The Joy of Giving with Sallie Greenfield

We’re your partner to maximize the impact of charitable giving. We help Moravian congregations, ministries and agencies integrate planned giving options as part of their stewardship programs. We help individual donors make the most of their planned gifts across all their favorite Moravian ministries, agencies, and congregations they support — . and optimize your benefits too.

We help you plan and organize your charitable giving through the many tools of philanthropy, including:

Donor Advised Funds

MMFA serves as the sponsoring charity for the Moravian Donor Advised Fund (DAF). A DAF is created by an individual donor or group of donors through an irrevocable gift to a public charity. The donor or grant advisors retain the privilege of making grant recommendations over time.

Donors are eligible for an immediate charitable income tax deduction upon funding their account, based upon the tax rules for gifts to a public charity. MMFA invests the funds and handles administrative matters for individual accounts, such as check writing, charity due diligence and verification, statement production, and all gift acknowledgments.

Individuals, circles, Sunday School classes, families, ministries, and other entities can start a DAF account by contributing assets.

Your DAF can have successors and become a perpetual fund after your passing. Or you can make the balance a direct gift to one or more named charities. MMFA offers four different investment pools with a blend of mutual funds.

MMFA will consider any asset, including privately-held stock, real estate, restricted/controlled stock, tangible personal property, or even transfer of an existing DAF as source funding.

Unless you specifically restrict it, anyone can make a donation to your DAF account on MMFA’s Giving Portal.

It is a great tool for weddings, Christmas gifts, memorials, etc.

Click here to read a very personal blog post from our very own president Chris Spaugh about how setting up a DAF helped Chris and his family see hope amidst sadness.

Giving Different Types of Assets

Gifts of Stocks & Bonds

It’s easy to make a gift of your stocks or bonds. Giving your appreciated securities can help you avoid paying capital gains tax, which would be required if you sold these assets.

Gifts of Real Estate

A gift of real property (such as a home, farm, commercial property, or vacant land) can make a great gift. You can avoid paying capital gains tax on appreciated real property when you make it a gift to us for your Moravian church or a Moravian agency.

Gifts of Retirement Assets

Retirement assets from your IRA, 401k, 403b, pension or other tax deferred plan, make an excellent gift and further the work of the Moravian Church.

Gifts of Insurance

Do you have a life insurance policy that is no longer needed or will no longer benefit your survivors? Consider making a gift and helping further your church’s ministry. Making a gift of your life insurance policy is an excellent way to support the Moravian Church.

Trusts

There are several roles and terms you should know to understand how trusts work. Let’s examine the roles and terms useful in setting up and operating a trust for children.

  • Trustee
    A trustee has responsibility to manage the property in accordance with the terms of the trust document. A trustee can be a bank or trust company, a private trustee, or a charitable trustee for a trust that benefits charity.

    A trustee is a fiduciary. State law requires the trustee to manage the trust appropriately. The trust document you sign as the trust grantor, requires the trustee to do his or her best to honor your intent.

  • Property
    Your trust exists to hold property and manage it. In many states a trust legally exists after you sign the trust document. However, it has no purpose until it is funded by receiving assets. Your trustee manages the property according to the terms of your trust document.
  • Investments
    State law requires your trustee to act as a prudent investor. Usually, the trustee invests in a stock/bond portfolio. Generally, 50% – 60% of this portfolio is invested in a diversified group of stocks. The balance is invested in bonds.

    The prudent investor rules require the trustee to diversify. This reduces the risk of loss and also increases the likelihood the trust will function as you intend.

  • Income
    There are two legally-recognized types of income: ordinary income and capital gain. Interest from mortgage notes and bonds is ordinary income. Trusts generally pay out their ordinary income. However, many trustees have more than half of the trust property invested in stocks, so trusts may now pay a portion of recognized capital gain as income.
  • Capital Gain
    Capital gain is a type of earnings of a trust that is different from ordinary income. While some of the capital gain is recognized as principal and therefore retained in the trust to benefit the remainder recipient, some of the gain is also allocated to income. The trust document guides the trustee’s decisions about who receives the income. Usually, the trustee pays out on a quarterly basis a portion of the capital gains and the ordinary income.
  • Remainder
    The trust document defines how long the trust will pay income, for example, the lifespan of a person or a specific number of years. After all income payments are made, the remainder or trust principal is transferred to the beneficiaries.

    If $400,000 trust paid income to sons Jack and William until they reached age 30, then upon the younger’s 30th birthday, the trust remainder value of $400,000 would be divided between the brothers. Each son would receive $200,000 (assuming equal distribution was specified in the trust document).

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRT) provides a lifetime of financial security and income for you or your named beneficiary. You also make a charitable gift of the remaining principal to one or more of the Moravian causes you care about at the end of the trust term.

With a CRT, you transfer appreciated assets, cash, or other property to a trust which is invested to produce income for you or other beneficiaries.

The trust sells the donated assets tax-free and reinvests the funds to generate income.

Avoid the immediate capital gains tax on the sale of the appreciated assets (i.e. real estate, stock) by transferring these assets to a CRT before the sale.

If you establish a CRT during your lifetime, you become eligible to receive a charitable income tax deduction for the value of the remainder portion of your gift to charity. If a CRT is created by your estate plan, your estate may benefit from estate tax savings after you enter the more immediate presence of the Lord.

Charitable Remainder Trusts are irrevocable. So the donor cannot reclaim the funding assets once they’re transferred to the trust. You can, however, retain certain rights through the trust document.

Benefits

  • Receive income for life or a defined number of years
  • Opportunity to increase your financial security and retirement income as the trust grows
  • Avoid immediate capital gains and the resulting taxes on the sale of the gift of an appreciated asset
  • Qualify for a charitable income tax deduction
  • Make a significant and lasting future gift to your favorite Moravian ministry or ministries

Two different kinds of CRTs

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts (CRATs or annuity trust) and Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUTs or unitrust).

Both of these types of trusts require a minimum payout of 5%. However, the CRAT and the CRUT pay different amounts to the income beneficiaries. CRATs pay a fixed amount each year, which is based on the trust’s funding date. With a CRUT, the payout amount varies from year to year. It’s based on a fixed percentage of the trust asset value each year. CRUTs typically grow in value over time, and so do your payments.

Once you create a CRUT, you can make additional contributions to it during your life or through your estate. CRATs, on the other hand, cannot receive additional contributions.

Unitrust Options

Charitable remainder unitrusts and an annuity trusts also differ in their unitrust payout options. All annuity trusts make the same fixed payment each year. However, there are four different types of unitrusts:

  1. Standard: A standard unitrust pays a fixed percentage of the trust asset value each year.
  2. Net Income Plus Make-Up (NIMCRUT): A NIMCRUT pays the lesser of the unitrust’s payout percentage or the trust’s income earned for the year. If there’s a deficit in any year, income in future years in excess of the selected payout percentage may be paid as “make-up” income.
  3. Net Income Only: This trust pays out the lesser of the trust’s income or payout percentage, but there is no opportunity to make up deficits.
  4. Flip Unitrust: It begins as a net income only or a net income plus make-up trust, but you can convert it to a standard trust upon the occurrence of a triggering event (i.e. a birth, death, sale of property, or a specified date).

Tax Consequences

Income Taxation: A CRT established during your life can provide a charitable income tax deduction to your beneficiary that’s equal to the present value of the remainder interest.

  1. Gift Taxation: If you set up a trust for someone else, the gift may be taxable. However, is no immediate gift tax  if you retain a testamentary power of revocation over the other person’s income interest — or if the gift is passing to a spouse, which qualifies it for the unlimited marital deduction.
  2. Estate Taxation: If you create a trust for someone else and retain a testamentary power to revoke their interest, the present value of that interest is included in your gross estate for estate tax purposes, once you have entered into the more immediate presence of our Lord.
  3. Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax: If payouts are made to a skip generation, such as grandchildren, then there may be generation-skipping transfer tax due.
  4. Payments from a CRT to the beneficiaries are taxed according to a tier system, which is based on the nature of the actual distributions (Income is taxed first followed by short-term capital gains and long-term capital gains. The following two tiers are tax free: tax fee income (muni-bonds) and return of capital (principal distributions).

Donor Stories

Learn how others have made an impact through their acts of giving to Moravian churches and agencies. Explore the many benefits of charitable gift planning.

Outright Gifts

Immediately impact ministry and optimize your deduction for the current year with your outright gifts. Or make a sustained mark on ministry. Either way, Moravian Ministries Foundation in America (MMFA) can make it easy by facilitating stock donations to your favorite Moravian congregations, missions, ministries and causes. We will sell the gift and put the proceeds to work.

MMFA provides its service free of charge and adds nothing to the Charles Schwab trade fee.

Perpetual Funds

“The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” – Chuck Palahniuk.

Perpetual funds can help you leave a lasting gift to support your favorite Moravian congregations, missions, ministries and causes both now and until He comes.

  • You can use any kind of assets to create a perpetual fund.
  • MMFA works with you to establish spending policy so a fixed percentage of total return is available to the recipients each year.
  • We’ll also help you establish trustee administration, discretion, and contingency guidelines to express your intentions even in a changing world.

Gift Annuities

Charitable gift annuities provide a way to support the Moravian ministries and organizations that you love. You make a gift of cash, securities or other appreciated property through MMFA. In return, we issue a gift annuity contract. We make payments for life to you, you and another beneficiary jointly, or another beneficiary solo. Each payment is a fixed amount based on the initial annuity calculation as of the date when payments start. The American Counil on Gift Annuities set gift annuity payment rates and factor in life expectancy, time value of money, and investment returns into the actual payment rate. After the beneficiaries receive all lifetime payments, the Moravian ministry or organization you designated will receive the remaining balance of your gift.

  • Your payments are fixed as of the date your gift. So your payments never change, even if interest rates or the stock market changes. Depending upon your gift, you may receive the added benefit of mostly tax-free payments. You’ll qualify for a charitable income tax deduction in the year you create the gift annuity.
  • A charitable gift annuity produces ordinary income, which is taxed at your normal income tax rate. However, if your gift is appreciated property, a portion of your payments will be taxed at the lower capital gains tax rate. A portion of your payments could even be tax-free if you make a gift of cash or appreciated property. Each case is unique. Gift annuities are not trusts, but contracts between you and the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America.

End-of-Life Gifts

Most of us support our church and our favorite Moravian ministries regularly during life. So it’s natural for us to want to do the same when we pass into the more immediate presence of our Lord.

How do you do that?

Make Sure You Have a Will

All the reasons you procrastinate are understandable. Yet, none will lessen the impact reality the absence of a will can have on your estate and family.

Here are the characteristics of a valid will:

  • You must be of legal age (18 in most states) in order to sign.
  • You must have full capacity to state your will at the time you make it.
  • You must fully intend it to take effect at the time of your death.
  • You must sign it willingly. (There must be no undue influence, duress, coercion, or fraud).
  • You must sign it in front of witnesses in most states.

Consult with your favorite Moravian attorney to avoid anything that might delay the process of probating your estate. Your will is your opportunity to carefully articulate your wishes and values. MMFA can provide you with a helpful will planning checklist to organize your thoughts and specific bequest language for remembering Moravian institutions and ministries.

Create Your Own Lasting Gift

There are many ways you can include your church and other Moravian ministries and organizations in your plan to create your lasting gift.

One of the easiest ways is an outright bequest. Your attorney can draft language making a gift through MMFA of a specific asset, percentage of your estate, or the residue (what’s left after your family receives their specific bequests). Your estate will qualify for a charitable deduction for this gift.

Or, you can create a perpetual fund with MMFA that pays a fixed percentage or set amount to your favorite causes into perpetuity under your name and you simply name your fund in your will.

Another option is to create a tax-deductible split-interest gift, to provide lifetime income to a family member or friend. Examples of these include gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and more. For additional information on planning options, please contact us. We look forward to helping you create your legacy!

Making a Lasting Gift to Charity

Want to remember the people and ministries you love? Family and other special people in your life. Or the ministries and institutions of your faith that reflect your passions. A legacy gift permits you to leave a lasting impact and often provides valuable tax savings.

A charitable gift is one of the easiest gifts to make. Create a bequest of any dollar amount, gift specific property, or designate a percentage of your estate in your will or perpetual fund. If you wish to make a gift of your IRA or 401(k) plan, it’s easy to fill out a beneficiary designation form provided by your plan administrator.

FREE! Wills Planning Checklist

Using our Planning Checklist, organize your assets and state who you intend to benefit. Once your guide is completed, visit with your advisor to finalize your plan. Please call or email us for your FREE copy.

Giving Legacy a Voice

Every year most Americans who pass away have not prepared a valid last will and testament.

2/3 of Americans do not have a will.

This is surprising because federal and state laws provide incentives to have a will. It’s easy to document your wishes  related to child custody, distribution of property, and your legacy. Often, a carefully planned will actually minimizes the costs associated with settling your estate.

Gift Planning for Churches, Agencies & Ministries

Congregational leaders, agencies and ministries are specialists at doing God’s work. Yet, many do not consider the long-term value of planned gifts with their members. Often, leaders have no experience in talking about gift planning and miss the opportunity to include it in the stewardship conversation. We can help! MMFA offers gift planning assistance for congregations and ministries. We can even help you plan a schedule.