ELCA Foundation insights November 2021

News and information from the ELCA Foundation

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  give thanks  
The apostle Paul reminds us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Paul is not alone in mentioning the importance of gratitude, a word that appears in almost 150 verses throughout Scripture. We are called to give thanks through prayer as a witness to God’s grace and a reminder to ourselves of God’s work in our lives.

This season of gratitude is also a season of giving for many who make their most significant gifts at the end of the year. The ELCA Foundation is here to help you express your generosity to the ministries that mean the most to you and to help you give generously and wisely. Here are a few year-end giving considerations we hope will guide you in making the most of your year-end gifts:
  • Qualified charitable distributions
    For donors over 70-1/2, a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) remains a tax-efficient way to support ministries. Distributions from an Individual Retirement Account are not required until age 72 but may be made after age 70-1/2. These distributions, given directly to charity, may reduce your taxable income while satisfying your Required Minimum Distribution.
  • Gifts of appreciated assets and marketable commodities
    There are significant benefits to making noncash gifts of appreciated securities or marketable grains/commodities. A gift of an appreciated security can provide tax savings while avoiding capital gains on the security. A gift of grain or marketable commodities may reduce taxable income for a producer, enabling them to maximize the impact of the gift to ministry.
  • Endow your giving
    There are two remaining tax benefits that will expire in 2021. Cash gifts of up to $300 ($600 for married couples filing jointly) can be deducted for nonitemizers. For those who itemize the maximum, allowed income tax deductions have been increased to 100% of adjusted gross income, which makes 2021 a great year to consider establishing a Named Endowment Fund to provide perpetual support to the ministries you care about the most.
The ELCA Foundation is here to help you maximize your generosity and provide support to your local congregation and favorite ministries. Your regional gift planner is available to answer questions on how the Foundation can partner with you to maximize your generosity.

“Now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your glorious name” (1 Chronicles 29:13).
  give thanks  
We are excited to announce the relaunch of the Endowment Fund Pooled Trust — Fund A under its new name, the Ministry Growth Fund, which better represents the Foundation’s goals for the future.

This renaming of the fund is an important and exciting step in engaging even more members and supporters of the ELCA in the life — and future — of the church and its partner organizations. We hope that, through this change, we will more effectively communicate the purpose of the fund: to support and grow the ELCA’s ministries for generations to come.

The Ministry Growth Fund will provide the same opportunities as the Endowment Fund Pooled Trust, allowing participants to invest in an endowment fund that generates quarterly distributions for ministry.
Third-quarter fund snapshot
During the third quarter, the Ministry Growth Fund (previously known as Fund A) returned -0.47% net. The Modified Target benchmark returned -0.54% on the quarter. The fund performed slightly ahead of the Modified Target benchmark return but still slightly trails year-to-date at 8.09% versus 8.25% for the benchmark. The Ministry Growth Fund’s U.S. equity allocation and real estate allocations both delivered positive returns while their benchmarks fell for the quarter. The high-yield allocation also enjoyed positive returns despite challenges within the broader fixed-income market. The Ministry Growth Fund’s hedge funds portfolio posted strong absolute and relative returns.

Download the quarterly report.

About the Ministry Growth Fund

Designed specifically for congregations, synods, seminaries and other affiliates of the ELCA, the Ministry Growth Fund is a long-term, stable and socially responsible endowment fund that provides distributions to grow ministry, now and well into the future. Individuals may participate in the fund by opening a named endowment or donor advised fund. Learn more.
  good gifts  
Shopping for someone who has everything they need? Shop ELCA Good Gifts and choose from 50 charitable gifts to give in honor of friends or loved ones this Christmas. From goats to water wells, there’s something for everyone on your list. Each gift makes a difference in the world and shares the love of Christ with our neighbors in need.
Shop Now
Meet your regional gift planner

Your regional gift planner is here to partner with you as you explore a variety of ways to love and serve our neighbors with your charitable giving. Regional gift planners provide expertise and guidance for individuals and congregations, without cost or obligation. It is our ministry to be of service. Schedule a meeting now!




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