Leave an Enduring Legacy by Contributing to Saint Martin’s Endowment
Since it opened its big red doors at 50 Orchard Avenue in 1922, Saint Martin’s has brought to the Greater Providence area a thoughtful approach to Christianity; one that combines the beauty of traditional Episcopal liturgy with vigorous outreach programs and a striving for social justice. In order to help ensure that Saint Martin’s continues to thrive, the Parish is strengthening its endowment and asks your help.
Saint Martin’s Endowment was set up decades ago to help fund long-term expenses and to insulate the parish from the vagaries of economic cycles. The endowment provides an ability to offer financial support to new initiatives and to make needed repairs to our beautiful and historic facility in a timely and cost-effective manner. It has also been used to support and jump-start new ministries and outreach programs. Dedicated funds within the endowment also fund special music programs on Christmas and Easter and allow the replacement of worn vestments and the like.
Our goal is to grow the size of the endowment so that we can restrict withdrawals to 4-5% of principal per year range. This is a sustainable level and is considered a “best practice”.
How can I help?
There are many ways to contribute to the Endowment. Some are simple and straightforward such as: an outright gift of money or assets such as stock or real estate, including Saint Martin’s in your will, making Saint Martin’s a whole or partial beneficiary of a life insurance policy, or a gift from an Individual Retirement Account. Other techniques such as Charitable Gift Annuities and Charitable Remainder Trust are more complicated but well worth considering if a sizable gift is contemplated. Consideration of tax and estate law can make your gift more powerful by reducing taxes and expenses.
Common Ways to help strengthen Saint Martin’s Endowment
- Simple & Immediate Gifts. Cash, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate and personal property can be given at any time to the Endowment. Some people have the idea that a gift to the endowment needs to be large. That is not the case. Any amount is always welcome. You can give a small affordable amount each month which adds up over time; others choose a larger one-time gift. The parish can also take title to real estate and valuable personal property such as jewelry or paintings and sell them with the proceeds going into the Endowment.
- Gifts from an IRA, 401K and some other retirement plans. This is an increasingly common technique. The money that has accumulated in the plan has never been taxed but is taxed when you withdraw or when it goes into your estate when you die. However, gifts from such retirement accounts to charitable or religious organizations such as Saint Martin’s are not taxed at all. In addition, you may be entitled to a charitable deduction in the amount of the gift.
- Tip: If you are over 70 1/2 the IRS requires that a portion of your IRA account be distributed each year until your death. This is the so called Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). If the money goes to you, it is taxed at your individual income tax rate. However, if you instruct your IRA to give the money directly to a not for profit such as Saint Martin’s then the distribution is not taxable to you.
- Deferred Gifts: Wills and Bequests. A bequest through a will is the most common way the Endowment has been funded. It is a simple and straight forward way of giving and creating a legacy of good that will live on. Bequests can be in simple dollar amounts, or as a percentage of your estate or even a percentage of the remainder after other specific bequests such as gifts to children or other charities have been made. The language needed to add a bequest to an existing will can be quite simple: “I give, devise, and bequeath to Saint Martin’s Parish, 50 Orchard Avenue, Providence, RI, the sum of $ XXX. to be placed in its Endowment.
- Tip: You should always use an attorney to develop your estate plan and draft and make changes to your will. Even if you do not have a lot of money, a will helps your family and friends understand how you would like to handle things. It can also avoid complications and confusion. The Episcopal Church Foundation’s “Planning for the End of Life” booklet contains considerable information about these topics. It can be found on line at http://www.ecfvp.org/webinars/122/basics-of-planned-giving-2.
- Life Insurance. You may have life insurance that is no longer needed (children grown, spouse has passed) Some name the parish the beneficiary or partial beneficiary of such excess life insurance.
- You may get a tax deduction for the cash surrender value of the policy not its ‘face value”. If the policy requires continuing the premiums, those too can be deductible.
- More Complicated Techniques. There are some techniques which only make sense if one has considerable assets. These include charitable gift annuities, Charitable remainder Trusts, and Pooled Income funds. Should you wish to explore these options Saint Martin’s will be happy to work with your advisors.
For further information please contact the church office or one of the Clergy or Vestry. The phone number is 401-751-2141; [email protected];
(Information provided in this brochure is of a general nature. You should always consult your own lawyer or accountants before making important decisions.)