Asset-Based Giving

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod   •   Mission Advancement

Contributing using an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

Under federal law, individuals age 70½ or older who own traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are required to take an annual, minimum distribution.

Are you aware that you may redirect some or all of that required minimum distribution (RMD), up to $100,000 annually, and possibly enhance your standard deduction while preserving more liquid assets for other, equally important uses?

The LCMS joyfully receives IRA gifts that can send missionaries, fund national and international mission work, prepare and care for church workers, and carry out other aspects of our Lord’s mission.

To learn more about making an IRA charitable distribution to support the LCMS work you care most about, contact either LCMS Mission Advancement (, 888-930-4438) or the LCMS Foundation (, 800-325-7912).



Establishing an endowment (perpetual or multi-year gift)

Endowments aren’t just for colleges and universities. Even congregations can benefit from establishing an endowment fund.

An endowment, given during your lifetime or as part of your Christian estate plan, gives witness to your faith and provides an annual gift to the work you care about most — even after the Lord calls you to our real home with Him.

Endowments are easy to establish with assistance from LCMS Mission Advancement and the LCMS Foundation. A formal document ensures your wishes will be honored, and prudent management of your gift is practiced.

To begin a conversation about establishing an endowment, contact LCMS Mission Advancement (, 888-930-4438) or visit the LCMS International Center in St. Louis.

Endowment — A Lasting Confession of Faith

Mobius Wherever you see this symbol on our website or our materials, we hope you see it as a symbol of a contribution that continues on. We want you to know that an option exists for setting in place ongoing support through endowment. The LCMS can help you establish a named or family endowment, or you may choose to contribute to an existing endowment that accomplishes your purposes.

Learn more



Giving through a donor-advised fund

A donor-advised fund (DAF) can be a powerful philanthropic tool in the hands of anyone committed to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. It allows an individual, couple or family to make charitable gifts while maximizing potential tax benefits.

Distributions out of a DAF can be made at the time of the donor’s choosing, in the amount of their choosing, to do the work they care most about (disaster relief, missionary support, pastoral formation, church planting, etc.). The benefits of a donor-advised fund go well beyond timing, taxes and impact.

Learn more about donor-advised funds through the LCMS Foundation.

To learn more, contact LCMS Mission Advancement (, 888-930-4438) or the LCMS Foundation (800-248-1930) and ask to speak with a specialist in the area of donor-advised funds.

If you have already established a DAF and wish to make a distribution to support God’s mission through the LCMS, contact Mission Advancement for guidance.



Using stock and other non-cash assets

There are situations in which making a donation using non-cash assets carries more benefits than giving out of cash flow. Examples of non-cash assets include:

  • Appreciated stock
  • Depreciated stock
  • Mutual funds
  • Real estate (land, buildings, etc.)
  • Life insurance
  • Private collections (collectables, art, etc.)

For example, a person holding appreciated stock would have to pay capital gains tax if the stocks were sold and then the cash proceeds were donated. However, stock shares that are directly transferred from the contributor to the charity (the LCMS, the LCMS Foundation, etc.) eliminate the capital gains tax requirement, thereby providing more resources for use in the Lord’s mission.

On the flip side, a person holding depreciated stock can sell the shares and claim the loss on a tax return before giving the cash proceeds for the Lord’s work and receiving an income tax deduction.

Using assets such as these to fund an endowment or a donor-advised fund often makes sense depending on a donor’s unique personal goals and circumstances.

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and LCMS Mission Advancement rely on the special expertise of the LCMS Foundation to receive and administer non-cash contributions.

We encourage you to speak with a foundation specialist, as well as your own advisors, about the benefits of giving non-cash assets or to arrange a non-cash contribution. Call the LCMS Foundation at 800-248-1930.

Contact LCMS Mission Advancement (, 888-930-4438) if you are considering giving a non-cash contribution and have questions about the LCMS mission and ministry programs (missionaries, mission projects, pastoral education including the LCMS Joint Seminary Fund, LCMS Disaster Response, mercy/human care, etc.) you may be considering as the beneficiary.

Note: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod currently does not accept donations of used vehicles, clothing, furniture and other types of personal property. We encourage contributors in those situations to consider contacting one or more of our Recognized Service Organizations, such as Orphan Grain Train, who may have the ability to receive and administer such donations.

Join us on the journey

Mission and Vision

Seven Mission Priorities

The Lutheran Witness Magazine

The Lutheran Witness Magazine

Making Disciples for Life

Making Disciples for Life - Resource Center

Latest Convention Information

68th Regular Convention

Church Work Recruitment Initiative

Set Apart to Serve

Caring for Ukraine

Ukraine Support

Contact Us

  Email us

  Church Info Center: 888-843-5267
  Staff Switchboard: 800-248-1930
  Donor Care Line: 888-930-4438

 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7226


Guide Star Logo BBB Logo

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Inc., including Mission Central (in Mapleton, Iowa), is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.

A contribution designated (restricted) for a specific purpose, when accepted, will be used only to fund expenses related to that purpose. Occasionally, we may receive more in contributions for a particular purpose than can be wisely applied to it in the foreseeable future or the purpose may cease to be feasible. In these situations, the LCMS will make reasonable attempts to contact contributors to apply their contribution toward another aspect of ministry that aligns closely the contributor’s goals and values. If a contributor cannot be contacted, the LCMS will use the gift to meet a similar pressing need that most closely matches the contributor's original intent.

Consistent with Synod Board policy and in recognition of the joyful response and generosity of God’s people over the past fiscal year, not more than 10.5 percent of any charitable contribution will be allocated to administering gifts and communicating with contributors (compared to a not-more-than ceiling of 13.5 percent the previous fiscal year). Contributions received and accepted by the LCMS are deemed to be in agreement with this statement.

Donor Transparency Resources

Employment   |   For the Media   |   Site Map   |   Privacy   |   Social Media Guidelines    |   Social Media Directory


© 2003 – 2010   The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. All Rights Reserved.