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Making the Most Out of Your Gifts to the Church and Other Non-Profits

When most people make donations to their parish, the broader church or other charitable organizations, they send a check or use a credit card, but there are other options too. Some of those giving methods can benefit you as well, due to reduced tax liabilities.

As the standard deduction has risen to $13,850 for individuals (double for married couples filing jointly) an option is to consider giving strategies that do not require itemizing on your tax return.

With any of these options, it is important to consult with a financial advisor.

Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)

A qualified charitable distribution is a direct transfer of funds from your IRA to a qualified non-profit such as your parish or the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw. Qualified charitable distributions can be counted toward satisfying your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year. 

This option can reduce your tax liability because it involves donating pre-tax dollars before they become taxable income as an RMD.

Many IRAs (traditional, rollover and inherited) are eligible for qualified charitable distribution gifts, but there are some requirements:

  • The required age to begin taking distributions from your IRA is 73 years old. 
  • However, you can begin qualified charitable distributions is 70½ years of age. 
  • QCDs cannot be more than $100,000 per tax year – even if your required minimum distribution is greater than $100,000. 
  • QCDs are limited to the amount that would otherwise be taxed as ordinary income. This excludes non-deductible contributions.
  • For qualified distributions to count toward the current year’s RMD, the funds must come out of your IRA by established deadlines. For this year, most RMD deadlines are December 30, 2023.

Stock donation gifts

By donating stock that has appreciated for more than one year, you are actually giving 20% more than if you sell the stock and make a cash donation. This is because stock donation gifts avoid you paying capital gains taxes. 

Donated stock is shares in a corporation that have been donated to a charitable entity, such as your parish or the Diocese of Saginaw. You can then take deduction in the amount of the fair value of the stock on the date of the donation.

Matching gifts from businesses and corporations

Matching gifts are corporate programs that allow employees to enhance their donations to charitable organizations, such as your parish or the diocese. Businesses of many sizes and sectors may have matching gift programs.

There are some things to know about matching gifts:

  • Employees need to complete any forms from their employer for matching gifts. Your parish or the diocese cannot make a request for a matching gift.
  • Companies that offer matching gifts typically have minimums and maximums. This is in reference to your actual donation. Examples include:
    • If the minimum employer matched amount is $25, and you donate $15, the company will not match your $15.
    • If the maximum employer match is $500, but you give $1,000, the company will match up to its maximum of $500, resulting in $1,500 to your parish, the diocese or other organization.
  • Match ratio defines how much a company will donate in relation to the original donation. An example is:
    • If the ratio is 1:1, the company will give the exact amount of your donation. If the match ratio is 2:1, the company will give twice the amount of your donation.
  • Employee eligibility refers to the specification of matched gifts based on an employee’s status, such as:
    • A part-time employee may be eligible for a 1:1 ratio match, but a full-time employee may be eligible for 2:1 ratio.
  • Non-profit eligibility refers to parameters to which the company offers matching funds, such as educational institutions, the arts or environmental organizations.
  • Deadlines can vary greatly for company matches. Be sure to check early with your employer if you are seeking gift matches for your charitable gifts.

For more information about giving to your parish or the Diocese of Saginaw via qualified charitable distributions or stock donations, please contact the diocese stewardship and development department at 989-797-6679 or