1. Donate conveniently online
It only takes a minute but your contribution will make a lifetime of difference to our church. You may use any major credit card or your PayPal account.
2. Mail or Offering Plate
Giving cash or checks (including checks sent by your bank or through Simply Giving)
Make checks payable to Saron Lutheran Church, place them in the offering plate or send them to 510 Main St, St Joseph, MI 49085 and, in the memo line, indicate to which account(s) you would like the funds to go:
- General Fund
- Endowment Fund
- Memorial Fund
You may give weekly, monthly, annually, etc. — whatever interval works best for you.
3. Stocks, Bonds, or Investment Funds
These types of gifts may help you avoid capital gains taxes. You may also receive a charitable contribution deduction.
Please follow this process if you want to donate from one or more of these investment types:
- Contact the church financial secretary at email@example.com or the church office at 269-983-1273.
- The Financial Secretary will provide you with the account number for our broker and any other necessary details.
Ways Your Donation Will Be Used
General Fund – Your gifts will be used for the day to day operation of Saron.
Endowment Fund – Saron’s Endowment Fund for Mission, started in 1982, receives special gifts and bequests from members and friends to carry out ministries beyond Saron’s normal budgetary needs. The Endowment Fund assets are invested with, and managed by, the ELCA Endowment Fund Pooled Trust and the Berrien Community Foundation. The Endowment Fund Committee will make periodic recommendations on how the money available for use might best be distributed. These recommendations will be submitted to the church council for approval. A report will be provided at the Saron’s annual meeting describing how these funds have been used. Earnings of the Endowment Fund are used for ministry needs described as:
1) local benevolent needs,
2) benevolent ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and/or international benevolent needs,
3) the maintenance and/or improvement of this congregation’s buildings and grounds.
Over $60,000 in fund earnings have been distributed in support of these ministry needs. For more information on giving to the Endowment Fund contact contact Pastor Oleson.
Memorial fund – These gifts are held in the Memorial Fund and are used at the discretion of the church council after discussion with the family of the deceased. A report will be made at the annual meeting showing how the funds were used. Thank you notes will be sent to the donors.
Undesignated funds – Donated gifts that are not designated for one of the above four accounts will be reviewed by the church council who will determine how the gifts are to be used. The donor will receive both verbal and written communication explaining how the funds were used.
Note – If you would like to make a gift for a specific purpose, please discuss your desire with the pastor or council chairperson prior to making the donation.
Additional Ways to Contribute to Saron
We recommend that you discuss any of the following approaches with your lawyer and tax accountant.
A will or testament is a legal document by which you express your wishes as to how your property is to be distributed at death. A will names one or more persons to be the executor(s), who will manage the estate until its final distribution. A will may also create a trust that is effective only after your death. The will also explains who is to take care of any minor children.
Charitable Remainder Trusts
A CRT lets you convert a highly appreciated asset like stock or real estate into lifetime income. It reduces your income taxes now and estate taxes when you die. You pay no capital gains tax when the asset is sold. And it lets you help one or more charities that have special meaning to you.
To do this, you transfer the appreciated asset into an irrevocable trust. This removes the asset from your estate, so no estate taxes will be due on it when you die. You also receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction.
The trustee sells the asset at full market value, paying no capital gains tax, and re-invests the proceeds in income-producing assets. For the rest of your life, the trust pays you an income. When you die, the remaining trust assets go to the charity you have chosen. That’s why it’s called a charitable remainder trust.
Charitable Gift Annuity
A charitable gift annuity is a contract between you and a charity, whereby you transfer cash or property to the charity in exchange for a partial tax deduction and a lifetime stream of annual income from the charity. When you die, the charity keeps the gift.
The amount of the income stream is determined by many factors including your age and the policy of the charity. Most charities in the United States use payout rates defined by the American Council on Gift Annuities.
Life Estate Agreement
A life Estate agreement is an agreement in which you transfer title to your personal home or farm to a charitable organization with a retained right to the use of the property for the rest of your life. On your death, all rights in the property are transferred to the charity.
If you have IRAs and you are over 70 1/2, you need to make taxable withdrawals from the IRA. You can however have your broker send a portion of your annual withdrawal directly to a charity without paying tax on the withdrawal as a Qualified Charitable Distribution.
A Special Message for Travelers and Those Who Prefer Electronic Giving
If you know you’ll be missing services any time during the year due to travel, living in another location during certain times of the year or other commitments, please consider setting up automatic contributions. Your consistent support is very much appreciated. Saron offers the option to give electronically for your convenience. For more information on setting up your electronic contributions, please contact the church office.