One hundred percent of everything that is contributed through LDS Philanthropies goes to the specific purpose it was contributed for. There is no overhead taken out for administrative costs. Many donations come from people who aren’t members of the LDS Church, mostly for humanitarian efforts, according to a 2005 LDS Church News article.
“For those capable of doing more, LDS Philanthropies provides a reliable way for donors to support worthwhile initiatives," said Bishop Gerald Causse, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.
Charity should be the primary motive for those who contribute, according to Ron Taylor, communications manager for LDS Philanthropies.
“It’s all about charity. Charity is one of the core elements of the gospel. But it’s personal as well,” Taylor said. “The Lord had organized LDS Philanthropies in the kingdom as a way to help the Saints know what is needed and where they can help most effectively to strengthen the Saints and move the kingdom forward.”
In addition to the blessings of service, Bybee and David Moore, president and CEO of Deseret Trust Co., can tell stories of families who were blessed, as well as ruined, by inheritances.
“When it comes down to money and estates, it's these material things that literally rip families apart. Over my 38 years in this work, I have seen wonderful families who when mom and dad die ... they fight. Someone doesn’t feel they got their portion. They’ve never learned that life isn’t fair, and the distribution of the estate wasn’t fair, and dad and mom didn’t understand when they wrote it all out,” Bybee said.
“What we’re saying is between this partnership (LDS Philanthropies and Deseret Trust), we are a wonderful resource of the church to its members, professionals who do planning, and to those who are not of our faith.”
There are many stories of Christian values through the acts of philanthropy, Bybee said. He related the story of a woman, not Mormon, whose father has given the LDS Church close to $50 million.
“She witnessed how that has brought her family together. In the end, it wasn’t about the money. The money may change their lives, she said, but it may not be for their good,” Bybee said. “Now she can see the good it’s going to do in the lives of others and how it will perpetuate values and her father’s legacy.”
Taylor related the story of a wealthy church member who is raising two teenage boys. The man had legitimate concerns that the family’s money would ruin his sons. Then he had an idea. The man established a trust fund with Deseret Trust where the two boys are the co-chairmen.
“This way they see it (the funds) as a stewardship, not an entitlement. The boys find worthy causes and recommend how the funds are used,” Taylor said. “It seems the plan is working well.”
How to contribute
There are a broad range of choices in the types of gifts patrons can contribute to LDS Philanthropies, including cash, securities, real estate, wills/bequests, trusts, life insurance policies, annuities, art, collectibles, equipment, patents and copyrights, and other special situations. Strict confidentiality is honored with each gift. For more information, visit www.ldsphilanthropies.org or www.deserettrust.com.
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