FAQs on Giving

1. Who can assist me in making my gift to Calvin Theological Seminary?
2. What is the non-profit status of Calvin Theological Seminary?
3. What is the annual fund and how do I give to it?
4. Can I use a credit card to make a gift to the seminary?
5. Does Calvin Theological Seminary accept matching gifts?
6. Can I make a stock gift to the seminary?
7. How can I establish a named scholarship or award?
8. What is the Bill and Bea Idema Food Pantry and Clothing Bank and how do I give to it?
9. What planned-giving and estate-planning services are available?
10. Will you say a little more about the need for estate planning?
11. What are some of the publications and special events for seminary supporters?
12. What kinds of gifts can I give to Calvin Theological Seminary?
13. What are other ways that I can help Calvin Theological Seminary?
14. What can you tell me about establishing my own private foundation? I’ve heard that there are difficulties and drawbacks in doing so. Is there a better way?

1. Who can assist me in making my gift to Calvin Theological Seminary?

Bob Knoor provides direction and oversight to all Seminary giving. He is supported by Christy Wolff, Cindy Kuipers, Jean Garehan, and Connie Mulder. The seminary’s toll-free telephone number for the United States and Canada is 800-388-6034. The FAX number is 616-957-6103.

Bob Knoor
Director of Development
616-957-6039 Contact Me
Cindy Kuipers
Development Officer – West Michigan
616-957-6092 Contact Me
Christy Wolff
Annual Fund Coordinator
616-957-6088 Contact Me
Development Office 616-957-8602 Contact Us

 

2. What is the non-profit status of Calvin Theological Seminary?

Calvin Theological Seminary is a 501 (c) (3) educational tax-exempt institution for United States income tax purposes.

For citizens of Canada, Calvin Theological Seminary is a qualified donee in the eyes of Revenue Canada for the purpose of subparagraph 118.1 (1) (f) of the Canadian Income-Tax Act. It is in the special category of a “university outside Canada the student body of which ordinarily includes students from Canada.” Please note that as a qualified institution outside Canada, the seminary does not have a registration number as do qualified Canadian domestic charities. Canadians may direct their gifts for Calvin Theological Seminary to the Canadian headquarters of the Christian Reformed Church in North America at 3475 Mainway, P.O. Box 5070, STN LCD 1, Burlington, ON L7R 3Y8. The Canadian office will process your gift and issue you your receipt.

3. What is the annual fund and how do I give to it?

The annual fund is for general operating expenses–utilities, salaries, supplies, maintenance, and so forth. This fund is vitally important because it enables the Seminary to serve students, the Church, and the Kingdom on a day-by-day basis. The annual fund goal for the 2011-2012 calendar year is just under $1 million (US). Most contributions, unless otherwise designated, are credited to the annual fund. Those wishing to make a gift to the annual fund may specify “annual fund” on their check to “Calvin Theological Seminary” and mail it to 3233 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546. Note: many seminary friends make annual fund gifts of appreciated assets such as stocks. This is a practice of stewardship in that they avoid capital gains taxes and thus are able to contribute a greater amount than would be the case if they first paid taxes on their gift.

4. Can I use a credit card to make a gift to the seminary?

Yes. Use our online payment system.

5. Does Calvin Theological Seminary accept matching gifts?

Yes! Many employers match the gifts of their current and retired employees to institutions of higher education. Simply request a matching gift form from your employer and include it with your gift. The development office will process the matching gift form and notify you once the matching gift from your employer has been received. For further information, contact Jean Garehan at 800-388-6034 or 616-957-8602 or via email.

6. Can I make a stock gift to the seminary?

Gifts of securities are welcomed! Friends of the seminary should note that typically it is to their tax advantage to donate appreciated securities rather than sell the appreciated securities and donate the proceeds. A gift of appreciated stock generally offers a double tax saving. The giver avoids paying any capital gains tax on the increase in value of the stock and also receives a charitable deduction for the full fair-market value of the value of the stock at the time of the gift.

The securities agent who serves the seminary is Mr. Robert Vander Wal of Robert W. Baird and Company. 333 Bridge Street NW, Suite 1000, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. His telephone number is 616-233-8700 or 800-888-6200; his FAX number is 616-233-8752. The DTC (Depository Trust Company) Number for Baird and Company is 0547. The gift account number at Robert W. Baird and Company for Calvin Theological Seminary is 5116-3731.
Alternatively, those desiring to give a securities gift may wish to instruct their own broker or banker to establish an account in the name of Calvin Theological Seminary. If they keep possession of their stock certificates, they also may properly endorse their certificates and mail or bring them to Calvin Theological Seminary for processing.

7. How can I establish a named scholarship or award?

Named scholarships of at least $1,250 annually or named awards of at least $650 annually may be established by anyone at any time. Scholarships and awards can be endowed by one-time gifts of at least $50,000 or $12,500 respectively. For endowed scholarships and awards, Calvin Theological Seminary expends annually an amount equal to 5% of a rolling three-year average of the principal in the respective scholarship or award account. Or you may fund the scholarship or award annually and at the same time give toward its endowment. Gifts may be given at any time and in any amount, both during your lifetime or after your death via a bequest in your will. You and the seminary together establish a “protocol” or guideline for your scholarship or award–setting out its name, reason for establishment, funding, eligibility, administration, the seminary’s obligations to you, and so forth. Establishing the protocol is an easy process; it is also an exciting one because benefactors see how their gifts will prepare future leaders of the church worldwide. Establishing a scholarship or award may well be the single most edifying gift you ever will give!

8. What is the Bill and Bea Idema Food Pantry and Clothing Bank and how do I give to it?

Established by a generous gift from the Bill and Bea Idema Foundation, the Food Pantry and Clothing Bank provide food and clothing to students and their families at no cost. The Food Pantry and Clothing Bank are housed in the seminary’s basement and are administered by student volunteers under the oversight of the student government association. Donations are requested from users, but not required, and all proceeds are used to purchase food items from organizations such as Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank at a tiny fraction of their cost at a supermarket. Over 150 persons use the Food Pantry and Clothing Bank on a routine basis. Many student families are well below the government’s “poverty line”–even before Christian School tuition is taken into consideration. Additionally students use many thousands of dollars of clothing and household items from the Clothing Bank, which houses racks of clothing, shoes, and miscellaneous items from casual to formal and for men, women, and children of all ages and sizes. Anyone may make a contribution of food and clothing. All contributions are eligible for a Calvin Theological Seminary receipt for income-tax purposes. You must catalog and value your gifts if you are to claim an itemized deduction on your federal income-tax form. Delivery cost to the seminary is deductible also. Students are grateful for the overwhelming generosity of seminary friends.

9. What planned-giving and estate-planning services are available?

Many friends of the seminary are interested in the benefits of a Charitable Gift Annuity or desire to receive specialized information. CTS development staff are available to answer your questions or connect you to one of two non-profit organizations associated with the Christian Reformed Church in North America that specialize in all areas of giving, including planned giving and estate planning. These are the Barnabas Foundation (U.S.) and Christian Stewardship Services (Canada). Each offers expert, professional, confidential advice at no cost and without obligation. You are encouraged to make use of their services. Most citizens of the United States and Canada do not have a will and have not engaged in even basic estate planning. As Christians we are called to be stewards of what God has entrusted to their care. Please feel free to contact one of these organizations today or contact us at CTS. Know that both organizations offer general stewardship materials and training and both stand ready to serve you in a professional, confidential manner.

The Barnabas Foundation
18601 North Creek Drive, Suite B
Tinley Park, IL 60477-6238
Toll Free 888-448-3040

10. Will you say a little more about the need for estate planning?

Your will can say where your property goes at your death, how your assets will be managed and by whom, and who will become the guardian for your children. Yet most Christians do not have a will. Your estate plan can determine how much your heirs will inherit and how much trouble and public scrutiny they may experience in inheriting it.

Your tax planning can maximize your gifts to family and Christian organizations and reduce unnecessary taxation.

Your power of attorney, patient-advocate agreement, and health-care proxy can ensure your wishes are followed expeditiously and save loved ones inestimable pain.

Why would anyone want her estate to be devastated by estate taxes and then diminished again by income taxes? Why would anyone not want his wishes to be followed in crucial legal matters? Why would anyone want to lessen giving to heirs and Kingdom causes? Why would anyone want to cause pain and sorrow to family members?

Estate planning is common sense and Christian stewardship. Calvin Theological Seminary and/or The Barnabas Foundation (US) or Christian Stewardship Services (Canada) can help.

11. What are some of the publications and special events for seminary supporters?

Calvin Theological Seminary Forum appears quarterly, each quarterly issue featuring several articles by seminary professors that focus on issues of importance to church and Kingdom. Recent issues of the magazine have dealt with the subjects of Providence, Sin, and Unity and Diversity. Forum is mailed free of charge to seminary donors and limited numbers are sent to individual churches in the United States and Canada. The Forum in a short time has become a much-appreciated and much-anticipated quarterly service to the church.

The Calvin Theological Journal, a scholarly theological periodical, is published semiannually in April and November. The Journal is mailed free of charge to alumni/ae; for others its subscription price to any address is $26 for one year, $44 for two years, and $54 for three. You may call Karlene Werner at 616-957-6173 if you have questions.

Finally, there are periodic occasional papers or booklets written by faculty members on timely topics of interest to the church and society. These are mailed to donors automatically at no charge.

Events include an annual Scholarship and Appreciation Dinner in April, to which scholarship and award benefactors are invited to meet the recipients of the scholarships and awards they have established. Additionally there are periodic Parsonage Breakfasts to which seminary president, Jul Medenblik, invites donors and special friends of CTS to reflect upon various topics over breakfast. You may call the President’s office at 616-957-6044 or 800-388-6034 to be added to the invitation list.

12. What kinds of gifts can I give to Calvin Theological Seminary?

Checks are the most typical gifts but cash and credit cards gifts are also received from time to time. Friends often donate appreciated assets either directly or through The Barnabas Foundation in the United States or Christian Stewardship Services in Canada. In-kind gifts of clothing, food, and household items are welcome for the seminary’s Bill and Bea Idema Food Pantry and Clothing Bank.

For information and assistance with these and other gifts, contact the CTS Development Department.

13. What are other ways that I can help Calvin Theological Seminary?

Pray for Calvin Theological Seminary professors as they prepare a new generation of church pastors and leaders. Pray for students as they acquire the knowledge and experience required to minister to God’s people and share the Good News with those who are lost. Pray for staff members who provide the support services and financial support required. Pray, too, for alumni/ae–who are former students now ministering across the continent and around the world.

Other ways to get involved with the seminary are through advocacy, recruitment of potential students, and identification of potential new Seminary supporters in your area. Contact the CTS Development Department.

Also, you can arrange for the members of your church to receive stewardship education through FIRSTFRUITS of the Barnabas Foundation in the USA and Christian Stewardship Services of Canada.

14. What can you tell me about establishing my own private foundation? I’ve heard that there are difficulties and drawbacks in doing so. Is there a better way?

Yes. By establishing a Stewards Fund account with The Barnabas Foundation, you lose none of the advantages of a private foundation and avoid serious disadvantages.

With a Stewardship Fund account you can contribute more of your adjusted gross income (30%) than to a private foundation (20%). You can claim the full market value of your contributions as a charitable deduction, not merely your actual cost basis of donated appreciated assets. You receive less government scrutiny. You do enormously less paperwork and eliminate the foundation’s reporting requirements. There is no set-up cost. Your annual administrative charge is considerably less than the administrative costs of a foundation. You do not have to manage the investment of assets. You can give to your account at any time and in any amount; the Stewards Fund will make contributions to charities of your choice through a simple letter of instruction from you. Your privacy is complete and assured with the Stewards Fund while the assets, funding, and grants of your private foundation are a matter of public record. There are other advantages as well.

For information about the Stewards Fund, contact:

The Barnabas Foundation
18601 North Creek Drive, Suite B
Tinley Park, IL 60477-6238
Toll Free 888-448-3040
www.barnabasfoundation.com
Henry Doorn, Executive Director