Funding the Church and School
Tithing, offerings, and fees currently provide the bulk of funding for our church and school. However, non-cash gifts and bequests are becoming much more important. For many churches to survive financially, they will need to expand their concept of stewardship. This includes in-kind gifts and especially estate planning.
Offering booklets are printed each year for church members and can be picked up at the church in December. Envelopes from the booklet can be placed within the offering plate during Sunday morning services, dropped by the church office, or mailed. If mailing, a stamp will be required. Printed on the envelopes is a special "envelope number" that is used to uniquely identify the contributor.
Electronic Funds Transfer
Most banks now allow their customers to go online and create a link to an external bank account and transfer funds electronically to the external account for free. Transfers usually can to be made on a onetime basis or setup as recurring. A special contributions bank account has been established to receive those transfers. The routing number is 062105778, account number is 60918477, and the type of account is checking. Deposits coming into the contributions bank account typically show the bank of origin and the name on the sending account. For verification purposes on your initial transfer, please send a dollar amount equal to your offering booklet envelope number (e.g. $1.23 for 123) and then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting verification. The treasurer will verify receipt of funds, verify that your identity can be detected from the deposit information and then send you a return Email noting that your deposit has been validated. Note, if you do not know your envelope number, please contact the church office.
Bill Payer Services
Your bank may provide free bill payer services where you can go online and configure payments to be sent through the mail to a business on a one time or recurring basis. You can use the information below to setup automatic mail payments of your contributions.
- Business Name: Saint Paul Lutheran Church Inc.
Business Address: 1407 E. John Sims Parkway, Niceville, Florida 32578-2976
Business Phone: (850) 678-1298
Payee Account Number: [Use your envelope number from your offering booklet. If not known, contact the office]
GivePlus Electronic Giving
Church members may make electronic donations from their bank accounts via the GivePlus mobile application. To get started, download the "Give+" app (from Vanco Services) via the Apple App Store for an iPhone or from Google Play for an Android phone. Then, open the app, search for churches by zip code (32578), and select "St. Paul Lutheran Church". For reoccurring donations, you will need to create a GivePlus account. For one-time donations, no account is required. Note that Vanco charges a monthly processing fee and a substantial percentage transaction fee for GivePlus usage. Instead of using GivePlus, if possible, please use electronic funds transfer or bill payer services as described above.
Amazon Smile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on Amazon Smile, 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products will be donated to your selected charitable organization. For browsers, navigate to https://smile.amazon.com . For Android phones, there is an app available from the Google Play Store. For iPhones, open the site in Safari and then share it to your home screen. Please use the Amazon Smile website for your Amazon shopping. You can select our church as your charitable organization by searching on "St Paul Niceville".
In-kind gifts, as opposed to in-cash gifts, include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, vehicles, jewelry, valuable artwork, and such. Giving these types of gifts can save you the effort of liquidation as well as the tax bill for any appreciation in value. Giving highly appreciated assets in-kind can result in substantial tax savings to you and a higher net contribution to the church given that the church does not pay income taxes.
Retirement Funding Has Changed
In days past, many companies would provide their employees with pensions. Now, most companies provide employees the ability to contribute to their own 401Ks or IRAs, with some providing a company match. This is resulting in a large accumulation of wealth and much of it is going to be passed on to heirs. It is estimated that within the United States up to sixty-eight trillion dollars in wealth will be passed on to the next generation over the next twenty-five years.
How to Leave a Legacy
Through the process of estate planning, members of the church may provide for the church in a way that does not harm their ability to fund their retirements. Out-living your retirement funding is not a pleasant prospect. Below are some of the ways you may create your personal legacy within the church.
- Within your will or trust, specify a fixed dollar amount, percentage of your estate, or specific assets such as stocks, jewelry, vehicles, or real estate for the church.
- Name the church as a partial or contingent beneficiary within a life insurance policy or annuity contract.
- Name the church as a partial or contingent beneficiary using a "transfer on death" designation for a 401K, IRA, Roth IRA, or brokerage account.
- Name the church as a partial or contingent beneficiary using a "payable on death" designation for bank accounts such as checking, savings, and money market accounts, and also for savings bonds and certificates of deposit.
Example Gift Language for Wills and Trusts
Restricted Bequest: I give the sum of $__________ (or _____% of my estate) to the Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Inc., whose tax identification number is 59-1962181, and having its principal office at 1407 E. John Sims Parkway, Niceville, Florida 32578, for the following purpose: ____________________________________________ (state specific purpose). In the event that such use becomes impractical or impossible, the gift shall be used for such purpose as the church shall, at its discretion, determine.