The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) International Center is observing Christmas and the New Year holidays by closing on the following days:
- Christmas Eve – Wednesday, Dec. 24 CLOSED
- Christmas Day – Thursday, Dec. 25 CLOSED
- Employer Holiday – Friday, Dec. 26 CLOSED
- New Year’s Eve – Wednesday, Dec. 31 2:00 p.m.*
- New Year’s Day – Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 CLOSED
* For your convenience, the Donor Care Line will be staffed to accept credit card donations by telephone with the exception of these dates. Messages received Dec. 24-26 will be returned Monday, Dec. 29. The Donor Care Line will be staffed Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (CST). No voice messages will be accepted after 2 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
U.S. Postal Service offices and banks also will be closed in observance of Christmas and New Year’s Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
If you are planning to make a 2014 year-end tax-deductible donation, the following information may be helpful:
Cash gifts or securities gifts that are mailed via the U.S. Postal Service must arrive with a postmark of Dec. 31, 2014, or earlier. The mark must be from the U.S. Postal Service. Gifts postmarked after Jan. 1, 2015, or later will be treated, per IRS regulations, as a 2015 gift.
In recent years, the U. S. Postal Service has been inconsistent in placing a Dec. 31 postmark on all mail. We recommend mailing gifts on or before Friday, Dec. 26, or taking the gift and envelope to your local post office and verifying that the envelope has been postmarked if it is being mailed Dec. 29-31.
Hand-delivered gifts will be accepted at the LCMS International Center until the last full business day of the year the building is open, which is Tuesday, Dec. 30, from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. The reception desk can receive the donation, which should be contained in an envelope with the donor information protected.
ONLINE AND TELEPHONE GIFTS BY CREDIT CARD
Online credit card gifts may be made via www.givenowlcms.org. This option is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week until 1:50 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 1 (CST). This is equal to 11:50 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31 (PST) and 12:50 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 1 (MST). The electronic time stamp for a donation will determine its eligibility as a tax-deductible gift for 2014 or 2015.
Credit card gifts may also be made through the Donor Care Line. Call 888-930-4438 between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CST), Monday through Friday, excluding the holiday schedule listed above.
(Note: Making a credit card donation at year-end can qualify as a 2014 charitable donation even though cardholder’s payment on the credit card balance is deferred until calendar year 2015.)
GIFTS OF APPRECIATED OR DEPRECIATED SECURITIES
Contact the LCMS Foundation to initiate a gift of appreciated securities (stocks, bonds or mutual funds) in support of the LCMS or its various ministries. For more information, contact the LCMS Foundation at 800-325-7912.
Gifts from mutual funds require longer lead times to complete.
If stocks, bonds or mutual funds have appreciated, it is better to donate the shares directly in order to avoid incurring capital gains taxes. Consult with your accountant or financial adviser to determine your potential capital gains tax savings and the impact of a charitable donation on your tax return for 2014.
If stocks, bonds or mutual funds have depreciated, it may be better to sell them at market value and donate the cash proceeds. In addition to claiming a tax deduction for the gift of cash, you may be able to claim a loss on your income tax return. Again, consult with your accountant or financial adviser to determine whether this is in your best interest.