBook

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