Wise Giving: Pragmatic Opportunities This Christmas
by Henry M. Morris IV *
Each Christmas I am reminded of God’s many blessings upon the ICR ministry. For over four decades He has faithfully supplied our needs through His people—even during the leanest of times when many were financially struggling themselves. All of us here at ICR are deeply humbled by this and so very thankful for those who choose to “lay up…treasures in heaven” through their support of our work (Matthew 6:20).
As you consider your special gifts this Christmas, please prayerfully consider the following practical ways you can partner with ICR in our work and receive wonderful benefits as a supporter.
Cash Gifts. There is no doubt that ICR’s ministry would not function without cash gifts—the most practical, versatile, and immediate form of support. Thankfully, our nation still acknowledges donations to qualified charities like ICR, which are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law. If you are able, please consider blessing our ministry this season.
Gifts from IRAs. The popular IRA Charitable Rollover is set to expire at the end of 2013. This special provision allows IRA owners age 70½ or older to authorize charitable gifts directly to ICR—up to $100,000 each year—without having to declare it as income. Such contributions also count toward your required minimum distribution, providing a twofold opportunity to support ICR while avoiding taxes on income you might be required to take. IRA gifts are easy to make through your administrator, so please contact them today if this opportunity is right for you.
Stock Gifts. With the stock market on the rise, now may be an excellent time to consider contributions of stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares. Shares that have been held for at least one year can be donated directly to ICR, providing you with a tax deduction at their full current value while also avoiding tax on any gains. Talk about a double bounty! Contact ICR for our brokerage account information and let us help you facilitate this process.
Matching Gift Programs. Many companies match gifts made by their employees and retirees to qualifying organizations, and ICR’s graduate education programs and research projects usually fit within the requirements. With matches typically made dollar-for-dollar (up to certain limits), this is a marvelous opportunity to double the impact of your donations and “sow bountifully” for the cause of Christ (2 Corinthians 9:6). Contact your HR department to get started.
Charitable Gift Annuities. For senior donors over 65, rates on Charitable Gift Annuities—usually 4.5 to 9 percent depending on age—provide the absolute best return in today’s market. For as little as $10,000, you can fund a gift annuity with ICR that provides guaranteed income for life, a present tax deduction, and a tax-free portion of future payments—benefits other secure investments cannot match. If you desire to support the work of ICR but still need ongoing income, this option may be right for you. Contact me for a customized proposal, or visit the Planned Giving section of ICR’s website to create your own.
Will Bequests. Apart from your direct support, perhaps the wisest and most important thing you can do is create a valid written will that provides for God’s work. Otherwise, the government will settle your estate. For the sake of your family and the Kingdom, please don’t let this happen to you! It doesn’t cost much for a knowledgeable attorney to prepare your will, and ICR can recommend one in your area. Should you desire to support ICR, it’s easy to include a simple bequest that guarantees a portion of your assets are shared with our ministry. The Planned Giving section of our website offers helpful information, or for personal assistance contact me at 800.337.0375 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your support this Christmas season will be a sweet blessing to us as we plan for the coming year. New research projects, new educational programs, a new DVD series, and many more apologetics resources are in the works to equip the saints for serving the Lord. Please help us with a special gift if you are able. Together we can accomplish much for the cause of Christ, our Creator, Savior, Redeemer, and coming King. Merry Christmas!
* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Henry M. Morris IV. 2013. Wise Giving: Pragmatic Opportunities This Christmas. Acts & Facts. 42 (12).