A charitable gift annuity is a great way to leave a gift to your favorite ministry, while still creating a steady source of annual income and a tax deduction for yourself.
More specifically, a charitable gift annuity is a permanent and legally binding contract between you and the LCMS Foundation. You transfer cash or property to the Foundation, which we deposit in a reserve account and invest for growth. In return, you receive a tax deduction as well as a lifetime stream of annual income payments.
Best of all, when you're called home to Heaven, the ministry of your choice receives whatever funds are still in the account, which is often close to half of your original deposit.
As part of the gift annuity contract, the LCMS Foundation will make payments to you for the rest of your life. The amount of those payments is determined by many factors, including your age and the annuity rate offered at the time of your deposit. You can begin receiving payments immediately or choose to defer them until retirement or some other future date in exchange for higher payments then.
The payment amount is guaranteed and fixed—it will never change, won’t fluctuate with inflation or decrease if investment returns are lower than expected. Couples can also create a gift annuity. Payments still begin whenever the couple chooses, but will continue until both individuals have passed on to Heaven.
Click below to use our online calculator to find your estimated annual annuity payout, based on your age, and your anticipated charitable deduction for tax purposes.
In addition to an annual income stream, annuities often allow donors to take a partial tax deduction in the year you set up the annuity. The deduction is based on the amount the IRS calculates will ultimately go to the charity, based on your life expectancy and payments you’ll receive back from the annuity during your lifetime.
A portion of your annual payments is also tax-free. A larger percentage will be tax-free if you transfer cash to fund your gift annuity; a lesser percentage if you transfer securities.
However, if you fund your annuity by transferring securities (or other appreciated assets), you may also be able to avoid or minimize the capital gains tax you’d pay on those assets if you sold them outright. See more about donating appreciated assets here.
Annuity funds are carefully invested so that they earn enough interest to provide annual payments to you while you're alive, while leaving a good portion of the original principal intact as a future gift to ministry. The amount that’s ultimately given to the ministry you designate is based on how long you receive payments.
As a guideline, about half of your gift annuity’s original amount will become a gift to your ministry of choice. For example, if you fund an annuity with $10,000, and receive payments until your average life expectancy, approximately $5,000 will be gifted to the ministry you chose to bless.
The Foundation has decades of experience ensuring annuity contracts are fulfilled according to the donor’s wishes, and that congregations, LCMS schools or other ministries receive gifts promptly.
Getting started with a gift annuity can be simple. An easy way to start is by filling out the form below, specifying if you'd like to be contacted. Or, you can download our gift annuity application and begin the process by returning that to us.
Our straightforward process begins with discussing what’s important to you. Then, with our knowledge and expertise, we'll help you establish goals, take full advantage of tax benefits, and thoughtfully provide for and your family and your faith, even after you've left this Earth.
Many wonder if they have “enough” to create a gift plan. The answer is always yes. All people possess God’s gifts, and even the humblest gifts can make a positive impact. And regardless of the gifts you wish to share, our counselors will work with you, at no charge. Learn more in our FAQ section..
Just as everyone has different goals and needs, we offer a variety of different options to structure your gift plan. Each option has its respective strengths and variables, and each can be of benefit to someone if applied thoughtfully, and with guidance.
We are thankful that we can leave a bequest to our children, and also through the Foundation’s work, make a gift to all the congregations we have served, our Concordias, and an agency we are passionate about.
Edward & Janet Krauss
We developed a plan that creates security for ourselves and our young son while furthering the work done by the church and others. Your process provided us the means to shape a plan that is useful now and easily flexible for the future.
Mark & Kristine
It was with great joy that we were able to work on our legacy for Lutheran ministries. The LCMS Foundation helped us to formulate a plan to ensure that a portion of the gifts God has given us would be used to bless others.
Charlotte & Roy
The process provided us with an easy to use form to compose a gift letter that models for our children continued ministry support after our passing as well as a personal faith statement that will be given to our children and their families upon our passing.
Cam & Janet Fuerniss
How can we help you today? If you're a current donor, or if you're new to the LCMS Foundation and would like more information, we'd love to hear from you. Please use the "I have a question or comment about" drop-down field below to get your comment to the correct person or department faster.