Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow.....
Did you know that over 80% of people make contributions to charitable organizations annually, but only 6% leave a bequest to those organizations on their death? The overriding reason given for why this occurs is because they had not been asked! But what better way to perpetuate your commitment to your church?
The West Des Moines United Methodist Endowment was established in 1995. Since that time it has been formed as a separate corporation, with its own bylaws and board. It is a 501(C)(3) Charitable Organization, which makes all contributions tax deductible.
The Endowment Fund of the West Des Moines United Methodist Church assists the church in its mission of “changing lives in the name of Jesus Christ” for generations to come. It provides money and support for church programs and activities.
Use of Assets and Income
The Endowment is a permanent fund derived from gifts and bequests. The principal is invested prudently, and the income is used to help the church carry out its mission in vital and innovative ways. Endowment income does not underwrite the annual budget of the church. Funds are distributed to meet identified needs unless designated for a specific purpose.
Questions and Answers
Q. How could I leave a Legacy to West Des Moines United Methodist Church?
A. You may leave a legacy by choosing the type of bequest that works best for you. There are many ways a bequest can be structured to fit your desires and tax and estate planning. The final decision will be determined by your individual circumstances. Some of the more common ways to remember the church are as follows:
Outright Bequest (Gift of Cash)
A gift of cash during your lifetime or as part of your estate.
A bequest of Stocks or Bonds makes sense for a lot of persons who enjoy large increases of value in them because the donor gets the full benefit of the total value of the gift as a charitable contribution without having to claim capital gains taxes.
The Church can be made the beneficiary of an insurance policy. That way, upon your death, the proceeds from the policy will go directly to the Church’s Endowment. The benefit is that a large contribution can be made at a modest cost.
Donations of Real Estate can be made where the Church gets the value of the sale of the property without your estate having to pay taxes on the sale of it.
Charitable Gift Annuities
A sum of money can be designated as a gift to the Church on your death, but you can draw annual income during your lifetime. The amount of annual income is determined by your age at the time of the gift. Typically, the older you are, the higher the amount of income.
Trusts are similar to a Charitable Gift Annuity but are structured as a contract for tax advantages.
Gifts of personal property go directly to the Endowment Fund, thus avoiding estate taxes.
Note: Any of the items shown above, if included in a will, pass directly to the Church Endowment Fund without going through estate taxation. All of these options have financial and legal consideration. We recommend that you work with your accountant, financial advisor, or lawyer in structuring your bequest. This is not a difficult process. If you do not have access to an advisor, we can help you.
Q. Where could I get information or who could I talk to for more information?
A. The best place to start is to talk to someone with whom you are comfortable–your accountant, your lawyer, or your financial advisor. If they are not able to help you directly, you can ask them to contact us for additional help.
To get started, you may want to tell any of the pastors that you are interested in making a bequest, and they will put you in contact with the appropriate person. You may also talk to anyone on the Endowment board. Call the church office at 278-0826 and ask for the name and phone number of anyone on the Endowment Board for further information.
We may not be able to answer specific financial questions, but we will recommend a person or persons who can answer your questions. We are available to help you. All conversations will be held in strictest confidence.
Q. How can my group at church apply for a distribution from the Endowment Fund to meet special needs?
A. Each year in the fall representatives of the Endowment Fund, the United Methodist Men, and Mits-Wits Adult Sunday School Class meet to distribute funds. You may download a Request for Distribution Form and turn it into one of these groups.
Q. How will the money I bequest be used?
A. Bequests to the West Des Moines United Methodist Church Endowment can take many forms. It can be structured either as a designated or undesignated gift.
Some people have a favorite area of devotion to the programs and opportunities within our church. Some examples are Music Programs, Missions Outreach, Youth Programs, Scholarship Needs, Special Activities, etc. Any of these “designated” areas (or any other special area of your choice) can be honored by indicating the gift is to support that area. The income from that gift would be funneled annually to your specific request.
Any bequest not specifically designated for a particular program will go into the Endowment Fund, and income will be distributed annually to areas selected for support for that year.
Regardless of the designation of any gift, the principal will never be used; only the appreciation or income of the donated amount will be distributed. Your bequest will never be used for distribution and will always remain to grow and work for the church in the future.