By: Richard Carnes
United States tax laws provide an incentive in the form of tax savings for making gifts to support non-profit organizations that provide vital services to our communities. The underlying philosophy behind this tax incentive is that private financial giving does many jobs that government entities otherwise might be called upon to do with tax money. “Social capital” is that portion of your wealth that will either pass involuntarily to the government as taxes or which can be directed voluntarily by you to charitable causes consistent with your spiritual values. If your social capital passes as taxes, you permit the government to choose what institutions and programs will be funded. Alternatively, charitable giving allows you to direct these funds to ministry causes and Christian organizations that will perpetuate your highest spiritual values.
Directing your social capital demonstrates good stewardship. First and foremost, the ministries and charitable causes that echo your values will be enhanced and sustained. Moreover, your Baptist church, the Kentucky Baptist Convention, and its agencies and institutions are making a gospel difference for the Kingdom of God in our state, nation and around the world. These ministry organizations are worthy recipients of a donor’s social capital to help sustain their ministries.
Individuals commonly express concern that giving social capital to church and ministry causes could affect the financial security their family. However, there are a variety of creative giving options that allow you to support and sustain Kingdom work while also assuring the future financial security of your family. Through prudent planning, the potential tax savings resulting from your charitable gifts may actually provide more financial resources for you and your family, and those savings may permit you to financially give more that you ever dreamed possible.
If you have questions about these gift planning strategies, please contact the Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine, or me at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533 for a private estate stewardship consultation.
Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; toll-free (866) 489-3533; KYBaptistFoundation.org.
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.