Cheerful Giving From the Heart
IN THE matter of giving, the apostle Paul wrote: “Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart,” and he added: “Not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7) Jehovah does not compel anyone to support pure worship. He allows his servants to show their devotion by their voluntary and cheerful giving. Throughout history, his people have responded enthusiastically. Consider three examples.
After Jehovah led the Israelites out of Egypt, he directed that they construct the tabernacle. Materials were needed, so the people of Israel were invited to contribute. In response, “everyone whose heart impelled him” brought gold and silver, jewelry, and other materials. The people were so generous that an announcement was made requesting that the giving stop.—Ex. 35:5, 21; 36:6, 7.
When the temple was to be constructed centuries later, God’s people again had the opportunity to show their support for pure worship. King David made a large personal contribution toward the project and invited others to participate in giving. They did so eagerly. Why, the contribution of gold and silver alone was worth more than 100 billion dollars at current values! The people rejoiced over their making voluntary offerings to Jehovah.—1 Chron. 29:3-9; 2 Chron. 5:1.
A joyful spirit of giving was likewise shown by the early followers of Jesus Christ. On the day of Pentecost 33 C.E., about 3,000 were baptized, many of whom were not residents of Jerusalem. To enable those of little means to remain in the city to learn more about their new faith, there was a temporary pooling of financial resources. The brothers sold possessions and brought the money to the apostles to assist those who were in need. How Jehovah must have rejoiced to observe such an expression of faith and love!—Acts 2:41-47.
Today, Christians continue to support pure worship by generously and cheerfully giving of their time, energy, and funds. The accompanying box sets out some ways in which you can do this.
[Box on page 18, 19]
WAYS IN WHICH SOME CHOOSE TO GIVE
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WORLDWIDE WORK
Many set aside, or budget, an amount that they place in the contribution boxes labeled “Worldwide Work.”
Each month, congregations forward these amounts to the office of Jehovah’s Witnesses that serves their respective countries. Voluntary donations of money may also be sent directly to Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., Attention Treasurer’s Office, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201-2483, or to the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses that serves your country. (Voluntary donations specified in the sections below can also be sent to the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses that serves your country.) Checks sent to the above address should be made payable to “Watchtower.” Jewelry or other valuables may be donated as well. A brief letter stating that such items are an outright gift should accompany these contributions.
CONDITIONAL-DONATION TRUST ARRANGEMENT
Money may be placed in trust with Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania for use worldwide. However, upon request the funds will be returned. For more information, please contact the Treasurer’s Office by writing to the address noted above or by telephoning (718) 560-7500.
In addition to outright gifts of money, there are other methods of giving to benefit Kingdom service worldwide. These include:
Insurance: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania may be named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement/pension plan.
Bank Accounts: Bank accounts, certificates of deposit, or individual retirement accounts may be placed in trust for or made payable on death to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, in accord with local bank requirements.
Stocks and Bonds: Stocks and bonds may be donated to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania as an outright gift or Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania may be named as a Transfer on Death beneficiary.
Real Estate: Salable real estate may be donated either by making an outright gift or, in the case of residential property, by reserving a life estate to the donor, who can continue to live therein during his or her lifetime. Contact the branch office in your country before deeding any real estate.
Gift Annuity: A gift annuity is an arrangement whereby one transfers money or securities to a designated corporation that is used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. In exchange, the donor, or someone designated by the donor, receives a specified annuity payment every year for life. The donor receives an income-tax deduction for the year in which the gift annuity is established.
Wills and Trusts: Property or money may be bequeathed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania by means of a legally executed will, or Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania may be named as beneficiary of a trust agreement. A trust benefiting a religious organization may provide certain tax advantages.
As the term “charitable planning” implies, these types of donations typically require some planning on the part of the donor. To assist individuals desiring to benefit the worldwide work of Jehovah’s Witnesses through some form of charitable planning, a brochure has been prepared in English and Spanish entitled Charitable Planning to Benefit Kingdom Service Worldwide. The brochure was written to provide information on a variety of ways that gifts may be made either now or through a bequest at death. After reading the brochure and conferring with their own legal or tax advisers, many have been able to help support our religious and humanitarian activities worldwide and maximize their tax benefits while doing so. This brochure may be obtained by requesting a copy directly from the Charitable Planning Office.
For more information, you may contact the Charitable Planning Office, either in writing or by telephone, at the address listed below, or you may contact the branch office that serves your country.
Charitable Planning Office
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
100 Watchtower Drive
Patterson, New York 12563-9204
Telephone: (845) 306-0707