Taking a Biblical approach to giving

No matter your personal beliefs or reasons for giving, the Christian Community Foundation is here to support you. But our foundation is rooted in the concept of Biblical Stewardship – and this guides our decisions, recommendations and principles as a foundation. 

What is Biblical stewardship?

Before we can explain Biblical stewardship, we must start by defining stewardship. A steward is a person who manages properties or materials owned by someone else, and stewardship is the management of said assets. If someone asks you to watch their dog while they are on vacation, you are stewarding the dog until the owner returns. 

Now, what is Biblical Stewardship? Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.” Deuteronomy 10:14 further proclaims, “To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” We believe that sets a precedent. Everything on Earth is God-breathed and owned by Him. We apply that directly to our lives – believing that any assets, properties or possessions we acquire on Earth are a gift from God for us to manage in a way that honors him. 

When you apply Biblical stewardship to finances, we have clear directives from Jesus throughout the New Testament. Jesus calls for his people to give generously, sacrificially and joyfully according to the resources we’ve been given. We believe that Biblical Stewardship is a mandate, not a choice. When we give of our possessions, talents and resources and invest them in people, ministries and organizations furthering the Gospel, we are investing God’s resources into His work. This is Kingdom-minded giving. 

How can I get there?

Giving generously, sacrificially and joyfully can be challenging. Applying two of the three concepts would be much easier, certainly! It goes against our human nature to give away more than we might feel comfortable giving. 

To help shift your mindset toward Biblical Stewardship, start by praying. Thank God for the resources He’s entrusted to you. You can pray for opportunities to invest your resources in causes that further his Kingdom. Keep an ear out for opportunities as they present themselves. 

Relationally, talk with generous people in your life, especially those that share your faith. Ask questions about their giving journey, and seek mentorship advice on how to become a generous, sacrificial and joyful giver. The greatest thing about joyful giving is that it is contagious. A conversation with a mentor might be the boost you need to start your giving journey. 

Practically, investing money in a donor-advised fund is an excellent way to reserve funds for giving. When you invest in a donor-advised fund, that money must be given to a philanthropic organization and cannot be withdrawn for any other reason. Even if you don’t have a cause or organization on your heart right now, you can still invest resources sacrificially, generously and joyfully into your donor-advised fund and then request a grant when your heart is touched. 

 

Generosity during retirement

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

How old were you when the seeds of giving were sowed in your life? The first memory I have of giving was around age 4 when my grandmother would give me a dollar to put in the offering plate on Sunday morning. I remember feeling so proud that I was able to give, even though the money wasn’t mine. It was only given to me to give away.

What if we continued to apply the same principle throughout our life, even into retirement?

Retirement is the time when you leave the workforce to begin a different chapter of life. Some may travel, spend more time at home or buy a condo. While many families enjoy the transition into retirement and the fruits of their savings, there can be a sense of fear or anxiety associated with a loss of regular income. This can lead to decreased giving, which can have a negative effect on your general life output. If you were charitable during your working years, you should be able to continue that generosity until the end of your days!

At the Christian Community Foundation, we recommend several strategies to help people continue giving into retirement. First, we recommend that all of our givers reserve approximately 10% of the donor-advised funds annually. These funds can then be utilized when you reach retirement age and have fewer assets to contribute to your fund. The earlier you start this process, the more you’ll have to dive into during your years outside of the workforce.

Another popular strategy for retired givers is transferring non-cash assets to your donor-advised fund. Through this process, CCF has your non-cash assets appraised and then sold, and the profits from the sale are added to your DAF. If you have property, intellectual property, antiques or other items you don’t need to hold on to, this is a great option to pursue.

Why should you continue to give when you’re in retirement? Did you know that there are health benefits from giving? For example, charitable giving has been linked to boosting self-esteem and life satisfaction, lowering the risk of depression, bettering physical health and prolonging life expectancy. At CCF, we believe that all of the assets we have on this earth are simply borrowed from God. While we want to pass on items to our family and loved ones, we ultimately can’t take anything with us.

If you are a retiree, soon to be, or even in the early years of your professional life, we’d love to help you develop your financial giving strategy. At CCF, we serve as a conduit for giving as well as an active partner throughout your giving journey. Creating a donor-advised fund allows money that is designated for giving to grow tax-free.

If you have any questions about setting up a donor-advised fund or would like to learn more about Christian Community Foundation, please give us a call at (901) 682-6201.

The benefits of donating non-cash assets

At the Christian Community Foundation, we are here to help you start on the path toward generous giving by developing a plan that is right for you and your family. Donor-advised funds are a great way to give strategically, and they can be funded in a number of ways. While liquid-cash assets are a common source of funding, many donors also choose to donate appreciated non-cash assets.

Essentially, non-cash assets represent the value you’ve earned on an investment between the time of purchase and today’s market value. Donors can invest appreciated stock value, appreciated property value, appreciated intellectual property value, and a number of other non-cash assets associated with the appreciated value of many investments.

Why might a donor choose to invest appreciated non-cash assets? First, donating appreciated value from within your investment portfolio does not affect your cash flow. This allows families to donate to charitable organizations they love without impacting their daily operating budget. Second, there are tax benefits many donors experience when they choose to donate appreciated non-cash assets. The Christian Community Foundation always recommends you consult with a trusted financial advisor before making a donation decision with tax implications.

At the Christian Community Foundation, we accept assets of cash, stocks, bonds, real estate or other tangible property. Gifts of non-cash assets are valued and invested in your donor-advised fund, so you can then donate to an organization you love.

There are many options when starting your philanthropic journey, and CCF is here to help you answer God’s call to give. If you have any questions about assets or how you can get started, please contact us at (901) 682-6201.

Giving locally versus giving globally

There are many ways to donate and make a difference around the world or in your backyard, but which is calling to you? Christ commands us to love each other and offer ourselves to those in need, whether they are in our community or across the world.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:8-11)

God’s word calls us to give faithfully, but let your heart lead you to where you’re called to give. Local donations support your community and can have an impact on your day-to-day life. Memphis is a city filled with opportunities to give your time and money in an effort to make a difference in community lives. 

When you give locally, you have the opportunity to see the firsthand implications of your donation. You see where your donations are used, you employ locals, create positive relationships and more! 

Choosing to donate outside of your community still impacts your heart and the lives of others. Giving more globally can mean that your monetary gift goes much further and depending on the location, your donation could make a larger tangible impact. Choosing to donate outside of your community also gives you a wider range of nonprofits and causes to support. 

If you decide to donate money nationally or globally, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to invest locally! Community service and volunteerism has just as much of an impact as monetary donations. You can support organizations abroad while still investing time in your community. 

Deciding where to give can be both exciting and overwhelming, which is why we are here to help you navigate the path toward giving. If you have any questions about deciding where to give or how you can get started, please contact us at (901) 682-6201.

 

Finding the best fund for you

At the Christian Community Foundation, we have many ways for you to easily invest in the community. While traditional donor-advised funds are the most popular option, there are several options that might better suit your unique giving desires. When you’re planning to start a new fund, our team can help you identify the fund-type that is best for you. Here are the two most popular options you can pursue through CCF:

Legacy Fund

A legacy fund through the Christian Community Foundation ensures that your charitable donations live on. Upon your death, your legacy fund will continue to make charitable donations on your behalf to the nonprofit organization(s) of your choice. This fund creates more than a lifetime worth of support – it creates a charitable legacy for your family, friends and loved ones to continue in your honor. If your account is designated as a donor-advised fund – don’t worry. The parameters you outlined at the onset of your relationship with CCF will apply in the event you should pass. If you’d like to update or revise plans related to your DAF, reach out to CCF. 

Scholarship Fund

Investing charitable dollars into education is one of the greatest gifts you can leave to future generations. Many of our donors choose to develop a scholarship fund at the university, college or school of their choice. We can connect our donors to the appropriate school department to manage the scholarship development process directly with the university. If you choose to pursue this arrangement, you can make scholarship contributions directly out of your existing donor-advised fund account. However, you can also create a dedicated scholarship fund through the Christian Community Foundation if that is your wish. Contact our team to learn more about this account type. 

While these are excellent options, there are many more funds to consider when you’re seeking to start your philanthropic journey. The Christian Community Foundation makes it easy for you to answer God’s call to give. If you have any questions about which fund is best for you or how you can get started, please contact us at (901) 682-6201.

 

How can you help others give?

When you do good for others, it makes you feel good! When we feel good about something, we like to share it with those around us. Leading others to do good will not only make us feel good but will help others feel good too. How can you help others start on their path to giving?

Spread God’s word.
God’s word commands us to give back to our communities and to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Through monetary donations or by giving our time, we are answering God’s calling.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” -Luke 6:38

Placing Christ at the center of your giving will not only help you remember the reason why you give back, but it will remind others of their calling to give. At the Christian Community Foundation, we believe in Biblical Stewardship, and honor families and individuals who choose to invest the gifts they’ve been entrusted through CCF.

Discuss the benefits of a donor-advised fund.
Sharing the benefits of donor-advised funds can change the way your friends and family think about giving. Donor-advised funds make giving easy, budget friendly, flexible and effective. They allow you the autonomy to support a nonprofit with regular monthly donations, meet an immediate need of an organization or grow your funds while you wait for an opportunity to give. You can also donate assets including cash, stocks, bonds or even real estate. The flexibility at CCF allows everyone to make an impact hassle free. Share the personal advantages you’ve had by using a donor-advised fund and help those around you do good.

Show others how giving has impacted you.
Kindness is contagious. People often model the attitudes and actions of those around them. When you share the impact you’re making on the community, the more likely those around you are to do the same. Talk about your favorite nonprofit and how it gave you a better sense of self and community. Spread kindness, and soon others will do the same!

Share Christian Community Foundation’s posts on social media.
You can find Christian Community Foundation’s pages on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with CCF and share our latest updates!

There are many ways to help others give! CCF is here to help everyone start their personal journey to giving. If you need more resources or have questions about CCF, contact us at (901) 682-6201.

End-of-year giving – stop what you’re doing and plan ahead!

As the year-end approaches, gift giving is often at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Time and money is spent shopping for the perfect Christmas gifts for friends, family and loved ones. If you’re like many of us, mixed in with the holiday shopping deals are requests for support and donations from nonprofit partners in the community. End-of-year giving requests are an important piece of the nonprofit giving cycle as nonprofits hope to capitalize on last-minute efforts by donors to alleviate tax burdens. But strategic givers know that giving doesn’t have to happen at the end of the year – in fact, with a donor-advised fund, you can plan your giving strategically so end-of-year requests don’t have to break the bank.

So, why should a donor-advised fund be the answer to your end-of-year giving needs?

You can more easily field unexpected requests.
All of our resources are limited, and we know that money can be tight at the end of the year. While you may want to donate to a number of organizations, you might have already exceeded the amount you can donate for the year. A donor-advised fund allows you to earmark and budget funds specifically for philanthropy. This way, when end-of-year requests pour in, you have a pool of money in your fund that you can donate without impacting your cash flow. This gives you the freedom to plan and give more easily!

For tax purposes, you receive a tax benefit in the year you contribute to your donor-advised fund.
If you’re giving at the end of the year in a mad rush to alleviate your tax burdens – stop! Meet with a trusted financial advisor earlier in the year and create a giving plan that includes a donor-advised fund. You’ll receive a tax credit in the year that you contribute to your fund, and you won’t have to rush to find places to donate money at year-end. Trust us – strategic giving pays off!

We are called to give – and donor-advised funds help you give more freely.
God’s Word is clear that we are intended to give what we have to those who have less. As Christians, it’s a part of our calling!

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

– 1 John 3:16-18

As we enter into the giving season, search your heart for those organizations and missions that mean the most to you and your family. Letting children become involved in the giving process is a great way to encourage family bonding and instill the importance of giving at a young age.

If you have any questions about giving back or would like to create your own donor-advised fund to begin your own giving journey, feel free to give us a call at 901-682-6201.

Where to give in Memphis?

Memphis has a heart for giving – and we also have causes worth supporting. With so many asks coming in on a daily basis, and with a number of worthy organizations tugging at our heartstrings, it can be hard to land on which organization you want to support through your Christian giving. But if you know how much you want to give in a year, then there is an easy solution – create a donor-advised fund.

Creating a donor-advised fund through the Christian Community Foundation affords you time and the opportunity to give strategically. Donor-advised funds allow you to budget, plan and execute your giving in one move without designating a nonprofit. So, when a need arises or your heart is touched, you can immediately make a grant to the nonprofit of your choice from the pool of money you’ve set aside for giving.

Donor-advised funds are a flexible, convenient way for you to donate money when you aren’t sure of where to give. With a donor-advised fund, you receive an income tax deduction in the year that a contribution was made to the account – and you no longer have to keep up with donation receipts for every nonprofit or charitable contribution you make. You also can easily make a grant request online, and we’ll write, mail and confirm donation for you. We do all the leg work! Through CCF, you can also donate assets including cash, stocks, bonds or even real estate. This flexibility allows you to contribute what you want when you want with no extra stress or inconvenience! 

In our city, the opportunities to donate seem endless. And it’s amazing that we have a nonprofit landscape so committed to tackling our community’s most challenging issues. We want to empower you to use the gifts you’ve been entrusted with to impact the community. You can do this most effectively with a donor-advised fund.

We know that the giving process can be overwhelming at times, which is why we are here to help every step of the way. If you need assistance in setting up a donor-advised fund or with any donating needs, feel free to contact us at (901) 682-6201.

How to cultivate a giving spirit when donations are auto-drafted

In this digitally run world where donations are often auto-drafted, it can be hard to remember why you started donating in the first place. With almost 54% of donors giving online, forming real-life relationships with the organizations you support can be more difficult. At times, it can feel as if the giving spirit is lost in the transaction. With a few small reminders, and by trying some new things, you can cultivate a giving spirit, even if your actual donation requires little action on your part.

Volunteer with organizations you support financially
Most nonprofits need volunteers year-round. Volunteering can help you see and feel what your donation does. Getting some up-close-and-personal experience with your chosen organization could highlight the reason why you give and why your continued support is important. This experience can also be extremely meaningful to people in need. Physically serving people you support financially can create a personal bond that cannot be put into words or felt online – it’s a wholesome experience that is sure to rekindle your giving spirit.

Discuss results and impact with the organization’s director of donor relations
Directors of donor relations are equipped to support you in your giving journey. When contacting the organization’s point person, ask how your donations are affecting the cause. Was something done as a direct result of your donation? Were all of the needed materials provided for that health event? All of these questions can be answered when you contact the director. You can learn how your donation helped change someone’s life. When you see a plan come through and impact lives, the spirit of giving can be fulfilled, even if you don’t get to see the behind-the-scenes footage.

Meet up with other donors
Meeting up with those who are giving to the same cause is sure to bring excitement about the common good. When you bond with others who share your passion for helping a community, it creates a sense of commonality and affirms that others see the nonprofit’s work as valuable, too. These gatherings could also bring about other ways you could help the cause that you care for – like volunteering, hosting an event, visiting those in need and more.

There are multiple ways to revitalize the giving spirit for auto-drafted donors! If you just can’t grasp that feeling, contact us and we’d love to help you find meaningful ways to connect with your giving.

What does generational giving look like?

When you take a look at the breakdown of givers, the numbers tell an interesting story. Baby Boomers make up 43% of givers, while Generation X makes up 20% and Millennials 11%. It seems clear that age correlates with generosity, and younger givers appear to be behind. Undoubtedly, younger individuals and families have more expenses – from student loan debt to child care – and are also less established in their careers. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are likely past most of these expenses, leaving them with more disposable income to give.

While it’s easy to attribute the generational drop-offs to age (and some can surely be attributed to age) there are additional factors, like lack of education on the matter. Younger generations may also be giving in other ways, such as giving their time to causes. No matter the reasoning, the best way to learn about giving is through demonstration. At Christian Community Foundation, our family of givers is comprised of people spanning a wide range of ages. And, we believe that giving isn’t about the amount of money you can contribute, it’s about establishing a practice of generosity. What we can say firmly is this – giving is a learned behavior, and our youngest givers do so because they learned the behavior from people they love.

As a foundation centered on helping others find ways to donate to causes they care about, we aim to provide all routes necessary to help you help others. These efforts are made to aid organizations right in our own backyard. And what better way to help following generations learn about helping our community than through the help of family? We want to bring that spark of helping others back to life – and strategic giving starts with education.

That’s why we’ve created the NexGen Fund. This donor-advised fund was created to start conversations on giving in your family. With the help of more established generations, younger people can learn the values of giving at any age. While most funds require a minimum investment to be established (which is intimidating to some younger donors), NexGen has no such requirement. You or a family member can create a fund in another’s name, and upon access to their own funds, the mentee can continue to give and distribute. Creating a trickle-down effect can help improve your family’s knowledge on giving to those in need. This is a plan of action waiting for family members following in your footsteps.

Creating this type of fund allows future generations to distribute it to organizations in need. Why is this important? Because at the center of Christian faith, giving is the ministry of God at work. We are called to keep hope alive, and we can’t do it without you!