Yeah, I’m A Believer

By | Articles

Lots of people are shy when it comes to sharing their giving stories. When a friend commented recently that people like to read about other people, she urged me to share my own story. (“Hey, you’re a donor – tell them what you do!”) At the risk of being awkward, I realized she is right and perhaps sharing that I “walk the talk” might inspire others. My husband and I have been making planned gifts every year for eight years through the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana to benefit the Catholic Church in our diocese.

Read More

News and Updates From The Catholic Foundation

By | Articles

On People’s Minds We seem to be answering the same question quite often recently, so thought it might be good to put it in print: Q: Is the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana different than the Diocese? A: Most definitely! The Foundation is a separately-incorporated nonprofit organization in Montana. Founded in 1999, the Foundation’s purpose is to strengthen the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. We do this by being a free and helpful resource for individual Catholics and Catholic families, helping them to make the planned or outright gifts that are the right fit for them. Those gifts build permanent endowments for the long-term (forever) good of their local parishes, schools, Catholic organizations, and diocesan ministries.

Read More

Guess Who’s Turning 21 This Year?

By | Articles

Two very notable things happened 21 years ago. First, our oldest daughter was born…and yes, she turns 21 this year. I’m fairly certain she wouldn’t want me writing any more about her in this article, however. But the other notable thing that happened in 1997 is definitely something you need to hear. Like me, in 1997, our Montana Legislature gave birth. They brought into our world a sweet little package that has brought joy to thousands of Montanans ever since. They dubbed the little ‘darling’ the “Montana Endowment Tax Credit.” It was such an amazing gift that we are still sending out announcements about it, like this, even 21 years later! Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that good things will last forever. Our 21-year old Montana Endowment Tax Credit could be nearing its life expectancy next year– at the ripe old age of 22. I say ‘could’ because the tax credit may be extended for another six vibrant years, if that is what next year’s state legislature decides. We’ll wait and see… and hope and pray. Until then, I suggest we celebrate! This unique and generous 40% tax credit (much better than a tax deduction) is available to Montana taxpayers who make a qualifying planned gift to a permanent endowment. The Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana has more than 100 qualifying endowments for you to choose from – or you can even start a new one, and even in your own family’s name. We have endowments for individual parishes, for…

Read More

Christ, Cattle and Hay Stacks

By | Articles

by John T. Patterson, Board Member, Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana. Picture by Mrs. Patterson The count came up one short: #59 was due and so I began my search. We were calvin’ in a thousand acre pasture so she could be anywhere. It was April 6, 2016, a breathtakingly beautiful morning, not a cloud in the sky and calves were either sleeping in the sun or running everywhere. The range and indeed Montana was coming to life before my eyes. No luck on the east half of the pasture, in the bottoms with lots of shelter, where she should have been, so I headed west. As I crossed the divide between Shane Creek and Joe Hill Creek with my beloved Beartooths as my back drop, I spotted her. She was tucked in some brush right under a cedar and there he was standing beside her getting ready to nurse. That bull calf represented years of planning, preparations and dreams in the unending quest to breed the next “great one.” His future was uncertain, it depended on a lot of variables, but on that day he was my dream come true and life was good. What does any of this have to do with the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana? Quite a lot, actually. The Foundation is much like #59’s calf, it is all about the FUTURE; the future of our Church in a land that God has truly blessed with the broadest brush strokes of his paintbrush. Much like…

Read More

How Does the Montana Endowment Tax Credit Work?

By | Articles

Steve and Tricia, ages 60 and 59, make a $5,000 gift to their favorite endowment at the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana. They don’t necessarily want or need an income payment back in the future; what they DO want is to make a gift this year to build the future for their local parish AND to get the maximum tax benefits available to them. They decided to do a “Charitable Deferred Gift Annuity” with the Foundation and utilize the Montana Endowment Tax Credit. Because they made their gift this way, they can now: Take a $1,850 credit on their 2018 Montana tax return (that’s a dollar-for-dollar reduction on what they owe) Take a $1,480 deduction on their 2018 Federal tax return (if they itemize) Steve and Tricia were able to give $5,000 to help the Church for a net cost of just $1,670. If they had given their $5,000 outright, their net cost would have been approximately $3,055. See how wonderfully they leveraged their giving to support the Church by using the Montana Endowment Tax Credit? Please contact me! Judy Held Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana PO Box 1345 Great Falls, MT 59403 (406) 727-6683, ext. 120 [email protected]

Read More

IRA

By | Articles

John Pankratz is a seminarian who benefits from the Seminarian Education Endowment Fund of the Catholic Foundation of Montana. “I knew that I would never use all of the money in my IRA. I was thrilled to learn that a gift from my IRA could reduce my income taxes this year, while helping the Church gain more seminarians.” Simple, Easy Gift If you are like many people, your IRA has increased in value over the years and you have more income than you may need. For people aged 70½ or older, the IRA rollover gift is a simple and easy way to provide for the Church while not increasing your taxable income. Are you frustrated by the required minimum distribution rules? You must withdraw a portion of your IRA each year based upon your age. You must pay income tax on the portion you withdraw. You will face stiff penalties if you fail to withdraw your RMD. By taking a distribution from your IRA this year, you will likely pay more in taxes and may even reach a higher tax bracket. Rolling over part of your IRA’s “required minimum distribution” or “RMD” to a charity like the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana can help reduce your tax bill while supporting your favorite Catholic ministry, parish, school or organization in our diocese. Major gift with Minor Effort The IRA charitable rollover provides several benefits: It allows you to transfer up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to a qualified nonprofit organization,…

Read More

Why Haven’t I Heard of This

By | Articles

2018 ushered in lots of changes in the tax scene in our country. But do you know what didn’t change? Your opportunity to receive a nice, healthy 40% tax credit in Montana, simply for giving to build the future for the Catholic Church in our diocese! The “Montana Endowment Tax Credit” is slated to sunset next year. While we hope it will be renewed by the 2019 Legislature, what is certain now is that it is available for all of us to take advantage of this year. This amazing giving incentive isn’t difficult to receive or understand, but as with many things, we don’t always hear something until we are ready to hear it. That means that when you find yourself filled with the desire, or simply being called, to make a long-lasting and impactful gift to help build the Catholic Church, it is a perfect time to talk with us at the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana about the “Montana Endowment Tax Credit.” Who Used the Montana Endowment Tax Credit 2017? Many Catholics in our diocese claimed the Montana Endowment Tax Credit in 2017 to make a meaningful gift for the benefit of their own parishes, their local Catholic schools, or their favorite ministry in our diocese. We wrote nearly 50 planned gifts for Catholics who donated to at least one permanent endowment of the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana. The graph below illustrates the beneficiaries of these gifts: Planned Gifts Benefit the Church To be more specific, here…

Read More

And a child shall lead them…

By | Articles

Do you want to feel good about the future of the Catholic Church in our diocese? Sometimes Catholic adults can learn important things from Catholic young people about stewardship. This story is about a gift of $180 that was delivered to the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana last December, with instructions that it be added to the Foundation’s “Youth and Young Adult Ministry Endowment”.  What made it stand out was that it was donated by four  children – Greg, Sam, Ellie and Maggie Fulbright of St. Leo the Great Parish in Lewistown.

Read More

Making a Gift to the Church, Receiving Income for Life

By | Articles

A Charitable Gift Annuity is an excellent way to provide for the Church and also to ensure a life-long income for yourself (while also receiving healthy tax benefits!). For many people in our diocese, their retirement plan includes a Charitable Gift Annuity (sometimes with the deferred income option), doing the Lord’s work, creating permanent income and providing tax advantages.  

Read More