Established in 2008, the Searle Endowment honors St. Paul’s Parish’s founding priest, the Rev. Roger Searle. The income from the Searle Endowment is currently being reinvested so as to build up the fund. Once the endowment fund begins to produce a minimum of $10,000 annually in income, the income will be used for outreach ministries. You can make gifts to the Searle Endowment (or to the parish operating fund) in several ways. Which type of gift is right for you depends on your personal circumstances and estate planning goals. On this page, we discuss outright gifts which take effect immediately; on the page labeled Legacy Programs, we discuss deferred gifts.
Many different kinds of property can be given directly to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the Searle Endowment:
Gifts of Cash
A gift of cash by writing a check is the simplest gift to make. A gift of cash is also the simplest to receive, and St. Paul’s Parish can put the gift to use immediately in support of its ministries. If you give cash, you are entitled to the most favorable income tax deduction available under the Federal tax laws for charitable gifts. You may deduct the full amount of the gift, as long as all your charitable gifts for the year do not exceed 50% of your income. If your charitable gifts do exceed that limitation, the excess may be deducted during any of the next five years.
Gifts of Securities
You can also make a gift to St. Paul’s of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other securities. A gift of securities can be as simple as cash to make and to receive. If the securities have been held for more than one year and are appreciated, a gift of securities may have additional tax advantages to you. Like gifts of cash, you can deduct the full fair market value of a gift of securities (not subject to any restrictions) as long as all your charitable gifts for the year do not exceed 30% of your income. If your charitable gifts do exceed that limitation, the excess may be deducted during any of the next five years. In addition, there will be no tax due upon a sale of the securities by St. Paul’s. Thus a gift of appreciated securities has the added benefit of preserving the full value of the securities for St. Paul’s use, undiminished by tax.
Many businesses will make contributions to charity to match gifts of cash or securities by their employees or retirees. However, most businesses restrict matching gifts to churches and other religious organizations. You might check with your current or former employer for their rules for matching gifts. If your gift is eligible, you can enhance the value of your gift to St. Paul’s by applying for a match.
Gifts of Real Estate
A generous gift of real estate can help secure the future ministries of St. Paul’s Parish. If you own a piece of real estate that has appreciated, you can make a gift of the real estate (or a part of it) to St. Paul’s. Like gifts of securities, you can deduct the full fair market value of a gift of real estate as long as all your charitable gifts for the year do not exceed 30% of your income. Again any excess may be deducted during any of the next five years. Also like gifts of appreciated securities, there will be no tax due upon a sale of the real estate by St. Paul’s, preserving the full value of the property for the parish’s use, undiminished by tax. Examples of real estate holdings that might be given to St. Paul’s are: undeveloped land; single-family residences and vacation houses; non-residential real estate such as apartment buildings or office buildings; real estate limited partnership interests; and mineral leases or timber rights.
Gifts of Personal Property
Most gifts of personal property to the parish will provide little or no tax benefit to the donor. Under a special tax rule, you can deduct only your original investment in the personal property given to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. There are a few exceptions. For example, you can deduct the full fair market value of the gift if it (and its use) is related to St. Paul’s charitable purposes. You can also deduct the full fair market value of the gift if it is artwork that you created.
Gifts of Life Insurance
If you own a life insurance policy that is no longer needed for the protection of your family or other purposes, you may use it to make a gift to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The simplest way to give a life insurance policy to St. Paul’s Parish is to name the parish as the owner and beneficiary of the policy. You can deduct the cash value of the policy as long as all your charitable gifts for the year do not exceed 50% of your income, deducting any excess during the next five years. The total life insurance payout, otherwise subject to US estate tax (maximum rate of 48%), will be preserved for St. Ann’s use, undiminished by tax.
Methods of Donation
There are a number of ways that you can make outright gifts of property to St. Paul’s Parish. You can simply transfer the asset to St. Paul’s as described above. You can “sell” the asset to St. Paul’s at a bargain price. This might be useful for difficult-to-divide assets, especially if it has not appreciated in value. You could also buy an annuity from the Episcopal Church naming St. Paul’s as the beneficiary of the proceeds. You can give the parish a “remainder interest” in a personal residence. You (and/or your spouse) would retain the right to use the residence during your life and, upon your death, the property is transferred to the church. All outright gifts to St. Paul’s Parish can be made subject to certain conditions and limitations or may form an endowment to be used only for certain purposes.
Consult Your Tax & Estate Planning Specialists
Please note, the restrictions on values of gifts and percentages of income quoted above are from the federal Internal Revenue Code. U.S. laws are always subject to change and amendment. Therefore, the restrictions quoted in this article are illustrative only, and in no way constitute legal or tax advice. You should always consult with your attorney, tax adviser, accountant, or other licensed specialist before making any sizable donation to charity.
If you would like to make an outright gift to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church or to the parish’s Searle Endowment, please have contact the Rector at 330.725.4131.