See more of The Signatry community in action.


Filter Posts


2023 Charitable Contribution Limit and Your Giving Plans

5 months ago By The Signatry

As you and your family cultivate a lifestyle of generosity, you may want to gain a deeper understanding of giving-related tax strategies that can help your charitable contributions reach as far as possible. Create your 2023 giving plan early. Build your strategy based on the 2023 standard deduction, charitable contribution limits, IRA charitable contribution rules, and more. After all, good stewardship includes even the ways we fill out our tax forms. Charitable Contribution Limits: How much giving is deductible? Tax benefits for charitable contributions: Current tax law offers charitable deductions to donors who itemize taxes and contribute cash or appreciated non-cash assets (make sure to hold them for more than a year before donating). So, what is the charitable contribution limit in 2023? The annual exclusion for gifts increases to $17,000 for calendar year 2023, up from $16,000 for calendar year 2022. The charitable contribution limit for a gift of cash to a public charity or donor advised fund remains 60% of one’s adjusted gross income (AGI). Donors may claim a tax deduction for non-cash asset gifts to qualified public charities and donor advised funds up to 30% of their AGI. Donation amounts in excess of these limits may be carried over for up to five tax years. Should You Itemize? 2023 Standard Deduction The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly for tax year 2023 rises to $27,700, up from $25,900 the prior year. For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $13,850 for 2023, up from $12,950 the prior year. And for heads of household, the standard deduction will be $20,800 for tax year 2023, up from $19,400 for tax year 2022. Giving More in 2023 STOCKS AND CHARITABLE GIVING Appreciated stocks donated to a donor advised fund before they are sold do not affect the donor’s capital gains taxes. Donating appreciated stocks before they sell is another strategy to minimize tax burden and maximize generosity. Learn more here. GIVE APPRECIATED NON-CASH ASSETS INSTEAD OF CASH For those who itemize deductions, giving capital assets such as stock, cryptocurrency, real estate, or business interest to a donor advised fund may maximize your generosity and minimize taxes. Beyond claiming a deduction for the fair market value of an asset, donors can avoid the capital gains tax they would otherwise incur if they sold the asset and then donated the cash proceeds. This can mean even more going to charity and less to taxes. LEVERAGE DEDUCTION RULES OR A BUNCHING STRATEGY Bunch contributions. You may find that the total of your itemized deductions for 2023 will be slightly below the level of the standard deduction. If so, it could be beneficial to bunch 2023 and 2024 charitable contributions this year by donating two years’ worth of your planned contributions to a donor advised fund. This can allow you to itemize deductions on 2023 taxes and take the standard deduction on 2024 taxes. In addition to achieving a large charitable impact now, this strategy could produce a greater total deduction across the two years, depending on your contribution amounts and filing status. With a donor advised fund, you can recommend a schedule of gifts to go out across the two years and add any additional amounts from the itemized 2023 return as bonus gifts to charities. CONSIDER RETIREMENT ASSETS Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) of IRA assets. Individuals age 70½ and older can direct up to $100,000 per year, tax-free, from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to operating charities through qualified charitable distributions (QCDs). A QCD satisfies your RMD requirement for the year, and by reducing your IRA balance, a QCD may also reduce your required minimum distribution (RMD) in future years, lower your taxable estate, and limit your beneficiaries’ tax liability. A donor advised fund is not an eligible recipient of a QCD—a distribution from your IRA to a DAF will not be tax-free. The Signatry offers other giving methods that may receive a QCD, including designated funds. Grants from a designated fund can only be sent to a single charity. Learn more here.

Read More

Stewarding Resources to Accomplish More

1 year ago By The Signatry

A Commitment to Faith and Good Works   How do you ensure biblical stewardship of your resources? From the beginning of his career, Rogers Strickland aligned his business goals with his faith. After leaving the United States Air Force in 1980, Rogers founded Strickland Construction Company, Inc. in Raytown, Missouri. Mr. Strickland built his organization on the principles of strong customer service and quality work. He allowed his faith to guide him and was successful in growing his company from five team members to more than 50 employees. Mr. Strickland and his company recognized their blessings and wanted to guarantee good stewardship of the resources they were given by regularly giving back to the community and to the Kingdom. By providing all the material and labor, Strickland Construction Company has helped to build 55 community centers, churches, and schools in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Guatemala, and Jamaica.   In addition to his construction projects, Mr. Strickland owns several self-storage facilities around the Kansas City Metro area. When it came time to sell some of these properties, he wanted to make a Kingdom impact while serving both his business and his family. Mr. Strickland worked with The Signatry to steward the assets God had given him, by giving a portion of the LLC before the sale to his donor advised fund. “The Signatry made the whole process very easy,” said Mr. Strickland.     Understanding the Gifting Process   Donating a business interest is both a practical charitable giving strategy and a potential opportunity to save on taxes. When a business owner gives a portion of their closely held business interest, they may receive an immediate tax deduction and still maintain control over the remaining aspect of the business.     Before selling his self-storage facilities, Mr. Strickland worked with The Signatry to contribute a portion of the LLC. This helped Mr. Strickland save taxes and maximize his charitable gift. “It is so much easier to do a large transfer and have the option to give anonymous gifts. It takes the angst out of worrying about income tax and allows me to make numerous gifts in the future,” said Mr. Strickland.     Answering His Call   From the beginning, Mr. Strickland had a clear vision for who he wanted to serve and how he wanted his gift to help. “I wanted to support numerous charities that truly share the love of God and help them to get the resources they need!”   Thanks to Mr. Strickland’s generosity, stewardship of his resources, and his willingness to answer the call of God, he was able to serve his neighbors and his business well. Through this donation, Mr. Strickland had the benefit of:   Receiving a charitable income tax deduction Freeing up more money to go to charity Providing over $600,000 to the San Lucas Mission in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala   The Role of The Signatry   The Signatry has years of experience in assisting individuals and companies as they desire to biblically steward their resources and give to charitable causes utilizing different types of assets. The Signatry team understands the gifting process and helps Christian business owners follow a path that will benefit their business while living out their faith. Making a complex asset donation can be a deeply personal decision and a multi-faceted process, so The Signatry works to serve and partner well with individuals as they go through each phase of the giving journey. The Signatry believes in the power of these gifts to solidify donors’ legacies of Christian stewardship.   “Working with The Signatry on this gift was a no-brainer. They helped me to share God’s resources in big chunks, sooner rather than later,” said Mr. Strickland.   Since 2000, The Signatry team has helped families, advisors, and ministries send more than $3 billion to charities across the globe. The Signatry empowers donors through creative giving solutions, biblically responsible investments, and legacy training. The Signatry facilitates revolutionary generosity through innovative approaches to the donor advised fund, including fee transparency, no monthly minimums, and full advisor access. The nationally acclaimed leaders of The Signatry help donors maximize their giving in ways that build and preserve generational wealth and legacy. 

Read More

Myths of Generosity: I Need All the Right Character Traits to be Generous

1 year ago By Nicklaus Bartelli

There is a temptation to envision “a generous person” as kind, compassionate, selfless — almost angelic. This picture of how to be a generous person is not accurate. True generosity often accompanies qualities like kindness and empathy, but it is a separate trait. It is built on top of the qualities and passions each of us already have. In fact, trying to become someone different, or relying too heavily on qualities like selflessness, can end up hurting your generous spirit. You Don’t Need to Change Your Heart, Display It “I’m not a good person.” “I’ve never given before.” Are these reasons not to take a generous action? The reality is that we have probably all given something before. Every person has a style of giving that suits them best because it flows from their own personality and heart. Have you given your time, listening to a friend during a rough circumstance? Have you been generous with your tongue, freely giving compliments and encouragement? Maybe you have shared your skills and talents, fixing someone’s computer or making them a meal. If so, you have likely given out of your heart, in ways that make sense to you. That is what God desires. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” — 1 Peter4:10-11, NIV It starts with receiving God’s love. If we recognize that God is blessing us, blessing others becomes a natural overflow of His love and grace for us. There is no strategy, curriculum, or special status required to unlock generosity. Bring out what God has given you — your talents and the good in your heart. A Tough Love Generosity is not just about being nice. The person who thinks they must be nice in order to give may fall into the trap of never saying no, struggling to set boundaries. Boundless “niceness” probably will not help anyone. Instead, true generosity requires a certain amount of patience, prudence, and self-discipline. There are many generous people who wouldn’t label themselves as nice. Some ask hard questions of the people or charities they support. They look for feedback from the recipient and might look to give feedback to the recipient. Some of the most generous people we know are respected for showing this deeper love and support for the long-term vision and success of nonprofit work. Build Your Support Another temptation you might encounter is to think of generosity as a one-way transaction. As the giver, you feel the need to be independent and self-sufficient. You want to refuse the help, recognition, and support that might make your efforts more effective — or might even serve your needs. Truthfully, this generosity hurts. It is not honoring to God. Paul’s famous “body of Christ” metaphor makes it clear that God did not design any of us to operate independently. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’” — 1 Cor 12:21, NIV The irony of refusing help is that it can burn you out and make you a worse giver. The energy you have to help others can slowly deplete if you do not humble yourself to accept love from others, too. Selflessness is a beautiful trait, but it does not mean that you must not receive. Receive with the willingness to give back, giving thanks and recognition to God, for He is the reason you are able to give. —— Explore these two things: Your strengths within generosity. What are your personal strengths and talents? How could you channel those gifts to serve others? Your acceptance of grace. God pours out his love for us, going so far to offer His Son for our transgressions. How can you mirror this grace and allow it to overflow on others?

Read More

Choosing Charities: Six Questions Before You Give

2 years ago By The Signatry

As a donor, you want your generosity to have an impact. You may have a special cause that you are passionate about or see a unique need and an opportunity to make a difference in the moment. When it comes to giving your time, talents, or treasures, you want to know you are supporting an organization or movement that is effective, efficient, and eternal-minded. In this article, we will cover some of the technical requirements that donors should consider when choosing a charity, as well as key questions to ask when vetting an organization’s capability to achieve its mission with your support.

Read More

Stewarding Your Family in the Business Sale Process

5 years ago By The Signatry

Selling a business involves careful planning, but we often don’t take into consideration how it will impact our family. What does it look like to steward your family through this process in a way that will not only protect but allow them to thrive generations from now? When faced with these issues, there are a few important questions to consider: What should I give to my children? 70% of wealthy families lose their fortune by the second generation, and by the third generation, 90% have squandered their money. Clearly, passing on money is not enough to solve problems in our families. We often forget that there is more than financial capital to pass on; we need to consider the intangible aspects of wealth- social, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional capital. Your children will be more equipped to handle financial wealth when it is preceded with the knowledge and family values imparted. How are my children equipped to handle wealth? How do you ensure your children are ready to steward the wealth you plan to pass on to them? Thriving individuals are more likely to handle inheritance properly. Are they responsible with their finances? Do they have a good work ethic? Considering whether the inheritance is most likely to contribute or cripple their life, is important.  Sometimes the most loving action is saying “no” and setting boundaries that encourage your children to grow. By passing on biblical values and placing a priority on the intangible assets, we cultivate healthy families and provide a means for long term success. What is God calling me to do in the next season? Transitioning out of your business can be an exciting time to pursue God’s calling for the next season of your life. Consider how you can use this next season to continue to cultivate family relationships and build upon your legacy. Think about the causes you and your family are passionate about. You can make memories with younger generations by giving back, supporting, and volunteering with ministries as a multigenerational family. The heart of generosity goes far beyond the money we are willing to give. It permeates everyday decisions and determines the legacy we will leave. Cultivating a lasting family through the sale process will require honest communication. A healthy family will practice transparency. If the challenges seem too great, it is ok to invite outside help. In the same way, a business sale requires advisors, you may want to invite someone you trust to help advise your family as you deal with difficult topics and proactive planning. Wealth does not have to break apart our families. By bringing a better balance to our families as we learn to pass on intangible capital as well—emotional, spiritual, mental—we set the stage for long term success.

Read More

Abdiel עבדיאל

5 years ago By Dale Brantner

I absolutely love the story of Joseph in the Hebrew Bible.  This cycle of well-crafted stories, found in Genesis 37-50, close out the tales of legacy that is the heartbeat of Genesis.  The account of Joseph and his family frame how the children of Israel came to be residents of Egypt and sets up the story of their miraculous exodus which is at the center of Jewish legacy to this day. At the core of our culture, at The Signatry, is a commitment to listen to a person’s story, and then serve them within their story.  When we serve others within their story, we are actually serving them within the much larger redemptive story of God and the role He calls them to play.  This is exactly what we see played out through the life of Joseph. The story begins with some dysfunctional family dynamics, including the lack of parity by Jacob towards his sons. We soon find Joseph in Egypt where he is sold to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. It was within Potiphar’s story that Joseph would serve. God blesses him with great success, and Potiphar eventually entrusts Joseph with his entire household, all of his possessions and agricultural ventures.  Everything went extremely well for Joseph as he served Potiphar right up until he was framed and thrown into prison.  While in prison, Joseph would find himself serving Pharaoh’s cupbearer and chief baker within their own stories, this would, in turn, bring Joseph into the direct service of Pharaoh. Joseph was given the opportunity to listen to the dreams and concerns of Pharaoh and serve within Pharaoh’s story. Pharaoh would make this foreign Hebrew slave and ex-convict the “vizier” of Egypt. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Genesis 41:41-42 God used Joseph’s ability to listen and serve within the stories of others, to position him next to the most powerful man of his day. This platform would later prove to be the salvation of his father Jacob’s legacy … his descendants.  

Read More

Join the conversation. Get the newsletter.