November 26, 2021

Investing with Faith / Jolinda Moore

Consider ways to support the Church with end-of-year gifts

Jolinda MooreIt’s hard to believe, but 2021 is entering its final month in a few days. The beautiful season of Advent begins this weekend, and hopefully you just enjoyed a memorable Thanksgiving holiday. At its best, these days each year are marked with faith, family and friends, as well as a spirit of connectedness and thinking of others. Our own blessings from God often come into focus in a unique way, and the joyful urge to share those with others can play upon our hearts.

In the archdiocesan Office of Stewardship and Development, we have a unique opportunity to witness firsthand how this sense of gratitude and generosity often continues on through Christmas and the end of the year in the form of gifts for archdiocesan ministries. Whether it’s someone’s United Catholic Appeal (UCA) pledge contribution or parish capital campaign gift or donation to a school’s endowment, the Catholic faithful’s desire to give back and care for those in need is evident.

If you find yourself with this inclination to support the Church before the end of the calendar year, we want to share that there may be certain types of charitable gifts that can offer advantages to you as well. A number of giving strategies can help lower your income and taxes this year, shifting tax dollars to charitable dollars to support your favorite cause. Though rarely the primary motivation, these personal tax benefits can factor into one’s stewardship of resources and even allow for a greater charitable gift.

In this brief space, I’ll mention two of the most popular end-of-year gifts that we see as well as a unique option for 2021:

A gift from your IRA—If you are 70½ or older, a tax-friendly alternative to an outright gift of cash is a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from your individual retirement account (IRA). Although this gift does not qualify for a tax deduction, it is tax-free, as it goes from your IRA custodian directly to the parish, school or agency of your choice. Moreover, it does not count toward your gross income, which can provide additional tax advantages. If you are 72 or older and have a required minimum distribution (RMD), a QCD can satisfy some or all of your IRA’s RMD. Even if you don’t itemize on your tax return, a QCD gift can offer unique benefits to a donor.

A gift of appreciated securities—A gift of appreciated assets, such as stocks, bonds or mutual funds to benefit your favorite parish, school, agency or appeal (like UCA!) can make a big impact for the cause and, potentially, for you. It avoids capital gains tax, with the ministry receiving its current value, and allows you to take an income tax deduction for this fully appreciated amount, even if you paid much less for it years ago. As a service to all of our parishes, schools and agencies, all gifts of securities are processed through the archdiocese’s single brokerage account, with the designee receiving 100% of the gift.

Raised AGI limit for cash gifts—In 2021, there is an increased limitation on charitable deductions for cash gifts, from 60% adjusted gross income (AGI) to 100% AGI. Some donors could find 2021 a very good year to make a large cash gift.

As you experience this season of giving, please know that we are here to help you explore any end-of-year charitable strategies and serve the parish, school or ministry that you cherish. We take great care to ensure that all gifts are used to fulfill a donor’s intentions. Please visit our website,, to share with us details on gifts of IRA, stock or transactions from your donor advised fund. If you would like further information on any of these gifts, please contact us.

(Jolinda Moore is executive director of the archdiocesan Office of Stewardship and Development and the Catholic Community Foundation [CCF]. Tax or legal information provided herein is not intended as tax or legal advice. Always consult with your legal, tax or financial advisors before implementing any gift plan. If you would like to learn more about including your parish in your estate plans, please contact us any time. We exist to exclusively serve you and your parish in planned giving. For more information on the CCF, visit, e-mail ccf@, or call 317-236-1482.)

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