Barnabas Foundation offers a variety of educational, planning and marketing resources to support your church or ministry’s stewardship and planned giving efforts.

Additional members-only resources (including marketing templates, webinars, planning tools and more) can be accessed by clicking above to log into the Member Center.  To learn more about becoming a Member Organization, Click Here.

  • The New Tax Law and Your Ministry

    Now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has passed, we know several provisions will affect charitable giving. Here are some of the key changes… 

    1. Increase in the standard deduction for all tax filers.

    The standard deduction has been raised to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. Since they’ll receive the benefit automatically, this eliminates the need for many people to worry about charitable receipts as they file their taxes. Some have suggested that by reducing the tax incentive, the new law will cause people to give less to charity. 

    We believe, however, that most of those who support kingdom causes will continue to give, since tax incentives were never their primary motivator anyway. Generosity is most often driven by the desire to further a worthy cause and in response to a request that speaks to their values, rather than the tax savings of the gift.  Givers usually focus less on the tax savings than on the desired result of their gifts.

    2. Increase in charitable deduction limitation.

    In the past, donors were limited to deducting up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income in any one year. The new tax bill increases that amount to 60 percent.

    This change will likely increase charitable giving among a select few of your most generous givers.  There are people who want to give as much as they can to maximize the tax benefits, but their tax professionals have informed them that they need to limit their giving to the annual 50 percent cap.  The increase will enable these individuals to give more each year, and we can expect they will do so. 

    3. Increase in estate tax exclusions.

    The estate tax exclusion amount has been increased to $11,180,000 for individuals and $22,360,000 for married couples, a level at which 99 percent of Americans will have no federal estate tax to pay. 

    The threat of estate tax has been a primary motivator used by estate planners, financial planners and planned giving professionals alike.  For all practical purposes, this will no longer be an issue for the vast majority of your donors.  Estate gifts that are motivated by estate tax avoidance conversations will be non-existent.  Therefore, donors and their heirs will have more non-taxed resources with which to give. Ministries will need to emphasize values and mission-based motivators for people to make estate gifts to their favorite ministries.

    Opportunities for your Donors

    1. IRA gifts are tax-smart gifts, for donors over 70 ½, since this reduces their taxable income, whether they itemize their deductions. 

    2. Gifts of inventory or commodities also make excellent gifts, since these also reduce taxable income. 

    3. Appreciated asset gifts remain excellent opportunities since they help your supporters avoid capital gain income (as well as providing a charitable deduction for those who itemize).

    4. Life income gifts like charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts will continue to be attractive gifts for donors who need lifetime income.

    5. Donors whose taxes are now reduced have more disposable income.  This provides them with additional cash flow for charitable giving and other discretionary spending.  

    Remember that the greatest motivator of all giving still remains unaltered.  Those who ask, receive.  Make sure you are asking people to support your ministry regularly and systematically.  Most people give less than they could because they are either not asked or not shown how their gift would make an impact that is aligned with their values.  






    Fact Sheet for Ministry Leaders

    As the new tax law was being debated and passed, there was much speculation about how it would affect charitable giving.  Now that the law is in effect, we know several provisions will impact taxes for ministry supporters. Here are some of the key changes and how they might impact your ministry.

  • The Pastor’s Role in Growing Generous Hearts

    This webinar discusses the Pastor’s role growing generous hearts with Rebekah Basinger.

  • The Role of Planned Giving in Your Church

    Webinar (For Churches)

    In this webinar, Amy Bakker Baty, director of planned giving services, discusses the role of planned giving in your church. Want to find out what potential is available to your church by promoting planned gifts? You will hear about the untapped potential in your church, new creative ways to give, steps to get started with your members, and stories from other churches. 

  • The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn

    Treasure Principle

    Alcorn bases his brief, motivational message on the words of the world's foremost financial consultant, Jesus Christ, who advised listeners to "store up for yourselves treasures in heaven" (Matthew 6:20). In a concise power-packed style, he leads the reader toward the Treasure Principle mindset by proposing and illustrating key truths. "God owns everything," writes Alcorn. "I'm His money manager. What I call my money is really His. The question is, what does He want me to do with His money?"  

    Available at Christianbook.com.

    This book introduces readers to a revolution in material freedom and radical generosity that will change lives around the world.

  • The Vital Link Between Vision & Giving

    Webinar (For Churches)

    Strong vision and generous giving are basic building blocks which are vital for healthy church ministry. But every pastor knows that these basics are by no means easy. Indeed, maintaining steady vision and cultivating sacrificial giving are two of the most challenging tasks leaders face!

    In this webinar, Rev. Darren Roorda, Canadian Ministries Director of the Christian Reformed Church, will discuss the vital link in church ministry between vision and giving. Gain valuable insight from an experienced church leader who has cast vision to inspire giving at both local and denominational levels.

    Together, we’ll explore…

    • Components of a compelling vision that inspires.
    • Common obstacles to vision casting.
    • Best practices to link giving to ministry vision.

    Plan on attending what promises to be a webinar that’s both inspirational and practical!


  • Thoughts to Increase Stewardship Awareness

    Please note:  In our years of work in stewardship education, a number of contacts have provided a variety of stewardship thoughts from many sources. Our intent is to continue to share what has been shared with us. Some of these thoughts have been attributed, others have not.

    Include these brief notations in your newsletter as a “stewardship highlight” to help increase stewardship awareness among your supporters.

  • Value of Planned Gifts During Your Church Members Lifetime

    Webinar (For Churches)

    In this webinar, Cindi Riemersma, client services administrator at Barnabas Foundation, discusses the value of planned gifts during your Church member’s lifetime. Many times when we discuss planned gifts with a church member, we only concentrate on gifts we will receive at their death. It is important for us to consider the benefits of specific planned gifts while they are living. This webinar will provide insight into another dimension of planned gift benefits for a church member you stewards. 

  • Ways to Fund Your Stewards Fund Account

    1. SEND CHECK BY MAIL
    Contribution checks written to “Barnabas Foundation” can be mailed to our office at any time during the year. For year-end gifts, your check needs to be POSTMARKED on or before 12/31 to be considered a gift for the current calendar year.

    Mailing Address
    Barnabas Foundation
    Attention: Finance
    3801 Eagle Nest Drive, Suite B
    Crete, IL 60417-1993

    2. TRANSFER FUNDS ELECTRONICALLY
    Call 708.532.3444 or email Cindi Riemersma (criem@BarnabasFoundation.com) to arrange to transfer a contribution electronically. We have found that these transfers go smoothly when we communicate the transfer instructions directly with you so that we are aware of the details of the pending transaction and can make sure it goes according to plan.

    3. APPRECIATED SECURITY GIFTS (Publicly Traded Stock, Bonds, Mutual Funds)
    Gifts of appreciated assets are generally the most tax-efficient way to give. We will provide our E*trade instructions for transferring shares/units to Barnabas Foundation. Upon receipt of the shares, Barnabas will liquidate them and credit the proceeds received from the sale into your Stewards Fund.

    For year-end gifts, shares need to be received into Barnabas Foundation’s account on or before 12/31 in order to be counted as a current calendar year contribution. It generally takes a week for your investment professional to get all the paperwork processed and for the shares to transfer, so please plan accordingly. If you are new to making these types of gifts, we are happy to walk you through the process. Please call or email Cindi Riemersma (criem@BarnabasFoundation.com).

    4. GIFTS OF REAL ESTATE OR OTHER ILLIQUID ASSETS
    These gift types are generally more complex and require professional expertise. We would welcome the opportunity for you to have a conversation about these types of gifts with one of our professional planned giving attorneys that we have on staff. To schedule a conversation, call us at 708.532.3444.

  • What Do I Owe? Managing the Gifts God Gives You by Rolf Bouma

    What Do I Owe

    Features

    Format: "What Do I Owe?" is a personal devotional and group study guide - combined into one book. There are five inspiring daily readings each week for five weeks, which correspond with five easy-to-use discussion guides with opening and closing activities, Bible study, and reflection questions and activities for small groups.

     Main Themes: The book's five main study themes include:

    • Thinking it Through
    • Stewarding Time
    • Stewarding Money
    • Stewarding Creation
    • The Challenges of Stewardship

     Thought Provoking: There are several interesting concepts and points to ponder here, including:

    • How our adoption as children of God changes our perspective on stewardship
    • Whether "wilderness times" in our lives represent wasted time
    • Considering if our giving to God feels more like an obligation or celebration. 
    • Challenge to have a personal vision for people, creatures, land and God delighting in Sabbath rest
    • How loving something with a fever pitch causes us to stop worrying about ourselves 

    Action Oriented: At the end of the small group times are "Action Options" designed to get people physically and personally involved in the topics being discussed. For example, in one of the sessions, groups are asked to take out a large sheet of newsprint and label four columns entitled Housing, Auto, Relationships, and Church. In each column, participants are asked to say how they would treat each item listed if it were theirs (i.e. they had absolute power to decide treat each if it were theirs alone). And then participants are asked to also list how they would treat each if it belonged to God (and you had stewardship responsibilities for each).

    Author: Rolf Bouma has an interesting perspective from which he writes the book. He is the Pastor of Academic Ministries at the Campus Chapel in Ann Arbor, MI., where he also directs the Center for Faith and Scholarship (a Christian study center at Univ. of Michigan supported by Christian Reformed Church Home Missions). In addition, Rolf teaches ethics and policy in the university's Program in the Environment.

    Interactive: This book can be read alone, but ultimately "What Do I Owe?" is intended for group interaction to help individuals process what they read privately. The small group discussion is designed to provide a one hour experience, divided into 4 parts: opening (10 minutes), Bible study (15-20 minutes), discussion (15 minutes), and closing (5-10 minutes).

    Series: "What Do I Owe?" is part of a series of study guides called "In the Works" by Faith Alive Resources, helping Christians explore how they can be part of God's mission in the world. Included in this series are titles such as, "Where Do I Come In?", "What Do I Do with My Life?", "How Do I Begin?", and "How Do I Make It Right?"

    Available at Faith Alive Christian Resources.

    How can you say “thank you” to God? Campus pastor Rolf Bouma shows you how in his new 118-page devotional guide, “What Do I Owe? Managing the Gifts God Gives You”. This handy resource contains daily readings and discussion questions that lends itself well to a small-group study, as well.  People tend to think of stewardship primarily in financial terms - but as Bouma demonstrates so well, money is only one of the gifts God gives us to manage. Discover how you can say “thank you” to God with your time, the creation itself, God’s grace in your life, and more.

  • When the Game is Over - It All Goes Back in the Box by John Ortberg

    Whenthegameisover
    • Object: being spiritually rich toward God
    • Set-Up: keeping score, taking turns, preventing regret
    • Playing: with rules, gratitude, and a mission
    • Hazards: competition, wanting more, losing 
    • Winning: collecting the right “trophies”

    Strengths

    Ortberg’s outstanding gift of saying serious things in engaging and sometimes funny ways draws the reader into deep reflection about their life and death and what is ultimately temporal and eternal in God’s kingdom.
     
    One example of Ortberg’s captivating communication style comes in Chapter 17 (“More Will Never Be Enough”) when he references a poll where 89% of Americans say our country is too materialistic; yet the same percentage revealed they felt they needed “more” for themselves. He recalls a quote from his grandmother: “No one ever made an itch go away by getting really good at scratching.”

    Ortberg's wrting is very visual.  Although his insights and stories are excellent, Ortberg repeatedly points the reader back to God and Scripture to make his points. 

    It All Goes Back in the Box would work well for both personal study and group discussion, as well as an outreach tool as Ortberg ably references popular culture (i.e. Seinfeld, Monty Python, etc.) to highlight biblical themes. 

    Ortberg has succeeded in writing a powerful “life stewardship” book without calling it a stewardship book. If you were blessed by books such as Purpose Driven Life (eternal perspective on your life) and Treasure Principle (eternal perspective on your stuff), you will enjoy how Ortberg seamlessly weaves together these powerful themes. 

    Things to be aware of

    While It All Goes Back in the Box does a great job motivating readers to play by God’s rules, it does not necessarily offer much if any advice on how to respond when others do not follow those rules. The book would be even better if Ortberg had addressed this daily reality.

    Available at Zondervan.com.

    Using board games as a metaphor, It All Goes Back in the Box offers practical wisdom on how to be successful in life from God’s perspective:

  • Why Give? 40 Days - From Getting to Giving by John W. DeVries

    Wg

    Theology. The theological answer to the question posed in the title is that we give because God is a giving God. Because we are created in his likeness and in his image, we also give. But if you're at all familiar with biblical stewardship, you already knew that. This is where things get interesting...

    Imagery. Why Give? employs a powerful and gripping metaphor for giving - that God created us to be like rivers. DeVries points out that the Bible begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation with a picture of a river. "We are born again to be rivers," he explains, with life flowing in and out of us. "Living to get instead of living to give results in sin and death...salvation is not a possession to be ‘gotten,' but a transformed condition in which we begin eternal giving." This reality points to a warning in our daily living, where a "fear over possessions gained or lost is the essence of hell itself...the more independent we are [with money] the more we shut the door to the streams of eternal life flowing through us."

    What We Give. DeVries explains that our living and giving provides seven wonderful things to the world around us: the gift of Christ's presence, the power of Christ, the provisions of Christ, the perfection of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the comfort of His eternal reign, and the comfort of Christ's return.

    How We Give. Why Give? reminds the reader that giving is with the head as well as the heart. Not only does giving engage the emotions of the giver, but it must also meet the actual need of the person to whom we give. Giving with the head is focused, accountable, productive, transparent and joyous.

    God's Approach. God gives His gifts through us, opening "the windows of heaven and [allowing] the rain of God's abundance to fall." If our gifts seem small in our eyes compared to the overwhelming challenge, DeVries says "we set up an opportunity to see God's multiplying work in meeting the need and resupplying our limited resources." If we are able to give large gifts, DeVries cautions that our gifts not "point to us, to our power and wealth" but instead to God's infinite generosity. Whether rich or poor or somewhere in between, "if God is to be honored by the gift, the gift must be significant to the giver."

    Results of Giving. Why Give? makes the case that giving unlocks God's infinite resources. If we give in order to get for ourselves, we succumb to the heretical "prosperity" doctrine. Instead, DeVries explains, we give in order to get in order to give more! The result of this kind of giving is joy - becoming more like God, experiencing sympathy for others, discovering God's infinite resources, feeling a renewed joy from within, following Christ's example, connecting with the grace of God that inspires more giving and joy, and motivating others to give.

    Things to be aware of: The author, John DeVries, is also the founder of Mission India, a Christian organization dedicated to transforming India for Christ in partnership with Indian believers through children's Bible clubs, adult literacy classes, and church planter training. While the book does display the Mission India logo on the back cover and contains a few references to mission work in India, Why Give? stays clear of sounding anything remotely like a commercial for the organization, and instead stands on its own as a fresh, practical, and inspirational look at biblical stewardship.

    Available at Missionindia.org.

    Are you looking for a source of true joy in life? “It flows out from the river of giving,” John DeVries contends in Why Give?, a power-packed 40-day devotional. The book begins with the question, “Why Give?” and then answers it over the course of five weeks from several interesting and thought-provoking angles:

  • Why Use Barnabas Foundation?

    Many people who have given to Christian organizations throughout their lifetimes want to make sure that part of their Estate will continue to support these Christian causes upon their death. They choose to make a charitable gift at that time, rather than allowing their charitable giving to end.

    People often ask, "How much should I give?" or "What do other people do?" This decision is obviously very personal. It depends on your goals and what you want to communicate to your family and your community. What do you want your legacy to be?

    We help Christians accomplish their Estate Planning goals.

    We consider income needs and requirements in each plan. Attorneys who are knowledgeable about charitable giving benefits, as well as Estate Plans, come alongside you during the process.

    We assure complete confidentiality in the planning process.

    People feel safe and secure in providing us with information needed to develop their Estate Plan because the planning is objective and independent, and all information is kept strictly confidential. We never disclose financial details or family situations to any organization.

    We do not sell or recommend any particular financial or investment products.

    Barnabas Foundation does not receive any fees or payments from individuals or companies who offer financial or investment products. We neither refer individuals nor recommend specific companies that offer investment products.

    Our planning services are provided at no charge or obligation. 

    We provide our services at no charge and without obligation, thanks to the annual contributions made by the Foundation's nearly 200 Christian member organizations. We never ask for any gifts.

    Since 1976, Barnabas Foundation has been advancing God’s Kingdom by providing Christian Estate Planning and Charitable Giving Services. We help caring Christians strengthen support for the charities important to them.