Services for Members


Create your legacy and ensure the continuation of God’s work in the world for years to come. The ELCA Foundation is here to help you make a gift that benefits the ELCA and its ministries, including your congregation, camp university, or churchwide ministry, such as ELCA World Hunger or Lutheran Disaster Response.


Ready to create your gift plan? Contact your regional gift planner, and we’ll help you navigate your options to maximize your financial and estate-planning goals. There’s no cost or obligation. It is our ministry to be of service.



Ways to Give

Make checks payable to the “ELCA” and please include your designation (e.g. “ELCA World Hunger”) on the memo line, if desired. Mail to: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, P.O. Box 1809, Merrifield, VA 22116-8009.

Give over the phone by calling 800-638-3522. Operators are here to help Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm central time.
Make a secure online gift with this form.
You may gift appreciated homes, farms and other property – sometimes even a percentage of ownership or mineral rights – to support the ELCA, your congregation or the ministries you specify. If the property is debt-free, the gift is tax-deductible at the property’s appraised value.

Minimum gift amount: $100,000

  • Receive an income-tax deduction equal to the full fair-market value of the property
  • Avoid capital-gains tax
  • Remove a large, taxable asset from your estate

Ready to take the next step? Contact your regional gift planner.

Contact
Gifts of appreciated stock, bonds or mutual funds held for more than one year can support the ELCA, your congregation or the ministries you specify and provide special tax advantages.

Minimum gift amount: None

With a gift of stock, bonds or mutual funds, you can:
  • Support charitable causes without depleting cash reserves
  • Take an income-tax deduction for the asset’s full fair market value
  • Avoid capital gains taxes on the appreciated assets

More Information:
  1. To transfer securities to the ELCA: You or your broker should contact the ELCA Foundation at 800-638-3522 ext. 2976 or elcafoundation@elca.org for security transfer instructions and brokerage account information. You should notify the ELCA Foundation when donating securities for a specific program or purpose.
  2. Deduction – For gifts of publicly traded securities, the deduction is determined by taking the average, or mean, between the high and low trading prices of the security on the date of the gift (or the nearest trading date(s)).
  3. Other securities – Closely held stock, Subchapter S corporate stock, limited liability company interests and partnerships can sometimes be used to make a charitable gift. Any proposed gift of such assets should be reviewed with The ELCA Foundation and the donor’s tax advisors in advance. An S corporation, limited liability company or partnership may also donate specific assets and the deduction will be divided among the shareholders or members.
The most common form of deferred or planned gift to support the ELCA is a bequest contained in your will or revocable (“living”) trust.

Minimum gift amount: None

With a bequest, you can:
  • Designate a specific dollar amount or overall percentage of your will or living trust to support the ELCA, your congregations or the ministries you specify.
  • Create a legacy, supporting your favorite ministries long after you’re gone.
  • Make a significant gift without affecting your current lifestyle.
  • Gift a gift that is generally not subject to state inheritance or estate taxes.
  • Keep control of your assets during your lifetime; and rest assured that you can modify your bequest if your circumstances change.

The following language is an example of how a bequest to benefit the ELCA may be worded:
I give, devise and bequeath to the ELCA, a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization located in Chicago, IL, _____ percent of my residual estate to be used for _______________ (a specific ministry, program or unrestricted use).”

Need help? Contact your regional gift planner.

Contact

Important notes about my estate: A helpful guide for family and friends

A helpful guide for family and friends
Download or order this free guide to help you capture the details of your estate plan assets, funeral plans and location of important documents.
Will and Trust Workbook


A helpful guide for family and friends
Download or order this guide to help you prepare to meet with your legal advisor and plan for the distribution of your assets.
 
 
With a charitable gift annuity, you can support the ELCA with an irrevocable gift of cash, appreciated securities, or other assets which will provide you (or a beneficiary) with fixed payments during your lifetime. The remainder of the gift benefits ministry. Rates are determined by the age of the donor(s).

Minimum gift amount: $10,000

With a charitable gift annuity, you can:
  • Take an immediate income-tax deduction for the contribution’s value
  • Receive fixed payments for life (or a term of 1-20 years) and a steady income stream where portions of annuity payments may be tax free
  • Avoid or reduce capital-gains tax (when funding an annuity with appreciated securities)
  • Make a significant gift to the ELCA, your congregation or a ministry you specify with the remaining assets.
  • Select from joint-and-survivor annuity options, where both annuitants can create plans for couples.

Ready to take the next step? Contact your regional gift planner for more information and an application.

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Charitable Gift Annuity: At a Glance

Charitable Gift Annuity
Download this resource to learn more about charitable gift annuities.
 
Make an irrevocable gift to fund a trust and provide annual payments to your beneficiaries. After a set time frame or death, the remainder of the trust will benefit the ELCA and the ministries you specify.

Minimum gift amount: $100,000

There are two types of Charitable Remainder Trusts:
  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts pay a fixed distribution, based on the value of the trust at the time of funding. Additional contributions are not allowed.
  • Charitable Remainder Unitrusts pay a variable distribution that will increase or decrease, based on the annual valuation of the trust. Additional contributions are allowed.

With a charitable remainder trust, you can:
  • Provide payments to one or more beneficiaries that vary with the value of the trust
  • Give a generous gift to the ELCA, your congregation or the ministries you specify with the remainder of the trust
  • Receive an immediate income-tax deduction at the time the trust is funded
  • Avoid capital-gains tax on conversion or sale of assets used to fund the

Ready to take the next step? Contact your regional gift planner.

Contact

Charitable Remainder Trust: At a Glance

A helpful guide for family and friends
Download this resource to learn more about charitable remainder trusts.
 
Establish an endowment fund in your name or memory of a loved one and ensure the support of the ELCA and the ministries you specify for years and years to come.

Minimum gift amount: $25,000

With a named endowment fund, you can:
  • Leave a legacy in your name, or memory of a loved one
  • Provide ongoing, annual support for the ELCA ministries you specify in perpetuity, with the principal of the gift remaining intact
  • Fund the endowment via cash, securities or other giving vehicles
  • Receive a full tax deduction for each and every gift you contribute to the endowment

Ready to take the next step? Contact your regional gift planner.

Contact

A donor advised fund is an easy, flexible and tax-efficient way to give to the ELCA, your congregation, and/or the ministries you specify – with one donation. You create a charitable account that is professionally managed and administered by the ELCA Foundation while providing input on its distributions to ministries and organizations.

Minimum gift amount: $10,000

With a donor advised fund, you can:
  • Take an immediate tax deduction, depending on the type of donation you make
      Donations of cash are eligible for income tax deduction up to 60% of Adjusted Gross Income
      Donations of securities and other appreciated assets are eligible for income tax deduction up to 30% of Adjusted Gross Income
  • Avoid capital-gains tax on gifts of appreciated assets, such as securities or real estate
  • Invest and grow your donation, tax-free, making even more money available for charitable purposes

Ready to take the next step? Contact your regional gift planner.

Contact

Donor Advised Fund: At a Glance

Donor_Advised_Fund
Download this resource to learn more about donor advised funds.
 
A donor-directed distribution agreement allows you to allocate a percentage of your bequest to support the ELCA, your congregation and/or the ministries you specify. This gift provides ultimate flexibility in how your gifts are distributed, with a maximum number of 10 beneficiaries that can be changed at any time.

Minimum gift amount: None

With a donor-directed distribution agreement, you can
  • Modify designations and beneficiaries at any time without penalty or amendments to your estate plans
  • Keep control of your assets during your lifetime; and rest assured that you will leave support for your favorite ministries long after you’re gone
  • Gift a gift that is generally not subject to state inheritance or estate taxes

Ready to take the next step? Contact your regional gift planner.

Contact

A qualified charitable distribution from your Individual Retirement Account allows you to support the ELCA, your congregation and/or the ministries you specify and save on your taxes. If you are 70 ½ or older, you may instruct your retirement plan administrator to make a direct transfer of up to $100,000 to the ELCA.

Minimum gift amount: None

Advantages:
  • Distribution will count toward your Required Minimum Distribution
  • Funds are not included in your adjusted gross income, minimizing your tax liability. (Please note: No income-tax deduction is allowed for the transfer.)

Ready to take the next step? Contact your regional gift planner.

Contact

Retirement Plans: At a Glance

Donor_Advised_Fund
Download this resource to learn more about donor advised funds.
 
The examples and information provided are for illustrative and educational purposes only and should not be considered tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax or legal advisor about proceeding with your gift plan.

The ELCA Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Your gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law. The ELCA Foundation's tax identification number is 36-3914755.




“The process of making a planned gift began with the simple fact that we take seriously the [call] to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ Working with our gift planner has been wonderfully helpful to us. She was marvelous at explaining all of the options.”



“My gift planner sat with me and discussed what was important in my life. The ELCA Foundation has a lot of gift-planning options and ministries that match my values and interests.”



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