Several opportunities local Southern Baptists of Texas Convention congregations utilize to maximize investments are now available to individuals in SBTC churches—certificate investments that currently yield between 2.00% and 3.75% annually, as well as daily certificate accounts and donor advised funds (DAF). SBTF Executive Director Bart McDonald and Investment Services Director Terry Jeffries answered questions for the Texan about the new products.
Q: Why should individuals invest through the foundation instead of a secular institution?
Jeffries: Since opening certificate investments to individuals on Jan. 1, we have had dozens of people reach out for information and several have already opened accounts. For example, a couple from Houston invested $100,000 in an 11-month certificate that provides 2.70% APY. During this investment term, they will earn $2,475 in interest. The same $100,000 invested in a 30-month certificate would yield 3.30% APY and earn $8,250 during its term.
While banks pay similar rates, investing with the foundation has the added benefit of making a kingdom impact, as those dollars fund loans to plant new churches and expand existing church campuses. Setting up a certificate account at the foundation is easy, and nearly anyone can participate because our minimum investment is only $2,500.
Q: How does a daily certificate account offer immediate access to funds?
Jeffries: This option works similarly to a savings account at a bank. A daily certificate account is an excellent way for individuals to earn 2.00% APY on emergency funds that might otherwise be in a savings account, often earning little interest. These funds are available for withdrawal without penalty, and there are no associated fees for investment. Our online member portal allows clients to make deposits and withdrawals quickly and conveniently.
Q: Why should ministries and individuals invest with the foundation if banks offer similar rates?
Jeffries: First, banks invest in many different types of institutions and organizations, some of which likely do not align with Christian values. The foundation utilizes certificate investments to fund loans to gospel-proclaiming ministries. Dozens of churches across Texas have built new facilities or planted churches with loans from the SBTF.
When Jason Collins first arrived at CrossRoads Baptist Church in Rowlett, 80 members worshiped in a 5,400-square-foot building. The church experienced explosive growth from 2015 to 2018, baptized 248 people, and grew to over 500 in attendance. The foundation loaned CrossRoads $3 million in 2018 to build a 25,000-square-foot facility. They now worship with over 1,000 on Sundays and baptize around 100 people annually. Certificate clients are the ones who make kingdom growth like this possible through their investments. The foundation has loaned more than $100 million to churches and ministries that are committed to reaching Texas communities.
Q: What exactly is a donor advised fund?
Jeffries: DAFs are charitable giving tools growing in popularity because they simplify the giving process, multiply the impact of giving, and maximize tax benefits. Individuals can contribute to their DAF and receive an immediate tax deduction, allow those invested funds to grow tax-free, and take time to decide what ministries to support and how often. The DAF can send a one-time check or recurring checks on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis to your designated charities on your behalf.
Funding a DAF by donating stock or other appreciated value assets provides an immediate tax-deductible contribution of the present value of the asset and also allows the donor to avoid capital gains taxes on the appreciated value. Donors can choose to contribute stock to a DAF when its share price is high rather than [tying] the donation to a specific ministry need, then allow these funds to grow over time and make a more significant kingdom impact. DAFs can make regular title payments to a local church and support other vital ministries or missions like disaster relief, Criswell College, Jacksonville College, or the Texas Baptist Home for Children.
Q: How do DAFs avoid tax liability?
McDonald: DAFs are great vehicles to avoid capital gains taxes on capital appreciated non-cash assets, thereby maximizing resources available to direct toward kingdom causes. The avoidance of capital gains issues related to the sale or liquidation of capital appreciated assets may be another element worthy of disclosure.
Two of the foundation’s DAF clients had investments in several pieces of real property. Their cost basis in those properties was incredibly low in comparison to current market valuations. Having decided it was time to sell, they donated those properties into their family-styled DAF accounts. At the point of donation, they receive a tax deduction based on the appraised value of the properties. The added benefit of the avoidance of capital gains taxes on the liquidation was significant in their choice of the DAF as a giving platform.
After receipt, the foundation liquidates the assets with proceeds going into the DAF (less a minor asset handling fee to cover the foundation’s costs and efforts of converting the asset to cash). The foundation is a 501c3 entity and not subject to taxation—in other words, no capital gains levied by the IRS.
Current 2022 capital gains are 15% on households whose income exceeds $41,676. On several of these properties, the gains would have been well in the high six- to low seven-figure range. Instead of the related capital gains ending up in the IRS coffers, those amounts were preserved and end up in the DAF cash balances, which can in turn be directed by the donors to benefit their church and other kingdom charities. DAF accounts are excellent ways to direct capital appreciated assets to fund kingdom endeavors, with stocks, investments, and non-cash real property assets being the most common.
SBTF is available by calling 844-351-8804, online at sbtexasfoundation.com, and in person for churches and individuals at 2331 Brookhollow Plaza Drive, Arlington, TX 76006. SBTF staff are also available to make presentations to local churches by request.