My old friend Jim is a smart guy. Even though he is now well into his 70s, he understood the way the future was getting shaped. He bought his first shares of Apple stock in 2002, when the company’s iPod came out. This device stored and played digital music. The more popular the iPod became, the more he bought. Then, in 2007, after the triumphant introduction of the iPhone, he bought a lot more. All totaled, he now owns 3,500 shares which he purchased for around $9,000 in total (called his “basis”).  Then he quit buying it.

Today those 3500 shares are worth $490,000. Since he paid $9,000, his stock investment has APPRECIATED nearly $480,000. Not a bad deal. I remember when he said to me, “I’m glad I bought the stock, not the iPod.”

Now Jim thinks about how to share his generosity. Thankfully, he is able to give some of his stock. He is discovering something wonderful about APPRECIATION. If he gives $25,000 of Apple stock, he gets the full $25,000 as a tax deduction, even though he only paid a few hundred dollars for it. That makes him smile. He can be generous and get quite a benefit when filing his taxes. This is definitely a win-win. If he sold his stock first, then gave the money to the church, he would have to pay a lot of taxes on the amount he gained over the years. He knows it is better to transfer the stock directly to his church family.

Many people in churches have stock. They bought it, inherited it, or earned it working for a company.  Sometimes church leaders forget to remind folks they can give stock. A note in the newsletter or bulletin helps. Near the end of a year, it is good to share this through the congregation, as folks are wanting to consider their tax consequences. Perhaps once year someone could stand in front of the congregation and share how they gave stock instead of cash.

Giving appreciated stock is a simple process that allows people to be generous and smart stewards. While many churches do not have a brokerage account to make this kind of transfer, your United Methodist Foundation can help with that. We will process the transaction through our account and send you the full amount of the gift (less any brokerage fee). We do all this at no charge to your congregation.

Yes, APPRECIATION is much appreciated, especially when it comes to supporting Christ’s mission.

Glenn HowellFor information on stock gifts, or other ways of giving, contact us anytime here or 877-391-8811.

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Glenn Howell
Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana