Promoting Non-Cash Gifts

February 25, 2021

How can you increase and facilitate non-cash gifts of financial assets, real estate or tangible property? First, let your people know that you are actively seeking such gifts. This could be accomplished simply by publishing a quarterly announcement stating: “If you are interested in making a non-cash gift to our ministry such as stock, mutual funds or real estate, please contact John Doe, our Creative Gifts team leader to discuss the procedures and benefits”.

Beyond this simple announcement, additional strategies to create visibility and promote such gifts could include:

  • Distributing flyers or brochures explaining the benefits of non-cash gifts. Using case studies can be very effective. Also, commercial literature on this topic is readily available and can be branded to include your church name and logo.
  • Host a “Creative Giving Seminar” taught by a financial professional such as a CPA, CFP or CFRE who is skilled and knowledgeable in tax-wise charitable gifting techniques.
  • Feature a testimonial (written or verbal) of a recent non-cash gift made by another church member.

Before you promote non-cash gifts, make sure you are ready to receive them. Here are a few planning pointers as you prepare to receive gifts of financial assets:

  • Open a brokerage account in the name of your church. These days, most transfers of shares are done electronically. You will need to provide the donor (or their broker) with the church’s brokerage account number in order for them to make the transfer.
  • Brush up on proper IRS procedures for receipting non-cash gifts (see IRS publications #526 and #561 ). It is always the donor’s responsibility to value their gift non-cash gift. Following IRS guidelines, your gift receipt should clearly describe the asset but not show any dollar value.
  • Handle all non-cash gifts (and especially first time gifts) with great care. By showing your donors that you have the systems and knowledge to competently handle their gift, you enhance their confidence for future (and perhaps larger) gifts. Who knows – today’s $5,000 gift of a few mutual fund shares could become tomorrow’s $500,000 gift of company stock!

When you clearly communicate the advantages of non-cash gifts to your congregation and provide ways for people to respond, both your ministry, and your members will benefit.