Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Year End Giving

By: Richard Carnes

Making charitable gifts is both an opportunity to express thankfulness for the blessings of life and an opportunity to make a difference in your community through a favorite charitable ministry. It’s also an excellent way to reduce your tax obligation for the year.

A tax deduction for charitable giving isn’t guaranteed just because you’re generous. As with everything in tax law, it’s important to follow the rules. By doing so, you can help ensure that your donations result in maximum benefits for you and the charitable ministries you support through your gifts.

The Internal Revenue Service offers the following reminders to help taxpayers plan their gifts to charity:

· Qualified charities. Only donations to eligible organizations are tax-deductible. Select Check, a searchable online tool available on IRS.gov, lists most organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions. In addition, churches are eligible to receive deductible donations. That is true even if they are not listed in the tool’s database.

· Year-end gifts. Contributions are deductible in the year made. Donations by check count for 2019 as long as they are mailed in 2019. Also, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2019 count for 2019, even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2020.

· Itemize deductions. For individuals, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A can claim deductions for charitable contributions. This deduction is not available to individuals who choose the standard deduction.

· Record donations. The long-standing requirement of the IRS is that a taxpayer obtain an acknowledgement from a charity for each deductible donation (either cash or property) of $250 or more. Also, be aware that additional rules apply for a property contribution of $250 or more.

As you begin to look beyond 2019, you may also wish to consider arranging for future charitable gifts that result in immediate tax and other financial benefits. By doing so, you may be able to enjoy tax savings, increased income and other financial advantages today while providing for a significant charitable gift to a favorite Baptist ministry as part of your long-range planning.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; www.KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.












Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Striving Together for 75 Years

By: Richard Carnes

As we prepare to enter 2020, the Kentucky Baptist Foundation looks forward to celebrating its 75thanniversary as the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s trust agency. Throughout this long history, the foundation has been Striving Side by Side for Christ’s Kingdom by assisting Kentucky Baptists in financial stewardship education and the management of financial resources entrusted to it by donors and clients.

Many church leaders are realizing that for churches to be successful in reaching their communities for Christ, churches must be equipped to educate their members about the opportunities for legacy giving, utilizing their non-cash assets, which on average represent 91 percent of a person’s net worth.

The great news for church leaders is they are not alone in providing this type of Christian estate stewardship training for their members. The foundation helps facilitate this training of church members to become more “Kingdom-minded” by conducting educational seminars on financial and estate planning topics at your church. This educational resource is provided by the foundation at no cost to Kentucky Baptist churches.

An additional resource to church members is the private confidential consultation service available to Kentucky Baptists through the expertise of Austin Wilkerson, the foundation’s trust counsel. Through these foundation ministries, Kentucky Baptist individuals and families have a valuable resource available to assist them in fulfilling their stewardship obedience to the Lord, which will facilitate their opportunities to share Christ with those who do not know Him.

As the Kentucky Baptist Foundation board of directors and staff Strive Side by Sidein its financial stewardship ministry, we shall continue to take seriously our fiduciary duty as the trust agency of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. We are honored to serve alongside the KBC to be the development agency for its churches, the Cooperative Program, associations and other KBC causes.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; www.KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.









Thursday, September 12, 2019

Equipping Church Leaders

By: Richard Carnes 

As the development agency for Kentucky Baptist churches, the Kentucky Baptist Foundation (KBF) helps equip a church’s staff and lay leadership on effective ways to implement intentional legacy planning programs for church members. It is imperative that churches educate and encourage their members to see their financial stewardship more broadly than just the donation they place into the offering plate. This stewardship training extends to planning the utilization of all the financial resources entrusted to church members for the benefit of their family, their church, and Kingdom causes.

Church leaders can make great strides in impacting the financial well-being of church member’s families and the well-being of the church’s ministries by scheduling teaching opportunities for their church members on how to become “Kingdom -minded” stewards. The great news for church leaders is they are not alone in providing this type of Christian estate stewardship training for their members. The KBF helps facilitate this training of church members to become more “Kingdom-minded” by conducting educational seminars on financial and estate planning topics at your church. This stewardship resource is provided by the KBF at no cost to Kentucky Baptist churches.

Some examples of frequently requested seminars are:

Estate Planning Mistakes and Solutions- Discover what the ten biggest estate planning mistakes are and how to avoid them to assure you manage your finances wisely.

Who Will Be In Charge If …? – Explores incapacity planning tools – powers of attorney, health care advanced directives, Living Trusts and what happens if no prior planning has been done.

Ways To Make Gifts To Your Church– Estate stewardship giving ideas to encourage church members to take stewardship to a deeper level – what to give, how to give, and why we as Christians should give.

As your church begins to plan its Fall series of education and training for Wednesday evenings, Sunday evenings or the Sunday morning Sunday School hour, please consider inviting KBF staff to conduct a seminar session at your church. We welcome your contact to request the KBF’s full list of legacy planning topics and to schedule a seminar date.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; www.KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.





Thursday, August 8, 2019

Preparing for the Future

By: Richard Carnes

Scripture and life experiences teach that there are important differences between capital and income. Income is earned on a regular basis and is spent meeting daily needs. Unspent income typically becomes part of our capital and is invested in savings accounts, houses, retirement accounts, businesses and more. We work hard to accumulate sufficient capital over our working years to enable us to live off the income the capital produces when we cease working to earn a regular salary.

Another word for capital might be “endowment”. An endowment is simply a collection of assets that are invested to produce income that can be used for personal or charitable purposes. We most commonly think of endowment as financial assets and investments, but the Old Testament contains significant examples of God using capital to advance His Kingdom. In reading Genesis 41 we learn of a time early in Israel’s history when God used Joseph to advise the king of Egypt to store grain in anticipation of a looming seven years of famine. God inspired Joseph, and this grain storage became an endowment that kept the people from starvation. From this saved population descended the Savior of the world.

As we evaluate what God has entrusted to us in the way of capital assets within our estates, we must acknowledge the three possible destinations for our assets. We can transfer assets to loved ones, to Christian ministries that have significantly impacted our lives, or we can endow the U.S. Government through taxes paid to the Internal Revenue Service. Fortunately, many faithful Baptists are looking at the ministries of their churches and prayerfully considering what God is inspiring them to do. Individuals can help sustain Christian ministries during a time when their local church may experience a “famine” of financial support for regular ministry efforts.

Your Kentucky Baptist Foundation is available to assist you and your church prepare for the future. We welcome your questions.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; www.KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Working Together

By: Richard Carnes 

God in his perfect wisdom, created people for relationship with him and to live and work in relationship with each other. In response to a question about success Henry Ford stated, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” When I contemplate this quote, I see many ways Southern Baptists have lived this statement through thousands of Baptist churches and millions of Baptist members, by choosing to voluntarily cooperate and combine their efforts for the building of God’s Kingdom. One of the most obvious examples of this collaboration is the Cooperative Program. The Cooperative Program enables Southern Baptists to accomplish more for Christ together than we ever could on our own. Cooperative Program funds provide the foundational support for statewide, national and global missions and ministry efforts. What a God inspired example of working in relationship with each other!

May I invite you to join a special group of individuals who have designated future gifts to this vital ministry funding source? These gifts will help ensure future missions, evangelistic, educational and care giving ministries and help enrich and save lives for many years to come. Your legacy gifts directed for the benefit of the Cooperative Program are an investment with eternal implications that will be working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to connect people all over the world to Jesus Christ.

As Southern Baptists, we can rejoice that we’ve “come together,” “kept together,” and “worked together” through the Cooperative Program. When you consider how you may choose to support the Cooperative Program, I encourage you to talk with Kentucky Baptist Foundation staff and your legal and tax advisors who can assist you in determining which legacy gift strategies best achieve your giving goals in light of your overall estate and financial plan.



Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; www.KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Announcing Retirement of Kentucky Baptist Foundation President Richard Carnes

Richard Carnes, President & CEO, of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation has announced his intention to retire a year from now, effective June 30, 2020, after completing 12 years of service to Kentucky Baptists. Carnes served as the Foundation President and CEO from 1988 to 1995 and has currently served a second term beginning in 2015 as its President and CEO. Mr. Carnes had also served with the Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board financial staff from 1982 until 1988.

Mr. Carnes stated, “I am a fortunate individual that has been blessed, not once but twice, to serve in an executive leadership role with the Kentucky Baptist Foundation. The opportunity to serve my Lord and Savior through this stewardship ministry and to be a fellow servant with tremendous men and women of the Foundation Board is an honor and a privilege that I will forever cherish.”

“Each executive, at their own time, begins to contemplate when the baton of leadership should be passed and personal retirement from the daily leadership responsibilities of the office should occur. My wife Karen and I have actively prayed about this decision for several months. As the personal sense of rightness of this decision began to solidify in my heart and mind, I decided this is the right time to inform the KBF Board of Directors of my intent to retire from my position one year from now.”

Mr. Carnes noted that he had “a great sense of satisfaction to report that the KBF is in a healthy relationship position with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and its churches. I discerned soon upon my beginning this most current tour of service with the KBF, that these relationships would be my primary task and the focus of my energies. The leadership of the KBF Board of Directors and the KBC have been a vital part of this effort and I’m confident they feel we’ve advanced the mission of the Foundation. “

Carnes emphasized that “the KBF is blessed to have in place, a solid staff of professionals that foster a wonderful atmosphere of collegiality with each other and a commitment to serve every one of our clients in a Christ-honoring way. I have been honored to be their colleague. Please pray with them and for them as they too walk through this time of transition. The Foundation is also very fortunate to have the benefit of the wise counsel of our long tenured corporate legal counsel, Randy Gibson, and the long-standing professional services of our other external vendors that provide great operational stability.”

KBF board Chair, Charles Barnes, stated that “Richard Carnes was indeed God’s man for this era in the history of KBF’s ministry to Kentucky Baptists. The Kentucky Baptist Foundation, thanks to Richard Carnes’ leadership, is positioned to have a strong impact in providing resources for KBC missions and ministries.”

The KBF Executive Committee will serve as the Search Committee for Carnes’ successor. Information about how to submit a recommendation or application will be announced soon.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Your Christian Legacy


By: Richard Carnes

Your legacy – have you ever thought about what that will be? Most of us would like to make a difference in the lives of our loved ones and the ministries important to us. We take steps to make sure they will be taken care of when we are no longer here on this earth. We have the opportunity to provide this care by putting plans in place through proper planning of our financial estate. But have you also thought about memorializing your Christian faith through the written statement of your last will and testament?

Estate documents can present a wonderful opportunity to leave behind a written testimony of your faith in Christ. Evangelist Dwight L. Moody’s Will contained this great example as a lasting expression of his eternal confidence in Christ. “You may have heard that I died. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am alive and well, enjoying the presence of God for eternity. It’s my hope that you will take great joy in my recent promotion. It’s also my prayer and request that if you haven’t discovered the truth about God sending His son to die on the cross so that none should perish, you will seek His truth with great urgency as a personal favor to me.” Another enduring, clear statement was left by Patrick Henry, one of America’s Founding Fathers, who said, “If I had all the goods this world can offer but had not faith in Christ, I would amongst all men be poor indeed.”

You can create your own letter to loved ones, affirming and encouraging them. Consider joining the many Christians who, as a part of their estate planning, have made such statements either by incorporating them into the text of their planning documents, or in letters to be found with their documents following their deaths. Such statements would be a your positive witness of the importance of going the distance in trusting Christ, to those loved ones you leave behind.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; www.KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.