Give out of income. While income is a logical place to start, our experience indicates that household budgets rarely have “extra” funds waiting to be allocated. Aside from redistributing savings, or tagging other “discretionary spending” monies, giving out of income is difficult to maintain over the course of the program.
Give appreciated assets. This category represents one of the best in which “creative gifts” may be found, however it’s one of the least explored. Stocks, bonds, and real estate purchased years ago frequently carry an appreciated value. Did you know you could give that asset directly to your church and avoid paying any capital gains tax, but still get a fair market value deduction based on its current value? A tax professional is vital to guiding both donor and church through this process.
Tax implications are an important consideration for givers. Always consult your CPA, tax attorney or licensed financial advisor. If you have an appreciated asset you would like to donate and need assistance, the church can help you find the correct resource.
Give “stuff.” You move it; you store it. You insure it and dust it. Collectibles (stamps, baseball cards, sports memorabilia, coins, etc.) and valuable heirlooms or antiques (jewelry, furniture, musical instruments, etc.) may be contributed to the church for sale.
Give by sacrifice. David, a “man after God’s own heart,” declared, “That which costs me nothing is not a sacrifice” (Acts 13:22, 2 Sam. 24:24). Challenge your people to give what they otherwise would spend – without a second thought – on a fast-food meal, or a cup of fine coffee. These real-world examples are almost universal to American culture and provide an opportunity for leaders to bring the principle of “denying oneself ” to the forefront.
Give proportional to blessings received. Scripture teaches that to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48b). Those blessed generously in financial ways have a greater responsibility to sow into the Kingdom accordingly.
Give by revelation, not by reason. Pray and ask God what He wants to do through you, and expect an answer (John 10:4). Don’t be frustrated or disobedient if you can’t discern how you will produce that amount. Walk by faith, not by sight, and make that your commitment.
As you feel prompted to consider charitable donations, it’s important to search your heart (Ps. 139:23-34) for what compels you to keep or give up possessions, make purchases, and set aside long-term investments.