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After retiring from a career as an electrical engineer, Phil Hall has learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t.

So when, as the volunteer treasurer for his church, he saw several donations rolling in from Barnabas Foundation’s Stewards Fund (donor-advised fund), he was intrigued to learn more.

“I saw checks coming in, but I didn’t know what they were,” recalls Phil.

Then one day, an acquaintance happened to explain to Phil the advantages of giving through a donor-advised fund, which allows you to streamline and simplify the process of giving to multiple charities from a single giving account. Plus, when you give appreciated assets like stock, real estate and business interests, you can reduce your taxes.

It dawned on Phil: this must be what the Stewards Fund is! He instantly knew it was a great giving solution for him and his wife, Sheri. In no time, he opened an account for them through Barnabas Foundation’s website. Since then, the Halls have used their Stewards Fund to support their local church and several global missionaries.

Phil and Sheri quickly realized how the Stewards Fund could also benefit other members at their church. So, Phil asked the church’s financial secretary to send a letter that explained the benefits. “You can give to the fund this year and deduct the full amount on your tax return,” Phil wrote to his peers, explaining a tax-wise giving concept called “bunching,” where you give two or more years’ worth of donations in a single year to maximize your deductions. “You can then direct your donations from your Stewards Fund to your favorite ministries for years to come!”

Phil had this letter sent out two years in a row and invited anyone who was interested to contact him. In a relatively short amount of time, the number of people with Stewards Fund accounts at the Halls’ church has gone from one to five!

“One person specifically spoke to me about opening a Stewards Fund after receiving the letter,” notes Phil. “He was getting stock from his company, so I explained the tax benefits and how he would save on capital gains tax by donating it.”

As for their own Stewards Fund, Phil and Sheri say the benefits go well beyond dollars and cents. “When you get a thank you letter and somebody shares how your gift furthers the Kingdom, it’s rewarding,” says Phil.

Phil’s enthusiasm for sharing the benefits of having a Stewards Fund continues. After all, he knows when something works—and he can’t wait to share it with others!

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