Arnie Nommensen is retired after serving WELS first as a teacher and then as a Christian giving counselor. As a giving counselor he assisted members with different options for supporting WELS ministry. Arnie recalls working with one gentleman whose “wish was to leave as much as he could to support the Lord’s work when the Lord took him to heaven.”
“The charitable gift annuity (CGA) served his purpose,” says Arnie. A CGA provides a donor with a tax deduction when they make a gift of cash or securities in exchange for fixed quarterly payments for life. When the Lord calls them home, the remainder of the gift goes to proclaim the gospel through the designated ministry.
“He knew things could change in his life and his expenses could use up much, if not all, of his savings,” says Arnie. So, by setting up a CGA, the donor ensured he’d have income to cover his expenses while preserving his hoped-for gifts toward ministry.
The donor so enjoyed giving through his first CGA that he set up more. “He had enough CGAs set up that the payments from them gave him enough income to set up a new CGA each year,” says Arnie. The donor would designate the CGAs to correspond with the ministries he was supporting. “He enjoyed watching the work of these ministries and praying for their success.”
That donor’s thinking impacted Arnie. “Realizing Christ has done all we need for our salvation, we want to find ways to thank him. Seeing how the CGAs had been a blessing to this gentleman, my wife and I have been setting up CGAs corresponding to the areas of the Lord’s work that affect our lives.”
Does the CGA sound like a giving instrument that could work for you? The illustration above shows how a CGA would work for someone 75 years old with payments beginning immediately (payments can also be deferred to a future date). Transferring appreciated assets (e.g., stocks) may be an even more beneficial way to fund your charitable gift annuity since it may allow you to avoid capital gains taxes now and pay them in a more favorable way later.
Your local WELS Christian giving counselor can share more (at no cost or obligation) about how a CGA may be a good way for you to give to the ministries you love.