Giving Strategies

Giving strategies provide peace of mind for you and maximize your impact on the ministries you’re passionate about. Below are strategies that minimize unnecessary taxes so you can leave more to your family and the ministries you hold dear.

Charitable IRA Gift
(Qualified Charitable Distribution)

It’s easy to use your IRA for tax-saving charitable gifts. If you’re 70½ or older, you can transfer any amount up to $100,000 per year directly from an IRA to Messiah Ministries without incurring federal tax. 


Such distributions apply toward required minimum distributions (RMD) and do not add to your income. These Charitable IRA Rollovers, technically known as Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs), include the following possible tax benefits:

  • QCDs are not subject to the annual ceiling on charitable deductions or phaseout of deductions for high earners.
  • QCDs are not included in your gross income calculation, so you may save on Social Security income taxes, avoid the Medicare tax, and enjoy other tax savings.
  • Even if you don’t itemize your deductions, a QCD provides an equivalent tax benefit.

Have a SEP, SIMPLE, 401k, and/or 403b retirement plan? There might be strategies that allow you to execute a QCD with these same benefits.

Your QCD can be directed to the ministry areas of your choice, just like cash gifts. However, it is essential that the gift comes directly from your IRA specifically, to ensure you receive the above tax benefits.

Donor Advised Funds

Often referred to as a “giving checkbook,”  a Donor Advised Fund simplifies annual giving and record keeping. It helps you control the timing of gifts because you may take the tax deduction during the year you place funds in your DAF and recommend grants from your fund in the future.

Appreciated Stock and CDs

Appreciated securities, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, CDs, and even cryptocurrencies  are deductible as a charitable donation, and you’ll avoid capital gains tax on the transfer. 


As a private non-profit, Messiah sells the securities and is not subject to tax on the gain. Therefore, you are able to direct the full proceeds of those funds toward the ministry area of your choice, making a larger donation than with a cash gift.

Real Estate

You may give residential, commercial, or undeveloped real estate that is not subject to a mortgage. A qualified appraisal will be required. You will receive a charitable income tax deduction based on the fair market value of the property, with no capital gains liability on the transfer. We usually sell the property quickly and apply the proceeds from the sale to the ministry area you specify. Please contact us if you are considering such a gift.

Life Insurance

 Life insurance can be an excellent tool for charitable giving. Making a gift with a life insurance policy can happen in two ways: with an existing policy or through a new one.

For an existing policy, you merely designate “Messiah Lutheran Lincoln, Nebraska” or “Messiah Lutheran Foundation, Lincoln, Nebraska” as beneficiary or contingent beneficiary. We will document your instructions for the use of proceeds on our Planned Giving Declaration of Intent Form

It may also be possible to make a gift of an existing policy by transferring ownership of the existing policy to Messiah. Contact us if you would like to learn more.

Messiah may also be able to acquire a new policy at your request. This may be an excellent strategy because it allows you to take current income tax deductions for gifts to Messiah to cover premium costs. This is one way to use today’s dollars to maximize the future impact on ministries. 

Messiah is the applicant, owner, and beneficiary of the policy, and you must meet the insurance company’s requirements. We will create a fund agreement with you to document your instructions for the charitable use of the proceeds.