Donating Real Estate Is a Great Way to Support Ministry

Donating real estate is one of the best ways to make a gift or donation to a favorite ministry. Gifting real estate, or other personal property or appreciated assets, can be a blessing to both you and the ministries you choose to support.

By donating real estate that has grown in value, you can often avoid incurring capital gains tax on its sale, plus benefit from an immediate tax deduction that year. More importantly, that means you can provide a greater gift to your local congregation, LCMS school or other ministry, versus much of the gift being reduced by taxes.

Learn more about donating real estate to charity below.

Gifting real estate during your lifetime

Unfortunately, few people know about the benefits of gifting real estate to fulfill the call they feel to support ministry. The vast majority of Americans use cash or checks to make charitable donations, whereas, if they donate real estate instead, they potentially could make larger gifts, while also lowering their tax bill.

Specific benefits of gifting real estate typically include:

  • A tax deduction equal to the current market value of the property (versus the cost of the property when it was purchased). Your deduction may be carried forward for five years. 
  • If the property has increased in value significantly since you purchased it, donating it will usually allow you avoid capital gains tax.
  • Minimizing other fees associated with selling property, including broker’s fees, etc.
  • Avoiding many of the hassles of preparing the property for sale, negotiating with buyers and other time consuming and frustrating processes.
  • Paying less taxes and fees than selling the property outright means you can provide a more generous gift to your ministry or ministries of choice.

What kind of property can I donate?

Most types of real estate can be donated and turned into a gift to ministry. The process can range from fairly simple to more complex, depending on the property and whether it has any encumbrances, such as civil liens or unpaid property taxes. However, the LCMS Foundation has decades of experience working with just about every type of situation and every type of property imaginable, including industrial and retail properties, vacant land and mineral rights. Our goal is to make the process as simple as possible, so you can truly turn a burden into a blessing.

In addition to donating real estate to charity, many of the same benefits apply to donating other appreciated assets, including:

  • Publicly traded securities 
  • Privately/closely held stock
  • Mutual funds
  • Artwork
  • Collectibles

Choose the LCMS Foundation for gifting real estate

Some ministries and charities may not have the ability to accept donations of real estate, or may struggle at how to convert such gifts to fund their mission. That’s where the LCMS Foundation comes in. We can act as a bridge to liquify the real estate (as a non-profit, we are exempt from the taxes you’d pay if you liquified it yourself), passing on its value to the ministry or ministries you wish to support.


Interested in donating real estate?

Let the LCMS Foundation help you determine if donating real estate makes sense for you. Our gift planning counselors can help you determine how to make the greatest impact with the gifts God has provided, including how to best provide for your family, as well as how to support the LCMS ministries you cherish.

To learn more about donating real estate fill out the form below.

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But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Cor. 15:57


A Simple, Straightforward Process

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.

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Everyone is Eligible

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..

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Options to Structure Your Gift Plan

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.

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Contact Us

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.