How To GiVe

All donations are tax-deductible. Statements are sent for annual gifts at or over $250.

1. Cash Donations

2. Donor-Advised Funds

With the increased standard deductions in the new tax law, take advantage of the tax benefits of giving a larger gift to a donor-advised fund every other year, then give to WPLC on an annual basis.

3. IRA

If you are 70½ or older, you may be able to avoid paying income tax on any unneeded portion of your required minimum distribution by giving it directly to WPLC.

4. Appreciated Assets (stocks, real estate, and personal property)

Gifts of these assets often provide a double tax benefit — a deduction for the gift and a bypass of capital gains tax. Contact Pastor Jason (773-276-0263 or to be connected with the right person to discuss these types of gifts.

5. Legacy Giving

Many individuals choose to leave a portion of their assets to the church after their death. These gifts live on as the church continues its ministry into the future and has dramatic impact on the future of the church’s ministry. If you wish to designate WPLC as a beneficiary of your estate, please include the bequest language below in your plans:

“I give ($______ sum  /  ______% of the estate) to Wicker Park Evangelical Lutheran Church, an Illinois religious organization, with its primary address at 1500 N Hoyne Ave.; Chicago, IL 60622. Its FEIN number is 16-1697744. The gift may be used as its Congregation Council deems appropriate in its sole discretion.”

6. Retirement account beneficiary

Giving charitable gifts through your retirement accounts may lessen the tax burden of your estate. Make sure to regularly update the beneficiaries of your accounts to include WPLC.

Fund Types

Continuing Resolution on Gifts

C12.05A16. This congregation recognizes the gifts of its members and donors in these ways:

1. Restricted Gifts – This congregation is grateful to God for the gifts of friends and members. As with all gifts, we intend to be good stewards of general gifts given for the ministry of this congregation, considered “regular gifts.” We appreciate friends and members who desire to give to particular portions of the church’s annual budget. However, in an effort to ensure that the annual budget is met and all annually-approved church needs are addressed, this congregation does not accept restrictions on gifts to the general fund and will not assign gifts to a specific portion of the church’s budget. If a giver requests that a gift be restricted to a particular budget line item, the Treasurer will contact the giver and ask if the giver will allow the gift to be included in the general fund or if they would like the Congregation Council to consider the creation of a designated fund as noted below.

2. Designated GiftsOccasionally, this congregation may have a need that was not anticipated in the course of the annual budget-making process or where donors are requested to donate directly for a specific purpose or cause (for example, a ministry partner). These are called “special needs” such as unexpected building repairs, new ministry start-up costs, a particular fund raising activity, or travel expenses for a ministry-related activity. Upon identifying a special need, via a committee, staff, member, or Congregation Council recommendation, the Executive Committee will determine if the church has a legitimate need related to the direction of the congregation and if the proposed fund will support the mission, vision, values, and governing documents of this church. After their assessment the Executive Committee will vote on the fund and, if approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee present and voting, the Executive Committee will create a designated fund into which gifts may be given for that specific need or reason. Each fund should have, in writing, a clearly stated purpose and include what will happen to any remaining money after the purpose has been fulfilled. (In the case of an e-mail vote, all submitted electronic votes before the deadline will be considered “present and voting.”) In cases of a deadlock on the Executive Committee or upon the recommendation of one Executive Committee member, the conversation about a fund shall be taken to the Congregation Council for an authoritative majority vote. All funds opened by the Executive Committee must be reported to the Congregation Council at its next meeting. Any gift labeled for such a fund is considered a “designated gift.” Congregation Council will track and administer such funds to ensure gifts are used for the special need. A fund will automatically close after the funds have been used fully as reported by the treasurer to the Congregation Council, or with a super-majority (2/3) vote of present and voting Congregation Council members. When a fund is closed it should be communicated to the congregation in either the newsletter, bulletin, or an equivalent communication and also be recorded in the annual report. If the Executive Committee decides not to create a designated fund, the Executive Committee should enter into a conversation or appoint an individual(s) to discuss with the donor a mutually agreeable gift.

3. Non-cash giftsSome donors may choose to donate non-cash gifts, including gifts of stock, various kinds of securities, insurance products, automobiles, furniture, real estate, animals, jewelry, and other items of value. Non-cash gifts may be accepted by this congregation as determined by the Pastor if $2,500 or less. Non-cash gifts over $2,500 and less than $75,000, or when the decision is referred by the Pastor, may be accepted by this congregation at the discretion of the Executive Committee and must be approved by the Executive Committee prior to transfer (in the case of deadlock on the Executive Committee, the Congregation Council will have the final approval).  Non-cash gifts at or above $75,000 will require Congregation approval during a Congregation Meeting. The Executive Committee or the Pastor may request an appraisal of any non-cash gift to be provided by the potential donor before considering the gift, especially if the gift may be at or above $10,000. Non-cash gifts must be unencumbered and given outright to this congregation without any stipulation on its use and will become the property of this congregation unless stipulations are approved by the Executive Committee, Pastor, or Congregation (as appropriate) and recorded in writing and filed in the church office. The Executive Committee, Pastor, or Congregation (as appropriate) reserves the right to refuse or return any gift determined to be unacceptable because of value, marketability, or any other reason deemed problematic to this congregation. Non-cash gifts will not be accepted if they are or may become a burden to the congregation. Non-cash gifts up to $75,000 may be liquidated at the discretion of the Executive Committee at any time; the intention to liquidate a gift over $5,000 should first be reported to the Congregation Council.

To receive a gift-in-kind statement of giving the donor must either: a) provide the receipts from the purchase of a new item so that a specific dollar amount can be included on their annual giving statement, or b) provide a list of items donated. Without receipts, this congregation will provide a letter listing all items given and will not assign a cash value to non-cash donations in compliance with 26 US § 170(f)(8)(B). The Executive Committee or the Pastor must confirm that this congregation has taken possession of all non-cash items before a gift-in-kind letter is issued.

4. Major Gifts This congregation occasionally is offered major gifts, at or above $10,000, which is both: 1) not designated and 2) outside the usual course of offering during worship or standard member/ pledged giving. We are grateful for these, defined as “major gifts,” and intend to be good stewards of such gifts. The current cash value of both cash and non-cash components of the gift at the time of transfer to this congregation will determine whether such an offering is a major gift. This congregation will tithe the percentage of our proportional giving of every major gift to one or more 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization(s) with preference given to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America-affiliated organizations as decided by a majority vote of the Congregation Council. The percentage of this tithe should be a minimum of 5% and ideally closer to 10% or more. When choosing a recipient of the tithe, the Congregation Council shall take into account the desires of the members or friends giving the gift and the needs most apparent to the congregation at the time of the gift. The amount of tithe shall be calculated on the cash value of both the cash and non-cash components of the major gift (less any anticipated expenses related to liquidating the non-cash components) at the time of transfer to this congregation. This congregation’s Congregation Council will allocate these gifts towards needs beyond the annual budgeted needs, as determined by a majority vote of the Congregation Council. Generally, a portion or all of the funds should be used as cash-reserves or as a part of an endowment for future ministry.

5. Acknowledgment for GiftsThis congregation expresses this gratitude in a few ways. First, we celebrate communion with one another after each opportunity to offer our gifts to God. Second, we acknowledge the financial gifts given throughout the year in our giving statements, including an end-of-the-year acknowledgment letter that follows the guidelines below. Third, we acknowledge each annual financial gift over $250 given to this congregation with a written acknowledgment that includes the following, in compliance with 26 US § 170(f)(8)(B):

  • The amount of cash and a description (but not value) of any property other than cash contributed.
  • Whether the donor or organization provided any goods or services in consideration, in whole or in part, for any property described in clause (i).
  • A description and good faith estimate of the value of any goods or services referred to in clause (ii) or, if such goods or services consist solely of intangible religious benefits, a statement to that effect. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “intangible religious benefit” means any intangible religious benefit which is provided by an organization organized exclusively for religious purposes and which generally is not sold in a commercial transaction outside the donative context.