There are a variety of ways to support your church financially, several mentioned elsewhere on this website: weekly church envelopes (which can be designated to certain purposes) and special collections for emergencies and disasters to mention only two. You can budget and plan for this type of financial support comes out of your wallet or your bank account.
Another type of financial contribution, less immediate, also involves some pre-planning. It involves assets in forms other than money, such as property, stock or annuities, and is more in line with your particular church interests or concerns. Planned giving also reflects your financial situation, using various financial planning tools to help you reduce your tax liability while at the same time supporting the ongoing work of the church.
Your financial support can aid your parish, your region, the Canadian church, and beyond. There are many worthy projects and ministries in action right now, and many which still exist only as dreams and hopes that could be undertaken, or enriched with your planned giving contribution. Take a moment to consider some project or ministry that you KNOW could greatly benefit by financial help. Then take a moment to consider what method of financial support is best for you. Talk to a reputable financial planning professional about the possibilities of supporting the project you have in mind. Some of the options open to you for planned giving are:
- Wills – Your contribution would come from your estate. There is a significant tax advantage for your heirs. And if you donate a gift of property such as a cottage, you still get to enjoy it as part of your retirement lifestyle and your heirs will benefit from the tax advantage your gift earns through your estate. Wills, like all gifts, can be designated to the work that means the most to you – parish, diocese, Canadian Church work, or abroad.
- Gift Annuities – This method allows you to make a financial gift but still receive an income - and a portion, if not all, of the income is tax free. In addition, tax laws allow older seniors a one-time tax receipt for a portion of the total gift. Your income is guaranteed for life, and your income will remain constant.
- Insurance – This method is way for younger people to leave an affordable legacy. You can purchase a policy for a tax deductible premium of a few dollars each month until the policy is paid, and leave a significant bequest for the work of the church. Older people who have an insurance policy in force can name the church as owner and beneficiary. You get a tax credit for any cash in the policy and a tax receipt for any premiums still being paid. A distinct advantage of donating money in an insurance policy is that it is not usually 'active money' so it doesn't take cash out of your everyday income.
- Publicly Traded Securities - Present tax laws stipulate that if you sell publicly traded securities (stocks, bonds and mutual funds) privately, you are taxed on 50% of the capital gains. If you gift the securities directly to charity, however, you pay no taxes on capital gains while also receiving a tax donation receipt for the full market value of the securities. This means that the gifting of securities that have appreciated in value is a much more tax-efficient way to give to the church than a comparable size gift of cash. You can direct the proceeds of your gift to go to your local parish or to any ministry you choose within the church in Canada. Please see below for a letter of information as well as donor forms for The Diocese of Nelson and for The Catholic Independent Schools of the Nelson Diocese.
- Gifts of Property will earn a tax receipt for the full appraised value which may save you the capital gains tax which you would have to pay if you cashed it in yourself.
One doesn't need to be a multimillionaire, nor does one have to have a sizeable estate in order to leave a meaningful legacy to the church. The church is supported by the people in the pews. And the church's various ministries will be carried on by meaningful gifts from ordinary Catholics across the diocese.
- Contact the Bishop of Nelson, the Diocesan Business Office, or your local pastor.
The body's unity does not do away with the diversity of its members: "In the building up of Christ's Body there is engaged a diversity of members and functions. There is only one Spirit who, according to his own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives his different gifts for the welfare of the Church."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church)