Call to Battle
by Henry Morris IV *
Perhaps you have noticed the stewardship banner prominently displayed on this page. Like the original military banners carried into battle, ICR’s banner is designed to communicate important themes. In our case, the banner serves the dual purpose of highlighting the best ways to support our ministry in “battle” and identifying charitable opportunities that provide real advantages to our supporters.
Yet the detail behind each bullet point is crucial for making decisions regarding the wisest use of one’s resources for the Kingdom. I trust the following summaries will provide meaningful explanations to our supporters as they prayerfully consider how they can help ICR this Thanksgiving season.
Cash Gifts: There is no doubt that ICR’s ministry would not function without cash gifts—the most practical, versatile, and immediate form of help to our work. Thankfully, our nation still acknowledges gifts to qualified charities like ICR, so all gifts to us are fully tax deductible as allowed by law. If you are able, please consider supporting our ministry with a gift this season.
IRA Gifts: The popular IRA Charitable Rollover is set to expire at the end of 2011. This special provision allows owners of traditional or Roth IRAs age 70½ or older to make charitable gifts up to $100,000 without declaring it as income. Such IRA gifts also count toward minimum withdrawal requirements, providing a twofold opportunity to support ICR while avoiding taxes on income you might be required to take. IRA gifts can easily be arranged through your administrators—contact them today if this opportunity seems right for you.
Stock Gifts: Tired of the volatility of the stock market? Avoid the tax burden on the sale of appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual funds by gifting shares directly to ICR. Shares that have been held for at least one year can be given, providing not only a tax deduction at their full current value, but also avoiding tax on any gains. Contact ICR for our brokerage account information and let us help you facilitate your gift.
Matching Gift Programs: Many companies match gifts made by their employees and retirees to qualifying organizations, and ICR’s graduate education program and research projects usually qualify. With matches typically made dollar for dollar (up to certain limits), this is a marvelous opportunity to double the impact of your gifts and “sow bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6) for the cause of Christ. Contact your HR department to get started.
Charitable Gift Annuities: For donors over 65, rates on Charitable Gift Annuities—usually 5 to 8 percent, depending on age—provide the absolute best return in an unstable market. Unlike other secure investments, however, these special annuities offer the additional benefits of guaranteed income for life, a present tax deduction, and a tax-free portion of future payments. Contact ICR for a customized proposal, or visit the ICR website to create your own.
Planned Gifts through Wills and Trusts: Recent changes to estate tax law provide opportunities to leave more to family and charitable interests free of tax by making planned gifts through your will or a charitable trust. ICR would be delighted to help you discover the best use of your resources for God’s work, or explore for yourself by reviewing our guides in the Planned Giving section at www.icr.org/give.
ICR is deeply grateful for all those who have partnered with us, and we “praise the LORD for his goodness” through you (Psalm 107:8). Happy Thanksgiving!
* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris IV, H. 2011. Call to Battle. Acts & Facts. 40 (11): 21.