November 28, 2019
At Galilee, we believe that giving selflessly can transform the world for Christ. Our commitment to a culture of generosity is apparent in the many ways our congregants give. You give your time by volunteering. You give your talent by stepping into new roles in leadership and worship. You give your treasure, too.
Giving money for a good cause is very American. It is easy to think that greed rules our culture, but charitable giving has actually increased steadily over the past decades. One study in the Almanac of American Philanthropy showed that even adjusting for inflation, charitable giving has grown 650% since 1950.
Jesus talks a lot about money, because he wants us fully committed to the kingdom of heaven. When we put our money where our values are, we embrace a sense of purpose and achieve extraordinary benefits.
Many people explain why they give by saying, “I want to make a difference” or “We’ve been blessed and feel compelled to give back.”
Others point to the fact that giving feels good. In a recent study from the Charitable Aid Foundation, 42% of givers said that a key motivator for generosity was sheer enjoyment.
Researchers have found mental and physical benefits to giving. Beyond mere feelings, science has found measurable benefits such as:
- Reduced stress and greater calmness.
- Increased self-esteem and overall happiness.
- Improved drive and physical health.
- A reduction in negative thoughts.
It’s clear that giving back is good for you. Research suggests a neurological connection between generosity and happiness. Regular habits of giving rewire us to feel increased well-being and longterm happiness.
Giving in Community
Giving can be even more enjoyable when it’s something we do together. Volunteering nurtures social connections, providing direct contact to others. But even giving money can grow bonds and establish relationships.
Giving that happens within families is a terrific way to share values. Parents and mentors who give show young people that there is more to life than who amasses the most money. A 2016 study by Indiana University found that:
- Parents play a major role in developing their children’s giving decisions.
- Charitably inclined parents are more likely to have children who are givers.
- Children of parents who volunteer are more likely to offer their time to charitable organizations and make financial donations.
In addition to the good we’re doing for others, charitable giving can benefit us emotionally by creating closer families and deeper community relationships.
The financial benefits of giving are not all on one side, either. While giving helps a recipient directly, and our community indirectly, giving is also a valuable part of any wealth management strategy. When you give, you:
- Get a tax deduction. If you itemize deductions, you can receive a tax deduction for the fair market value of your gift.
- Minimize capital gains. If you donate appreciated assets to a 501(c)(3) public charity, you don’t incur capital gains tax. Just make sure you donate those assets in kind rather than selling them first.
- Reduce taxes on retirement income. If you are 70 1/2 and take a required minimum distribution from retirement accounts, you can have that money go directly to any 501(c)(3) charity and the amount can be deducted from your adjusted gross income, thereby reducing your federal and state income tax. This can be done as a one time or as a monthly contribution. Since it reduces your taxes, a larger donation to your charity is possible.
Be sure to talk about any financial benefits from giving with your financial or tax advisor.
Ready to Take a Step?
Galilee is a great place to give. We like to say that you give through Galilee, not to Galilee. You are really giving to God.
Fill out an online Estimated Giving Card here.
Give through Galilee in the way that works for you.