The Charitable Gift Annuity: A Gift That Pays Income for Life

After 35 years of teaching, Arnie Nommensen began serving in a different way: as a WELS Christian giving counselor. In his role, Arnie met a WELS member who made quite an impression on him. This member had seen firsthand the blessings of charitable gift annuities (CGAs), so Arnie helped him set up multiple CGAs to leave a legacy of faith.

Motivated by this example and out of thankfulness for God’s blessings, Arnie knew that setting up CGAs to support the Lord’s work was also right for him and his wife, Carol. They knew that even after God calls them home, their CGAs will continue to support the ministries they love, like providing physical and spiritual support in Africa through WELS Christian Aid and Relief.

“You hear about things that WELS Christian Aid and Relief is doing in Africa for communities that really have a need, and that community then is also hearing the gospel from the people who are there to help them,” says Arnie. “The support that we can give through a charitable gift annuity will help provide that, and that’s something that can be carried on after we’re in heaven.”

CGAs are very popular since they provide quarterly income payments to the donor for life, in addition to significant tax benefits. When the Lord calls the donor home, the remainder will be distributed to the ministry or ministries of the donor’s choosing.

Carol appreciates how CGAs allow them to share their blessings with others: “They’ve given us the ability to use our financial gifts from the Lord to help or give back to him in a small way, because he gives us so much,” she says. “And it really gives us joy to do that.”

Run a personalized gift annuity illustration based on your age

Learn more about charitable gift annuities by contacting your local WELS Christian giving counselor at 800-827-5482 or mcg@wels.net.

Watch Arnie and Carol’s full charitable gift annuity story 

A Smart Option for Giving

If you are age 70.5 or older, you can support WELS ministries and churches through a gift directly from an individual retirement account (IRA) called a qualified charitable distribution (QCD).

Why is a QCD such a good giving option?

  • Giving directly from your IRA—rather than withdrawing these funds—won’t increase your adjusted gross income or subject your Social Security income to more taxes.
  • Such gifts can count toward all or part of your annual required minimum distribution (RMD). While IRA owners age 70.5 or older can make gifts directly to charities from their IRAs, the minimum age for taking RMDs has increased to 72.
  • QCD gifts can be especially advantageous for those who do not expect to itemize their deductions and for those whose deductions are limited.
  • You may make QCD gifts in any amount up to $100,000 per person per year or $200,000 for a couple with separate IRAs. Because of recent tax law changes, you may be able to continue to add to an IRA after age 70.5. If this is your situation, the amount of QCD gifts you can make will be reduced.*

Learn more about making QCDs from your IRA at wels.net/helpful-giving-tools or by contacting your local WELS Christian giving counselor at 800-827-5482 or mcg@wels.net.

*As a result of the SECURE Act, if an individual with earned income continues to make deductible contributions to an IRA beyond age 70.5, the individual’s maximum QCD amount will be reduced by the amount of deduction claimed for an IRA contribution.

Helpful Giving Tools

WELS Foundation provides resources to support you in your giving, such as:

Consider Being “Flexible” in Retirement

For those looking for new ways to support WELS’ mission to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ while still providing for their retirement needs, they may be surprised to learn about a way they can do both: the flexible deferred charitable gift annuity.

  1. With this creative plan (which is a variation of the simple charitable gift annuity), you can meet current and future income needs. While IRS regulations limit contributions to IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and other retirement plans, there are no such limitations with this plan.
  2. You can create a plan that maximizes your current income tax deduction while retaining the flexibility of receiving payments at the time you choose.
  3. Lastly, a flexible deferred annuity provides protection should an income need arise due to an uncertain future event (such as placing a relative in an assisted living facility or helping someone with in-home care). Payments can begin if or when the need arises.

A good example

As Bill and Jane prepared for retirement, they wanted to set aside resources to supplement their retirement income, while eventually benefiting a number of WELS ministries, including their home church. With the flexible deferred charitable gift annuity, they fulfilled these objectives.

Over a period of years, Bill and Jane created several flexible deferred charitable gift annuities and can begin receiving the payments in the future.

  • They met part of their Christian giving goals, named their favorite ministries to receive the remainder of the annuities, and had large deductions to use against their current income.
  • Annually they have the choice to begin receiving the payments.
  • When the payments begin, they may decide to use their payments to support the Lord’s work and would receive additional income tax deductions for those gifts.

Charitable gift annuity illustration

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about this creative plan or charitable gift annuities, contact a WELS Christian giving counselor at 800-827-5482 or mcg@wels.net.

The Donor Advised Fund: One-Stop Giving

WELS member and attorney David Nommensen and his wife, Bonnie, knew that setting up a donor advised fund was an ideal and tax-wise way to support ministry at their home congregation, First Lutheran in Elkhorn, Wis.

David likes the fact that their donor advised fund provides predictable, ongoing support to ministry at First, helping fund programs that spread the gospel both inside and outside the church and school. He also likes the tax benefits of the donor advised fund. “It was just part of good stewardship,” says David. “Bonnie and I could look at the taxes that we had saved and do a little soul-searching and perhaps give a little more.”

Donor advised funds are very popular since a donor can give a gift now and recommend the ministries that benefit later. The gift can be divided among the ministries the donor cares about, and a single receipt will be provided for income tax purposes.

In addition to ongoing support for their church and school, the Nommensens know that their family donor advised fund is a wonderful way to involve their kids and grandkids in the joy of giving since they can be included in the decision-making process for the grant recommendations. It’s another way to pass along Christian values to the next generation of believers.

“Our prayer is that the donor advised fund is around a lot longer than Bonnie and I are,” says David. “And it’s a nice opportunity for us to have these conversations with our children about the needs of our favorite church organization. I’m really hoping that someday my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be donating to this fund and having those same conversations.”

How does a donor advised fund work?

 

Learn more about donor advised funds by contacting your local WELS Christian giving counselor at 800-827-5482 or mcg@wels.net.

See David’s full donor advised fund story 

Why a Donor Advised Fund?

From time to time, a WELS member may be faced with a larger than expected financial blessing that opens the door for giving to the Lord’s work without enough time to distribute the extra blessing nor the desire to engage in multiple transactions to help several charities. Enter the donor advised fund (DAF), which permits you to make charitable gifts to those organizations you care about most, at the time you choose, often with expert advice and assistance.

The ABCs of a DAF
A DAF is like a charitable investment account for the purpose of supporting the WELS ministries you care about. When you contribute cash, securities, or other assets to a DAF, you are generally able to take an immediate income tax deduction as well as avoid capital gain taxes from the gift of appreciated property. Those funds may then be invested for tax-free growth, and you have the flexibility to recommend distributions from time to time to qualified WELS ministries. (Requesting distributions from your WELS Foundation donor advised fund is easy. Simply fill out WELS Foundation’s online request form.)

If you have a DAF, consider what will happen to the funds in the future when you are no longer there to make decisions about the disposition of funds. Either you can entrust the decision-making to your heirs on how the funds are to be distributed, or you can designate the remainder from a terminating DAF to create an endowment or fund a special project.

Using a DAF to itemize
With recent tax and economic changes, many people no longer itemize their deductions. With a DAF, an individual can bunch several years of charitable gifts into a single year, allowing them to itemize in that year.

More information
Over the past several years, there has been a substantial increase in the popularity of DAFs, and more people are giving to WELS in that way, which means a blessing for those who receive the Word of God through us. If we can provide more information about supporting your congregation, WELS, and WELS-affiliated ministries through a WELS Foundation DAF, please contact us at 800-827-5482 or mcg@wels.net.

Making Distributions from a Non-WELS Foundation DAF

To make a gift to support the gospel of Jesus Christ through WELS from your non-WELS Foundation DAF, contact your sponsoring organization to recommend a grant and give them the following:
• Our legal name: WELS Foundation, Inc.
• Our federal tax ID #: 39-6084446
• Our mailing address:
WELS Foundation
N16W23377 Stone Ridge Drive
Waukesha, WI 53188-1108

Charitable Remainder Trusts: A Gift with Multiple Benefits

There are many ways you can support WELS and its mission to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. One wise tool for personal financial planning may be a charitable remainder trust (CRT). These trusts are used to convert appreciated property into a gift to advance the gospel while providing an income for the donor(s) for life or for a term of years.

For example, a WELS member purchased an asset (stock, real estate, rental property, etc.) that has grown in value so much that rebalancing the portfolio or reducing the holdings has become financially prudent. By giving the appreciated asset to WELS Foundation to be put into a CRT, the Foundation can sell the asset within the CRT and create a balanced portfolio that pays an income to the beneficiaries for life or a term of years. The member receives an income tax deduction and spreads out the capital gains over the term of the trust. Furthermore, these deductions can eliminate tax on a significant portion of income for up to six years. They may also make it possible for you to itemize where it would otherwise not be feasible.

One additional benefit that may apply is that the trust remainder that distributes to ministry is excluded from any potential estate taxes. But most importantly, the gospel is advanced because of the gift. WELS Foundation has established a minimum gift for such an arrangement at $200,000 in fair market value.

Find out more about the CRT by consulting with a WELS Christian giving counselor at 800-827-5482 or mcg@wels.net.

Helpful Giving Tools

WELS Foundation has made it easier to access resources to support you in your giving, such as:
• Letter of Instruction form
• Gifts of Securities Procedures document
• Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) Procedures document
• Link to the online Gift Options Tool

To access these resources, visit wels.net/helpful-giving-tools.