Stewardship Sunday: Stock Assets & Donor-Advised Funds — By JoAnn Shull
One aspect of the mature Christian life is sharing of the blessings God has provided you. The gift, or tithe, dates back to the Old Testament: “The tithes of the herd and flock shall be determined by ceding to the Lord as sacred every tenth animal as they are counted by the herdsman’s rod” (Leviticus 27:32).
Obviously, we no longer measure our blessings by the number of animals in our herd. In fact, in the midst of our current climate, even our checking accounts may be a more simplistic form of measuring our financial gifts. A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about turning your IRA distributions into a charitable gift. This week, I’d like to share a bit about two more “non-traditional” ways of giving: donor-advised funds and stock assets.
Donor-advised funds (DAF) are growing in popularity because of their ease of use for donors. They are appealing because it allows donors to take an immediate deduction against the full amount they contribute to the fund, but they don’t have to “spend” it on a charity immediately. This is particularly helpful for individuals who have non-cash assets, such as shares of stock, which have appreciated. Donors can also let their contributions grow over time to maximize their impact, similar to a foundation.
If you choose to set up a DAF, you can give to organizations on whatever schedule you wish (annually, monthly, etc.). When giving to the Newman Center, it is helpful for us to know of your intention to give through a DAF, as well as the name of the fund so that we can credit your gift to your record. Be aware that Newman will not issue you a tax statement for your gift as you will have already received the tax benefit when first contributing to the DAF.
“We choose to donate through a donor advised fund because the DAF provides three great benefits: 1. We control the timing of our donation to the DAF and the resulting tax benefit. 2. We also control when the DAF makes a donation to a charity of our choice. 3. Finally, we also have some control where the DAF invests the funds we’ve contributed. These benefits are very important to us. We had appreciated securities, and we wanted to maximize our tax benefit for 2017, but we didn’t want the charities we support to receive the entire value of the securities in one lump sum. By using the DAF, we donated the securities, claimed the tax deduction, chose the best ongoing investment option within the DAF, and now we instruct the DAF to slowly distribute money to the charities we support, including Newman.”
Andrew & Valerie Zumwalt; Newman Parishioners
Donating stock directly to a charity can be another way to maximize your giving to charities. In gifting your appreciated stock to a charity, you can get a deduction for the fair market value at the date of the contribution as well as avoid the capital gains tax on the appreciated value of the stock. Although not all charities are equipped to accept stock gifts, the St. Thomas More Newman Center can do so. You will need Newman’s FEIN number (#43-0810541) when selling. Most importantly, please let the Newman Center know the amount and from whom we will be receiving the gift. Many times, the gift comes to us without the donor’s name, making it very hard for us to acknowledge and credit you for your contribution!
“We choose to make contributions to the Newman Center through gifts of appreciated stock because it is an easy, once a year transaction that means our pledge is taken care of. No envelopes to remember; no checks to write. Newman also gets the benefit of our pledge in one lump sum. A bonus for us is that by giving directly to Newman as a charity, we do not have to pay the capital gains taxes so our giving impact is greater.”
Mike & Tootie Burns; Newman Parishioners
Be aware that there are many other ways to give and that this column is a very simplistic explanation of two of your options. I hope that you can use this as a starting point as you reflect upon your gifts and how you will “cede to the Lord” the gifts He has given you.