The Church is the Body of Christ on earth and carries on His ministry in the world today. Making a Planned Gift to the Church is an opportunity to leave a legacy that strengthens His ministry and expresses our thankfulness to Him. Through a charitable gift, you can have a significant positive effect on the ministries of the Church and the people whose lives are changed by them. The impact of your gift will be felt for years and generations to come. A charitable gift may also give you substantial current tax benefits as well as estate tax benefits.

As you explore the ways outlined here by which you can support the ministries of the Church, please know that the staff in the church office are available to assist you in any way possible. Consider making a gift in one of the following ways:

Gifts of Cash, Check or Credit/Debit Card

A gift of cash is by far the easiest and most common way to make a charitable gift to the Church. If you itemize, you are entitled to a charitable deduction based on the full amount of your gift (up to 50% of adjusted gross income). If you cannot use the entire deduction this year, it can be carried forward over the next five years. 

Simply complete your pledge card and select the timeframe of your payments. If you choose to make a down payment via check, please make it payable to Saints Peter & Paul Greek Orthodox Church. If you would like to have your down payment and pledge payments billed to your credit or debit card, please provide that information on your pledge card or to make an online donation, please visit our secure website at: 

We currently accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Once completed, please return your pledge card by mail in the return envelope provided. The Office will send future payment reminders in accordance with the payment plan you have chosen. For those choosing the automatic payment option via credit or debit card, you will not receive reminder statements. 

Any questions or concerns about using your credit or debit card, please contact Diane Bravos at (847) 729-2235 or at

Gifts of Securities

If you own appreciated securities (held more than 12 months), you can benefit by giving them to the Church: 

  • In most cases, you can avoid payment of capital gains tax that would have been due if you sold the shares; and
  • If you itemize, you will receive a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the gift. Gifts of appreciated assets are generally deductible up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income. Any excess can be carried over for five years.

 Stewards may use stock or mutual funds to pay their pledge. Gifts of securities shall be administered per Saints Peter & Paul’s procedure that sees the securities sold immediately upon receipt. 

If you would like to initiate a donation of stock or securities, please contact Diane Bravos at (847) 729-2235 or at

Gifts from qualifying Retirement Plans

For many individuals, retirement accounts are a major financial resource and the basis for a financially secure future. Qualified retirement plans provide substantial benefits for accumulating funds for retirement. However, these plans can be subject to both estate and income taxes when funds are distributed or when the plan participant dies. A current distribution directly from a retirement account to the Church can result in significant tax savings.

In addition, by naming the Church as the beneficiary of the remainder after your death and/or the death or your spouse, 100 percent of the plan’s balance would avoid both income and estate taxes. You can also name the Church as a beneficiary for a portion of the plan along with your spouse and/or children. If you wish to make this type of gift, contact your plan administrator for a “change of beneficiary” form. 

Please contact your financial advisor for additional information concerning gifts via retirement accounts.

Gifts of Life Insurance
Do you have a life insurance policy that is no longer needed? Rather than giving it up, consider gifting the policy to the Church. Unneeded life insurance often provides a significant method of supporting the Church. If you designate the Church as owner and beneficiary of a paid-up life insurance policy, you receive a charitable deduction approximately equal to the replacement cost. If the policy is not paid up, you receive an income tax deduction equal to the “cash surrender value” in the year the gift is made. Even term life policies can have significant value. Check with your advisor to find out.
Gifts of Real Property

Gifts of real estate offer you an opportunity to make a significant gift to the Church.

An outright gift of real estate held more than 12 months is the simplest method and is governed by the same basic rules governing securities. When the property has been transferred through a properly executed deed, in most cases, you receive the following benefits:

  • You can avoid capital gains tax on the appreciation; and
  • You receive an income tax deduction based on the current appraised fair market value. You can claim a deduction up to 30% of your adjusted gross income in the year of the gift. Any excess may be carried over for up to five years.

Speak to your attorney or tax advisor about the following real estate giving alternatives:

  • Real Estate Gifts Used to Fund a Life Income Trust
  • A Retained Life Estate

Real and personal property, life insurance, estate bequests or charitable remainder trusts are welcome. For substantial gifts of property other than marketable securities, the IRS requires an appraisal. Please contact Diane Bravos at (847) 729-2235 or at, for more information on types of planned giving.

Tax Advantages of Charitable Giving

Planned giving can be very rewarding, allowing you to see your gift at work while receiving tax benefits now.  Charitable contributions as Stewardship are deductible for those who itemize their taxes. Because each situation is unique, we urge you to discuss various gift options with your family and possibly your financial advisor to determine what type of gift is most beneficial and most appropriate for your situation.

Living Wills

Living Wills

When doing your estate planning it is common to also include a Living Will dealing with how medical care will be provided if you are unable to give the instructions yourself. The Archdiocese has prepared an Orthodox Living Will that can be filled in and reviewed by your family, doctor and legal advisor. For Orthodox faithful, it is important that the Living Will reflect your Orthodox Christian beliefs. There are many prayers and observances that can give great comfort to the patient and family. If you choose to have your attorney prepare your living will, we urge you to include language that reflects your Orthodox Christian beliefs.

What You Are Asked To Do

  • Pray for the success of SSPP’s Stewardship goals.  Share the goals of this committee with others.  Reflect, pray and then support with a donation of your time, talent, and treasure.
  • God commands us to bring tithes and offerings to His house.  Giving ten percent (10%) is the ideal that we should seek to attain.  We ask each and every member unit (single, couple, family) to give three percent (3%) or more of their gross yearly household income to our parish.
  • As you make your pledge please remember…

Your contribution should have some relationship to how generous God has been to you.  Not everyone can donate the same amount but everyone can make the same sacrifice!