Vol 10

Planned Giving Announcement

Lifeblood logoDearly loved Friends,

Please kindly share the following information, where appropriate, with the members of your community.

The Office of the Treasurer wants to make you aware of the recent “American Taxpayer Relief Act” of 2012, which extends an opportunity for individuals age 70 ½ and older to request a distribution of an amount up to $100,000 from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to a public charity such as the National Spiritual Assembly, as a non-taxable event. This opportunity is available through December 31, 2013. Individuals who meet the qualifications detailed below, and wish to consider this opportunity to give to the Fund via a “Charitable IRA Rollover” should contact their IRA plan administrator with instructions for donating to the National Spiritual Assembly. Please read the information below for clarification of the requirements:

The "American Taxpayer Relief Act" extends the Charitable IRA Rollover through December 31, 2013. This means that donors age 70 ½ or older can ask their IRA custodian to transfer up to $100,000 in 2013 to a public charity. The transfer will be a totally tax-free transfer to the public charity and thus equivalent to a 100% charitable deduction which is not subject to the normal charitable giving limit of 50% of adjusted gross income. There is, of course, no separate charitable deduction for the tax-free transfer to the public charity.

In addition, there is also a special opportunity in January of 2013 to make a 2012 Charitable IRA Rollover gift if you received an IRA distribution in December of 2012.  This means that if you received an IRA mandatory distribution or other distribution during December of 2012 you may choose to make a charitable gift in January of 2013 (before February 1, 2013) to a qualified charity such as the National Spiritual Assembly, and it will be treated as a 2012 Charitable IRA Rollover gift. The normal rules apply: the donor must be 70 ½ and the amount must be $100,000 or a lesser amount and the gift must be made to a public charity.

As in all cases, consult your own advisors to determine if this is a feasible choice in your circumstances.

For additional information please contact Planned Giving Coordinator, Beverly Abercrombie at 847-733-3495 or babercrombie@usbnc.org

Loving Baha'i regards,

Office of the Treasurer

Give by December 31st and seeking Quickbooks experts

Lifeblood logoThe end of the Gregorian calendar year is approaching and we wanted to let you know that, for tax purposes, to count toward a contribution in 2012, your donations to the National Fund must be postmarked by December 31, 2012 if mailed and since the Online Contribution System is on Eastern time all online contributions need to be received by the following times on December 31, 2012:

  • 8:59pm Pacific time
  • 9:59pm Mountain time
  • 10:59pm Central time
  • 11:59pm Eastern time

Seeking Quickbooks experts

Also, if you are a treasurer currently using Quickbooks for treasury management, please contact us. We are looking for treasurers who can help us with beta testing the new feature of the Online Contribution System that will allow individual believers to contribute to their Local Fund using this same system. Please email us at finance@usbnc.org

Clarification on Quarterly Goal and Anonymous Giving

Lifeblood logoQuarterly Goal

We have received some questions about how the quarterly goals are calculated in the mountain chart in the Treasurers Notes. We wanted to provide an explanation:

If the annual Fund goal was divided up in equal amounts for each month we would need approximately $2.6M every month to reach our $31M annual goal. However, this year the goals were divided into quarters based on our community's giving patterns averaged over the last 5 years. Even though a spiritual principle behind giving to the Fund is the concept of continual giving, the reality is that our community gives significantly less in the first quarter of the Bahá’í year than in the fourth quarter. For this reason, this year we decided to track our goals for the community based on where we are tracking in relation to our giving patterns. One of the major reasons for this is because in the summer months the friends' participation drastically decreases and when the goal was divided up equally by 12, we were already several millions of dollars behind just a few months into the year, even though the reality is that the friends give more in December and April than in June and July. This year we decided to base the goal on giving patterns. For example, our third quarter goal is to reach $18.6 million by January 31, 2013 and our fourth quarter goal is to reach $31 million by April 30, 2013, and see if it was effective in inspiring the friends to tap into the spiritual bounties awaiting those who give out of love for our Faith. We will evaluate the effectiveness of this process in establishing quarterly goals at the end of this fiscal year.

Also, if you ever find it difficult to decipher the chart, don’t forget that on the Treasurer’s Notes under “Fund Updates”, bullet point #2 always clearly explains the financial information displayed on the chart.

Anonymous Giving

We have also received some questions about anonymous cash contributions received at Feast. Please know that if everyone at Feast is a Baha'i in good standing, that any cash contributions received anonymously can be put into the Local Fund and do not need to be put into the Humanitarian Fund. It also may be helpful to provide envelopes for the friends so they can write their name and Baha'i ID number on the envelope if they choose.

Making Use of Fund Films

DVD DiscThere are a number of ways to use the variety of short films produced by the Office of the Treasurer. Below are instructions on how to download and view them as well as an order form if you would like a DVD sent to you with the most recent Fund films we've produced and a short note of what will be on each disc. We hope this is helpful in your work to educate and inspire the friends about the institution of the Funds.

To Download

  1. The easiest way to access all of our videos is by visiting our Vimeo site at vimeo.com/mybahaifund.
  2. After you click on the video you want to watch you'll see a menu bar just below the video. Towards the middle of the bar you'll see a 'Download' tab. Click on the tab and you'll see 4 video formats.
  3. The 1st format is for mobile viewing, the 2nd is a high definition (HD), the 3rd is standard definition (SD), and the 4th is the highest resolution.
  4. To make a DVD you'll want to use the 2nd or 4th format.
  5. To project onto a wall you'll probably want to use the 4th format.
  6. To actually download the film the instructions depend on which browser you're using and whether you're using a PC or a Mac. Either way try just clicking on the file you want. If it doesn't start downloading then you'll need to right-click on the file and choose a variation of 'Download linked file' or 'Save file'.
  7. Once it's downloaded you can watch it but the way you do so also depends on which system you're using. With a Mac you can probably watch it on Quicktime. On both Mac and PC you can use free video players such as VLC or RealPlayer which you can download from their respective sites.

To Order a DVD