The Campaign for St. John's
A Phased Approach to Our Needs
The Campaign for St. John's will ensure that we safeguard our legacy. In 2007, a Building Code Review and Site Conditions Report, prepared by Atkin Olshin Shade Architects, indentified nearly $7.5 million of needed repair and restoration, as well as opportunities for facility improvements. Recognizing that this amount of money exceeded the fund-raising capability of the parish, a review was conducted to prioritize the projects.
Costs and Our Campaign Goal
The total costs of Phases 1,2 and 3 will be approximately $3,055,000. Due to the initial generous bequest of $600,000 to the parish, our capital campaign will seek to raise the remaining $2,455,000. Our goal is to complete these high-priority projects over the next three years and to address the other restoration needs and improvement opportunities over the next ten years.
Financial support will be solicited from private and public foundations, local businesses and corporations, along with friends of St. John's and parishioners. The necessity of restoring the church of St. John the Evangelist is absolutely clear. This former cathedral for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is an important, historical landmark and a vibrant faith community located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. We are confident that by making these essential safety and handicapped accessibility improvements, we will safeguard our mission to be a welcoming community for years to come.
The inspection of the church's bell towers revealed significant deterioration and immediate safety concerns. The final costs are currently being determined; however, these repairs have been completed at an estimated cost of $1.9 million. A $600,000 bequest and a bridge loan from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia provided the resources to complete this portion of the project.
Phase 2 of the campaign will include: extremely time sensitive repairs of exterior masonry surfaces of the church and friary; repair of the church and friary roofs, including replacement of six large skylights on the church roof which are leaking badly; restoration of the church's historically and artistically important stained glass windows; restoration of doors in the church and friary; and restoration of water damaged plaster walls and ceilings in the church.
Work on this phase will also address several life safety deficiencies by providing emergency illumination systems and lighted exit signs in the church and friary; retrofitting exit doors with code compliant hardware; and repairing walking surfaces in the church and entrance porch.
Finally, there is no reasonably accessible restroom facilities in the church resulting in significant inconvenience to parishioners and guests at services and activities held at St. John's, thereby limiting the ability to utilize the church for community outreach events and programs. Once Phases 1 and 2 are complete, appropriate facilities will be installed in the lower church.
The Campaign for St. John’s represents yet another opportunity in Stewardship to share the gifts that we have been given by our Lord. Please consider a gift that is proportionate to the gifts that God has blessed you with. Our campaign goal can be reached through the sacrifices of a great many parishioners.
The joy is in the giving! The personal satisfaction received from making a financial commitment to Stewardship is rewarding and the tax advantages may be substantial. The following gift methods are offered as possibilities when making your commitment.
The success of the campaign rests largely on pledges that are payable over three years. Pledges enable the donor to contribute a larger gift than would be possible to make in any one tax year.
With the recent economic downturn, many have found that their investment portfolios have declined in value. While this is always unfortunate, it does present an opportunity to charitable donors to make the most of their losses by donating depreciated securities so as to crystallize their losses, which can be used to offset certain past and future capital gains, and claim an official donation receipt for an immediate tax benefit.
When a donation of depreciated securities is made, the donor receives an official donation receipt in the amount of the fair market value of the gift, thus allowing the donor to claim a charitable tax credit immediately. Although the fair market value of the gift will naturally be lower than if the donor waited for the value of the securities to rise, a second benefit occurs on the donation of depreciated securities which may be advantageous to the donor — particularly if the donor has realized substantial capital gains in the past three years, or foresees such gains in the future. The donation of securities will trigger a capital loss, which may be used to offset both past and future capital gains. The Income Tax Act allows capital losses to be carried back up to three years, and to be carried forward indefinitely. Thus, by triggering an immediate loss on the donation of securities, the donor crystallizes a loss that will be available to reduce capital gains tax in the future.
On the other hand, if the securities have appreciated, the donor will receive the full value of the securities as the gift value and pay no capital gains tax. Please consult your personal tax advisor regarding the special rules for gifts of appreciated property.
Gifts to this campaign may provide the opportunity for a corporate match by an employer. Please contact the parish office for specific information to ensure that your gift will be eligible for a match.
Planned Gifts represent a special type of support that benefits you, the donor, and the parish. Often a Planned Gift allows you to maximize your contribution and provides you with specific income and estate tax advantages. Planned Gifts may also provide you with income during your lifetime. Here are some Planned Giving Opportunities:
IRA Charitable Rollover
This charitable option is available through the end of 2009. The law provides that an owner of a traditional or Roth IRA may distribute to a public charity, up to $100,000 a year without the distribution being included in taxable income, and the distribution will count toward the donor’s mandatory withdrawal amount.
To qualify for IRA rollover treatment the donor must instruct the IRA manager to transfer funds directly to a charity. (A withdrawal followed by a contribution still has to be reported as income.) The donor must be at least age 70-1/2.
Remember St. John the Evangelist Church in your will. This will provide your estate with a federal and estate tax advantage.
Charitable Lead Trusts
This works when the donor contributes securities or other appreciating assets to a charitable lead trust. Then, the trust makes annual payments to St. John the Evangelist Church for a period of time. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal is paid to the donor’s heirs.
Benefits: The present value of the income payments to St. John’s reduces your gift/estate tax. All appreciation that takes place in the trust goes tax-free to the donor’s heirs. The amount and term of the payments to St. John’s can be set so as to reduce or even eliminate transfer taxes due when the principal reverts to the donor’s heirs. The donor has the satisfaction of making a significant gift to St. John’s now that reduces the taxes due on transfers to their heirs later.
St. John the Evangelist Church may be named as the principal beneficiary of your insurance policy or ownership of the policy may be transferred to the parish.
Memorial Societies offer a permanent recognition and acknowledgement of your love for a living relative or deceased family member. All donors will be publicly recognized. While we welcome gifts at all levels, please consider membership in any of the following four societies when determining your level of support:
Saint John’s Society
$10,000 and up
Saint Katharine Drexel Society
$5,000 — $9,999
Saint John Neumann Society
$3,000 — $4,999
Saint Francis Society
$1,800 — $2,999
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my pledge dollars be shared with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?
All gifts received for this project will be used exclusively by St. John the Evangelist Church for these projects. All pledge funds collected will be held in a restricted account.
How will funds be expended?
First, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has lent the funds to St. John's in order for the parish to complete the restoration of the towers. Payments on that loan will be a top priority once the active phase of the campaign is complete. Second, the items listed in Phase 2 of the project are of a critical nature. Until these needs are secured, other projects will be on hold.
How will the projects in Phase 2 be prioritized?
A number of projects in Phase 2 will be accomplished simultaneously as the funds from the campaign become available. Projects of a more critical nature will be prioritized. Some of the projects, such as the skylights and the roof, are linked and may be worked on at the same time.
Will the weekly offerings support the campaign?
No. These projects are above and beyond the operational costs of the parish. The weekly offertory is used to support our normal operations. We are asking you to consider a pledge in addition to your weekly gift.
Who will be asked to contribute?
Every family in the parish will be offered the opportunity to make a pledge. In addition, friends, former parishioners, and local businesses will be asked to contribute. We hope that every household will contribute according to their ability. This is ourchurch, ourparish and ourproject. We understand that not everyone has the same financial ability, but every gift is needed and appreciated. In addition to the individuals in our parish, we will be seeking grants from public and private foundations and, because of the importance of St. John's to our neighbors, we will also ask for their support.
How much should I give?
Only you know your personal circumstances and only you can make that decision. We ask that your gift be a sacrifice and that you prayerfully consider making a three-year pledge of financial support. Your pledge is measured as a faith response in proportion to what you have received from God. Please remember that God is never outdone in His generosity to us.
What are the benefits to me, the donor?
Our parish is much more than the buildings where we gather. Giving to this plan is caring for our present and making an investment in the future of our parish and its people. This is an opportunity for all parishioners to become more closely united as a parish family, to individually and as a community recommit to our Catholic faith. Acting together as one people of God, we make our parish stronger by caring for our gifts and giving a return to God in gratitude. Please be aware that your gift is tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Please consult your tax advisor.
Is there a minimum pledge?
No. All gifts and pledges are needed and welcomed. We are asking each family to prayerfully consider what St. John's has meant to them and how their financial gift can make a difference in The Campaign for St. John's.
Why are we being asked to consider a three-year pledge?
It is critical to the success of this campaign that all families make a pledge. By making pledges over three years (which may be four tax years), parishioners can adjust their payment schedules to suit personal circumstances. The pledges will provide the confidence for us to complete the project in a timely manner without burdening the parish with any additional debt.
What if my circumstances change after I make my pledge?
A pledge, like a promise, does have a moral obligation. However, it is not legally binding. Should your circumstances change, send a note to the parish asking to adjust your pledge.
Can I restrict my gift?
While donors have the prerogative to restrict their gifts, please keep in mind that our campaign has been placed in a "phased approach" due to the urgency of Phases 1 and 2 and the financial limitations of the parish. All of the projects in Phases 1 and 2 are of great urgency and importance. Attention cannot be given to other priorities until these needs are met.