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Ways to Support Us
You can make a one-time or recurring gift to one or more of OSLC's ministries using your credit/debit card or bank account. OSLC has partnered with Vanco Payment Solutions for simple and secure eGiving. You can keep track of your gifts by creating an account using the "Sign Up" link in the top right corner of the giving page. If you previously had a Simply Giving account you can log in with that user name and password. Please contact OSLC's Financial Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance with giving.
Prefer to give by writing out a check? Please include the name of the fund you'd like to support on the memo line (use "General Fund" for regular offerings) and drop it in the mail to us at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1035 Carol Ln., Lafayette, CA 94549 to the attention of the Financial Secretary.
Did you know that if you are 70 1/2 or over you can donate directly to OSLC from your Individual Retirement Account and avoid paying income tax on the gift? It's called a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) and is made at your direction directly from your IRA custodian to OSLC. QCD's don't require you to itemize on your federal tax return so may be combined with the standard deduction to further save on taxes. Ask your financial advisor or accountant about how to take advantage of this wonderful method of supporting OSLC's ministries while also stretching your retirement savings through tax avoidance.
Donating appreciated securities (or other assets) is one of the most tax-smart ways to give! Donors don't have to pay capital gains tax on the donated shares and can still deduct the full fair-market value from income taxes up to the overall amount allowed by the IRS. Stock donations are coordinated with your broker who can transfer the shares directly to OSLC's brokerage account at Charles Schwab. OSLC will then sell the shares upon receipt and put the funds to work supporting and growing our ministries. You can even direct the giving to a specific ministry of your choosing by letting us know when you inform us of the gift. Contact OSLC's Financial Secretary at email@example.com for help coordinating a gift of securities.
Donate When You Shop at AmazonSmile
What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at AmazonSmile, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to Our Savior's.
How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
To shop at AmazonSmile simply click on the AmazonSmile button above. You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping.
Can I use my existing Amazon.com account on AmazonSmile?
Yes, you use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.
Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?
Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.
The OSLC Foundation: A living legacy
The OSLC Foundation was founded more than 35 years ago as an affiliate operation to support programs that extend the life and mission of our church. Gifts from $25 to $250,000 to the Foundation have supported programs that have changed the lives of many people, from our local community to the other side of the World.
What are the advantages of giving to the Foundation?
- Your donation gives forever: The earnings from your gift are given away every year without touching the principal.
- Simplicity. You don't have the trouble of investment management. You can give through your will or trust. You can direct your tax-deductible donation to help a specific cause or you can let the Foundation research and respond to various gifting opportunities as they occur over time.
- Your donations inspire others to give through our Matching Gift program to double your donations.
- You can give your annual IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) contribution tax-free up to $100,000 to the Foundation.
How does the Foundation operate?
Like an endowment, your gifts are invested and only the earnings (dividends and interest) are granted every quarter.
How much does the Foundation give away each year?
It changes from year to year based on the value of the Foundation investment account. In recent years the Foundation has granted $40,000 to $45,000 per year.
Recent Foundation Grants - Local Community & International
- Trinity Center (Walnut Creek) - Provides winter shelter, meals, showers, and other services for the homeless.
- Shelter Inc of Contra Costa (Concord) - Provides housing for the poor and working poor.
- Rancho Santa Marta (Mexico) - Orphanage that provides shelter and education for orphaned and disabled children.
- MayaCrew (Guatemala) - Providing scholarships to hundreds of needy children to attend school.
- Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (Berkeley) - Providing scholarships for seminarians and inspirational speakers.
- New Life Band (Tanzania) - Providing dormitory and classroom construction.
- Urban Farmers (East Bay) - Harvest excess food and provide to the poor.
- Supporting OSLC facility improvements and major upgrades to Our Savior's building and property.
- New roof
- Modernized website
- Landscape upgrades
- Kitchen remodel
- Other OSLC support.
- Stephen Ministries scholarships
- Women's Retreat scholarships
- Festival event funding
Questions & Answers
Is my gift tax deductible?
Yes. It is deductible for income, gift or estate tax purposes.
Can I make a donation in someone else's name?
Can I make a gift through my will or trust?
Yes. This is easily done with the help of an estate professional. The Foundation can put you in touch with someone if you need one.
Can I support a specific organization or cause that is dear to my heart?
Yes. However, from a practical point of view, we limit such designated gifts to donations of $5000 or more.
How is the Foundation managed?
The Foundation is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors that meets at least quarterly to manage the financial assets and consider grant requests.
How are the members of the board chosen?
Elections are held each June at the annual congregational meeting. Elected members serve for a maximum of 2 three-year terms.
How are gifts managed?
The Board abides by a set Investment Policy for the endowment and reviews the performance quarterly. The overall investment strategy is to preserve the endowment and allocate only earnings for program support. We use a conservative asset allocation model which is required by our bylaws. The Foundation provides a full report of its finances at the annual meeting of the congregation. The Foundation has grown for over the past 30 years.
How can I get started?
Contact a pastor or anyone in the church office (925) 283-3722 and they can put you in contact with the Foundation Board President or Treasurer.
After your questions have been answered and you are ready to contribute, write a check to: OSLC Foundation.
You may submit your check in person or mail it to the church office, 1035 Carol Lane, Lafayette, CA 94549.
How do I submit a request for funding?
Use the link below to open the pdf file that provides instructions on how to request funding from the Foundation.
Money and the path of meaning
We believe that an active and healthy financial life has the potential to bring about a greater degree of economic justice in our world. While we encourage a life of passionate benevolence, we also know that there are creative options for how you spend, invest, and manage your money that can bring deep personal satisfaction and create greater social good. More importantly, such intentional economic activity provides a connection to your heartfelt values that is often missing when we simply spend spend spend... Explore the links below and see where a healthy engagement with God's economy might lead you. Contact Pastor Dan (925-283-3722 or email) for more information.
For those interested in supporting this faith community, you can be assured that your contributions create a healthy fabric of relationships and activities that bring meaning and purpose to the many lives that make up this diverse and engaged community. We work hard to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to foster a deep and meaningful spiritual life and to find ways to express that depth in the world.
The Mission Outreach Team regularly distributes a share of the congregation's giving to local projects, including Bay Area Crisis Nursery, Monument Crisis Center, Mobility Matters (formerly Senior Helpline), YEAH! shelter for young adults, Lutheran Social Services for Monument Corridor, Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, Loaves and Fishes, Derek Silva Center, and Mt. Cross Camp. The special international projects OSLC supports (and in some cases, gave birth to) are Maya Crew, Rancho Santa Marta, and New Life Band.
How to Give
For many households, donating to the church on a consistent basis takes some getting used to. No matter the amount, a predictable giving pattern helps the church plan its expenses and monitor its budget. If you would like to establish a set pattern for your giving, we would encourage you to consider our electronic funds transfer service, called Simply Giving. It's a great way to keep up with your giving throughout the year. To explore the many options for giving, including stock gifts, electronic funds transfers, or to obtain a pack of giving envelopes, simply contact our treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do you spend your money?
We provide a number of connections to ensure that the way you spend your money reflects your values and creates alternatives to the dominant economic systems that have become so prevalent in our daily lives, Here are a few options
Community Supported Agriculture: Many of us buy organic, local and seasonal fruits and vegetables through our Interfaith CSA. For more information or to sign up, follow the link to Temple Isaiah's website. For those interested in grass-fed beef, we can coordinate the purchase of a side of beef to share between families. Check out Holding Ranch for more information.
Who is handling your money?
We encourage you to consider the type of institutions you use to manage your financial holdings. As a participant in this community, you are eligible to become a member of the Lutheran Credit Union of America. This member-owned non-profit is a great way to ensure that your liquid funds are managed by a group that shares your values and supports the work of the wider church. No matter where you live, you can be a member of the Lutheran Credit Union and still do your banking at 6,000 shared-service branches across America, 28,000 no-fee ATMs, and over 750 no-fee Bank of the West ATMs thanks to the Credit Union Cooperative. For those in the Bay Area, the Patelco Credit Union (there's an office with ATM just up the street on Mt Diablo Blvd) is a part of the Credit Union Cooperative and will accept Lutheran Credit Union transactions.
How do you invest your money?
While we have been told that the best way to invest is to generate the highest return, we also know that such high returns can create unwanted hidden costs that become somebody else's problem or a problem for the next generation. Other investment options allow you to seek a "double" bottom line--a moderate return on your investment and the generation of some social return as well. For those interested in a model like this, there is a great organization that loans money to the poorest of the world's poor and provides a moderate return for the investor.
Oikocredit was officially founded in 1975, by the World Council of Churches. A global cooperative based in the Netherlands, Oikocredit aggregates investor money from people in the developed world and then re-distributes those investments to creditworthy microfinance institutions in the developing world.
For those interested in investing in the activities of the church, Lutheran Mission Investment Fund provides a number of investment options that generate a moderate return and low-interest loans to churches seeking to expand into an area of ministry.
We have participated in a number of the events sponsored by SOCAP which brings some of the brightest minds together in a kind of Ted Talks format to explore meaning and money.
We have also been attending the events hosted by the EBASE which addresses economic justice issues in the bay area.
Our Savior's is a cohort with Criterion Ventures to explore the church as an economic being. This relationship will continue to inform our direction and the resources we provide to both our parishioners and our wider community.