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Family

Thanksgiving is a choice

9 months ago By Steve French

I love Thanksgiving, gathering together with family and friends, reflecting on God’s faithfulness, and of course, pumpkin pie. Often times, however, when celebration becomes tradition, the true meaning and even the celebration can get lost in the ritual. As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the upcoming week, I think it is important to take a look back at the history and origin of Thanksgiving in America. The first Thanksgiving celebration was held in Massachusetts sometime in December 1621 during the Pilgrims’ second winter in America. The first winter had claimed the lives of 44 out of 102 of the original colonists.…

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Charitable Strategy: The Most Missed Element in Business Sales

9 months ago By Bill High

It happens time and again. While most owners have 80-90% of their assets locked up inside of their business, it’s remarkable how unprepared many of them are at the point of sale. Indeed, at the point of sale the business owner, and the advisory team, should do everything they can to maximize the sale. But many business owners completely miss a key element in the sale process: a charitable strategy. A study by the Exit Planning Institute (EPI) for Georgia in 2018 revealed that historical transition success rates are only 20-30% nationwide. EPI notes that “preparing for a business sale is an urgent imperative,…

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Advisor

Year-end checklist for Advisors

9 months ago By Evan Lange

The leaves and the weather are changing, so that means it is time to start year-end planning sessions with your clients. Take some extra time this fall to consider some of these simple year-end charitable and tax-planning strategies: Bunch a bunch Because of the 2017 tax law changes, several clients may not have enough itemized deductions to surpass the 2019 standard deduction threshold ($12,200 for individuals and $24,400 for married couples filing jointly). However, clients can maximize their deductions by doubling or tripling up charitable contributions one year and skipping the next year(s). This strategy is referred to as “bunching”…

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Ministry

Three Year-End Communication Tips

9 months ago By Kristin Hammett

The cool nip of fall is in the air, the crunch of leaves is underfoot, and the first snow may have already blanketed the ground. These signs, along with our calendars, tell us that the year is drawing to a close. But for those in nonprofit development, the next 60 days make up the busiest (and most important) time of year! Giving Tuesday is just a month away, with the year-end giving season following on its heels. Hopefully, you’ve already been planning and gearing up for your ministry’s campaign. But if you need a few more tips to help motivate…

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Advisor

The History of Donor Advised Funds

9 months ago By Evan Lange

I love studying history. From recent events to ancient biblical history, it is important to know how we have arrived at where we are today. Therefore, I would like to provide a little history of the donor advised fund (DAF). Many may know the charitable and tax benefits to using DAF, but DAFs are still underutilized by many. This is likely because DAFs are still relatively young from a historical perspective. Here is a brief history: In 1913, Congress passed the Revenue Act which exempted charitable organizations from paying federal taxes. In 1914, the world’s first community foundation was established…

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Answering the Call: Ben Bell’s Passion for Serving Ministries

10 months ago By Ben Bell

Prior to joining The Signatry, I was never in a full-time vocational ministry role, although I could consider full-time vocational ministry as “the family business.” My dad’s parents were medical missionaries in China, my dad was a pastor, one uncle was an evangelist, and another aunt and uncle were Korean missionaries. I have several cousins and second cousins who have founded and operate ministries on a full-time basis. Despite several opportunities over the years to move into a full-time vocational ministry role, usually as their COO or CFO, since that was my training and skillset, I never felt called to full-time ministry. I considered myself “in ministry,” but not in a vocational way. I knew my calling was in the secular business world as a Christian witness, and I have always thought being a Christian witness in the secular business world was and is a very noble calling. How were you introduced to The Signatry? In 2018, I got the call to full-time vocational ministry at The Signatry. It followed a long period of soul-searching, reaching out to friends, and seeking the Lord’s guidance before I had ever heard about The Signatry. This period of seeking the Lord extended through my discernment process. I was not seeking to leave the business world. In terms of analyzing the opportunity at The Signatry, I wondered whether I’d enjoy it and if I would be any good at it. It was entirely different from my daily routine, experience, and skillset, so naturally, I had questions. But then the Lord told me to join The Signatry in the clearest way possible – that is all I needed, and all my analysis stopped. I joined the team three weeks later.

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Family

What is Biblically Responsible Investing?

10 months ago By The Signatry

One characteristic that sets The Signatry apart from many other foundations is our commitment to biblically responsible investing (BRI). You have most likely heard of biblically responsible investing, but what exactly is it? And how does it work? What is BRI?: Aligning finances and values Biblically responsible investing is a proactive approach that aligns investments with biblical values and principles. This alignment of faith and growth yields a present and an eternal return by investing in companies that are making a positive impact in the world. The goal is to invest in businesses that create value rather than extract value.…

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Family

A Guide for Charitable Planning

10 months ago By The Signatry

Planning ahead and counting the costs of a plan are essential aspects of any project. Jesus even talked about this, in light of Christian discipleship: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it” (Luke 14:28). The season for year-end giving is fast approaching, and now is an excellent time to begin to plan ahead, not only for year-end giving, but for your year-round charitable giving as well! You may be accustomed to planning ahead for a business proposal but may not have thought…

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Ministry

Maximizing the Middle

10 months ago By Kristin Hammett

Are you a middle child? Do you have a middle child? Middle children commonly share they don’t get enough attention, or they don’t “fit” in the family. I have three kids of my own. My husband and I often say our oldest demands attention, our youngest requires attention, but our middle child needs attention. I think the same can be true with donors. Major donors warrant a considerable amount of attention and relational investment. General donors require regular mass communication. But middle donors? They need (and deserve) attention from ministries as well. And they may be the most under-served donor…

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