Where Science and Faith Converge

Planned Giving

Planned giving is simply the designing of charitable gifts so that you realize philanthropic objectives while maximizing tax and other financial benefits. A planned gift is generally made from your assets, rather than from your income.

What Planned Giving Options Are Available?

Planned gifts can be made using various types of property:

  • Cash
  • Appreciated securities (whether publicly-traded or privately-held) owned more than a year
  • Appreciated real estate owned more than a year
  • Assets such as life insurance policies, savings bonds, commercial annuity contracts and funds held in an IRA or other qualified retirement plan

For a printable chart of your planned giving options from our ministry partners the Barnabas Foundation, click here.

They can take any of several different forms:

  • An outright gift is one that is immediately available to RTB. Transfers of appreciated securities are particularly popular because you not only receive an income tax deduction for the full value of the securities contributed but also avoid tax on any of the gain.
  • A bequest is another frequently chosen type of gift, as you can retain full ownership and use of an asset for as long as you live. Click here for sample bequest language. Likewise, a distribution from a qualified retirement plan at the end of your life means you need not give up a source of income prematurely.
  • A charitable gift annuity pays a fixed, guaranteed amount for life to one or two persons, including you and your spouse, if applicable. In almost every instance, a portion of the payments will be tax-free, and you are entitled to a tax deduction for a portion of the value of the assets you contribute.
  • A charitable remainder trust pays income to you and/or other beneficiaries either for the life of the beneficiaries or a term of years. The amount of income can be fixed or variable, depending on the type of trust. It is common for such trusts to be funded with property which has increased in value, due to the fact that neither you nor the trust pays any capital gains tax at the time of funding.  An income tax deduction is also available for part of what you contribute.
  • A gift of life insurance may be made either by designating Reasons to Believe as a beneficiary of the policy or by arranging for us to become the owner of the policy. The former entails many of the same advantages as a bequest, whereas the latter can result in current income tax savings.
  • A bargain sale can make sense if you would like to contribute an asset to Reasons to Believe but cannot afford to make an outright gift. Our purchase of an asset for less than its fair market value means you receive an income tax deduction for the difference between the price paid and the full value, plus only a portion of any gain will be taxed.
  • A retained life estate arrangement is possible with either a personal residence or a farm. You donate the property but retain the right to use it for the rest of your life. You receive an income tax deduction for the present value of the remainder interest and avoid any potential tax on capital gain.
  • A charitable lead trust can be a tremendous way for you to provide a stream of income for Reasons to Believe during a period of time prior to having the trust's assets pass to your heirs at a substantially reduced gift and estate cost.
  • A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is a good option if you are 70.5 years of age or older, as IRS rules direct you to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) each year from your tax-deferred retirement accounts. A QCD is a direct transfer of funds from an IRA custodian, payable to a qualified charity.

    There are several ways to make a gift from your IRA, and we always recommend consulting your tax advisor to choose the option that’s right for you. If you’re looking for an easy way to make that gift now, you can take advantage of our online tool that makes it possible in 15 minutes or less. Click here to begin the QCD process now.

How Do Planned Gifts Help Reasons to Believe?

Planned gifts allow Reasons to Believe to prepare for tomorrow and for growth. Planned giving also provides financial stability to the ministry.

Reasons to Believe currently has an endowment set up to fund future ministry advancement. For information on endowment gifts, contact Ken Hultgren at donations@reasons.org or call (855) 732-7667.

How Can I Learn More About My Options?

To receive additional information, or if you and/or your advisors desire assistance in considering which plan is appropriate for your situation, contact Joel Wood at stewardship@reasons.org or call (855) 732-7667.

How Does a Donor Benefit in Making a Planned Gift?

In most cases, a planned gift also offers one or more of the following benefits to the person or entity making the gift.

  • A current income tax deduction
  • Increased cash flow from an asset, sometimes at more favorable tax rates
  • Preservation of an asset's appreciation in value coupled with the elimination, reduction, or deferral of capital gains tax
  • Professional management of assets relied upon for income
  • Gift and estate tax savings
  • Our ministry partners at the Barnabas Foundation have outlined helpful tips for giving in ways that increase your impact, while also reducing your costs. View their tips in the video recordings found here.

About Reasons to Believe

RTB's mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

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