Using the Gifts of God to Build Up the People of God

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Planned Giving means giving vital support to a cause you believe in and achieving personal financial goals while structuring your gift to maximize tax benefits.

A planned gift to the Diocese of Edmonton may be outright (for immediate use) or deferred (arranged now for completion at a future time). Some planned gifts are designed to combine support for the Church with life income to the donor. Each type of planned gift offers particular benefits to the donor, and each supports the mission of the Church, whether a parish, diocese, General Synod or another Anglican institution or ministry.

Planned giving is not separate from Christian stewardship; rather it is an important part of it. A planned gift offers ways, over and above regular support of the church’s on–going work, to share God’s gifts with others, and to grow spiritually as we live out our vocations and ministries within the mission of the Church.

There are many varieties of planned gifts. A gift plan that works for one individual or family may not work for another, because the make–up of estates or accumulated assets is as different as the households themselves. The good news is that federal tax law provides the means for donors to direct the taxable portion of their estates to benefit the community and the Church.

Gifts for the Present

An outright gift of cash is the simplest way to give and is often the best way. Your gift goes to work immediately, meeting current needs or as an endowment. You receive a donation receipt for the full amount you give, resulting in immediate tax savings. For example, with a combined federal and provincial tax credit equal to 50 percent, a $5,000 cash gift to the Church will result in tax savings of $2,500, so the actual cost of the gift to you is only $2,500! (The amount you may claim in charitable donations in any one year is limited to 75 percent of your net income for that year. Any excess may be carried forward for up to five years.)

When you make an outright gift of publicly traded securities, you receive a special tax benefit: you will be taxed on none of the capital gain. For gifts of other types of appreciated property, 50 percent of the gain will be taxed. In either case, your tax credit will always exceed the tax on the gain, resulting in net tax savings.

Gifts for the Future

The most common type of deferred planned gift is the charitable bequest. It can be as simple as a sentence or two in your will, or a codicil appended to your present will. Your bequest may specify a certain sum of money: “I give to The Synod of the Diocese of Edmonton the sum of $__________ to be used for its general purposes.”

If you prefer, you may give a particular asset (“my shares of XYZ stock”) or a portion of the residue of your estate after other bequests have been paid (“50% of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate”). In consultation with the Diocesan Planned Giving Officer, you may designate a particular purpose for which your bequest is to be used, and you may indicate whether your bequest is to be available for immediate use or held as endowment. Your estate will be entitled to a donation receipt for the full value of the bequest, which may significantly reduce the tax payable with your final income tax return.

A gift of life insurance can provide a significant future gift to the Church at a very modest present cost to you. You may make such a gift with either an existing policy or a new one.

You may give the death benefit of an existing policy simply by naming the Diocese of Edmonton as the beneficiary. However, to receive an immediate tax benefit, you must also transfer ownership of the policy to the Church which entitles you to a donation receipt for the cash value of the policy. When you make the Church the owner and beneficiary of a new policy, you receive a donation receipt for every premium you subsequently pay. At your death, the Church will receive the proceeds.

Gifts that Give Back

Some planned gifts “pay you back” by paying you income or allowing you to enjoy the use of your property even after you have given it to the Church.

A gift annuity provides both a gift to your parish or the Diocese of Edmonton and guaranteed payments for life for you or you and your spouse. The annuity rates depend on your age, but they will normally be higher than current GIC interest. Moreover, a portion of your annuity payments (100 percent in some cases) will be paid out tax-free. All donors will also receive a donation receipt for a portion of their original contributions.

A charitable remainder trust is a deferred giving arrangement under which you irrevocably transfer property (cash, securities or real estate) to a trustee. You retain the right to the income from the trust, either for life or a specified term of years, and at the end of that time, the trust principal becomes your gift to the Diocese of Edmonton. You receive a donation receipt for the present value of this remainder interest. In consultation with the Planned Giving Officer, you may designate your gift for a particular program or as an endowment.

A gift of residual interest gives back in a different way; for example, you may donate your residence but retain the right to occupy it for life, or give a valued work of art and continue to enjoy it during your lifetime. In each case you will receive a donation receipt for the present value of the “residual interest” you have given to the Diocese of Edmonton.

Why Support the Church?

We know from the Bible that everything we have is a gift from God. We are stewards—managers of the many gifts God has given to us. As Christian stewards, we recognize that all that we are and all that we have belongs to God, and we are accountable to Him for the use of all things. Therefore, we must live and give as Christians, generously sharing our God–given gifts of time, talent and treasure.

Anglicans give generously of their time, energy, abilities and financial resources to do the work of God in many ways, helping to make a difference in people’s lives.

More and more Anglicans are giving thoughtful attention to their stewardship of accumulated assets, ensuring that they have valid wills and have planned responsibly for the security and well–being of their families and the support of those institutions and causes that have been important to them.

There are a number of ways to plan your response to God’s generosity through both present and deferred gifts. Your thoughtfulness and generosity will provide for you and your family and friends a sense of satisfaction and delight in being able to make a very real difference in the life and work of your church and other charitable organizations you may wish to support.

The Diocese of Edmonton and its parishes offer many opportunities for expressions of generosity and committed support. The list of outreach projects, programs and ministries is almost unlimited. When you add to that the importance of caring for our buildings and properties, church growth and the establishing of new congregations and ministries, you can become very creative in providing for the future of our church, helping to ensure its vitality and effectiveness.

Intrigued? Please complete and return the Request for Planned Giving Information form.