Monday, September 13, 2010

Faithful, Effective Giving
In Hard Financial Times

While it might make sense to “hunker down” when money is tight, our faith continues to call us to practice radical generosity. John Wesley (the founder of the United Methodist tradition) passionately urged his followers – rich and poor – to “Give all you can” and “‘Render unto God,’ not a tenth, not a third, not half, but all that is God’s, be it more or less.”* And, it’s not our faith tradition alone – take for example the witness of our poorer sisters and brothers who model radical generosity in the midst of grave financial hardship. (“The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest survey of consumer expenditure found that the poorest fifth of U.S. households contributed an average of 4.3% of their incomes to charitable organizations in 2007. The richest fifth gave at less than half that rate, 2.1%.”**)

In difficult financial times, it seems that the issue isn’t whether or not to be generous, it’s how to be most effective in our giving. On the back of this bulletin insert, you’ll find a few ideas for making the most of your financial gifts to our church and the ministries and organizations that help to express your care for God’s world.

Ideas for Making the Most of Your Financial Gifts

The power of pooling
  • In the face of many pressing ministerial needs, one $20 gift may seem insignificant. But, combined with similar gifts from others in our church, it can become a micro-loan (see, grant (see, or endowment that directly benefits our most valued ministries. For example, one United Methodist (UM) couple decided to set up an endowment fund – through the Northwest UM Foundation – to receive the financial gifts ($5 –$100) that others ordinarily would spend on gifts to honor their birthdays and anniversaries. Today, this endowment holds over $20,000 and its income blesses the children of a UM mission school that is very dear to the couple. If one couple can do this, just think what might happen if 50 people added to such a pool!
The little things that build legacy

  • It’s easy to designate our church as a beneficiary in your will – as simple as adding a line like: “I give __% of my estate to_________ [church name], at ___________ [church address].” If you’re over 65, you may also want to consider tools like a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) – an ideal plan for people who want to effectively provide for their financial needs (and those of their loved ones), while simultaneously making a significant gift to the ministries they value. (Potential benefits of a CGA include: guaranteed, partially tax-free annual payments of 5% and higher; immediate income tax deduction; and capital gain reductions.)
Treasures in the attic

  • If you have a life insurance policy, an IRA, or other assets that you no longer need, you can gift these to our church and/or the ministries that matter most to you.

--The Northwest United Methodist Foundation

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Producer

No comments: