Since the Catholic Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s charitable annuity program launched late last year, Foundation Executive Director Ron Szejner has been busy traversing the diocese, connecting with donors, starting conversations about how they can help sustain the ministries of their choice in the Diocese of Nashville.
He likens the annuity program to “a warehouse to provide grain for the future needs of the church in Middle Tennessee.” The goal is to build endowments for Catholic ministries and institutions in the diocese, and is an important tool to help stabilize revenue streams for the church well into the future, he said.
“What’s exciting about this is it’s a very popular way for people to support their non-profit, in this case, their church,” Szejner said of the annuity program.
The Catholic Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which was established to help sustain the works of parishes, schools, agencies and outreach programs in the Diocese of Nashville, facilitates charitable giving to the causes most meaningful to a donor in a secure and cost effective manner.
The Foundation currently offers two types of charitable gift annuities, both of which are popular, Szejener said, because of their structure and tax benefits they provide for the donor. Another benefit of a charitable gift annuity, he said, is that it helps reduce charitable contribution record keeping and paperwork for the donor.
In a traditional charitable annuity, a person or couple buys an annuity and will receive a tax deduction at the time of the purchase as well as a guaranteed income stream, part of which is non-taxable, throughout their life.
When the donor passes away, the amount of the annuity left over will be donated to an endowment for the beneficiary of the purchaser’s choice. “The beneficiary could be a parish, one of our schools, or one of our institutions,” Szejner said.
The Catholic Community Foundation will oversee the record keeping for the annuities, but will not be the guarantor. Annuities are guaranteed through the Catholic Extension Society, which supports activities in mission dioceses throughout the United States including the Diocese of Nashville.
A second program, the Gift Annuity Now platform, offers charitable annuities through commercial market guarantors, such as large commercial insurance companies.
Like the charitable gift annuity program, the purchaser will receive a tax deduction at the time of the purchase and income for the rest of their life, part of which will be non-taxable.
The major difference, Szejner said, is the expected balance at the time of the purchaser’s death will be donated to the charity of their choice at the time of the purchase rather than at the time of their death.
People who typically would find these programs appealing, Szejner said, are those who are worried about outliving their income.
Whichever annuity structure a person chooses, “the donor’s intent will be honored,” he said, and all beneficiaries are screened to be in solidarity with church teaching.
Through presentations at Catholic parishes and institutions around the diocese, and with a monthly Foundation e-newsletter, Szejner is working hard to spread the word about the annuity program. As awareness increases about giving options, he is hoping more people will begin to think about “What else can I do for church?”
For more information about the Catholic Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the Gift Annuity program, visit www.ccfmtn.org or contact Ron Szejner at 615-783-0278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.