April is the Cruelest Month

“April is the cruelest month,
breeding lilacs out of the dead land,
mixing memory and desire,
stirring dull roots with spring rain.”

― T.S. EliotThe Waste Land

I am often reminded of this quotation by renowned poet T.S. Eliot around tax filing time. These lines talk about the expectations and disillusionments that can befall the investment decisions that are revealed in your tax returns.

snow irisSome of your investments unexpectedly become “lilacs out of the dead land…” Whether by your efforts or those of your financial partner they yield the positive results your desire. Your tax return can also revive memories of poor decisions and lost opportunities… “mixing memory and desire”

Whether you were pleased with your investment returns this year or not, you know that tax laws continually change. However, there remains one constant — charitable giving. Giving always yields positive results! Your giving affects the bottom line of the charities you support, and it changes lives of real people in ways most of us will never know. The way you give can also affect your financial health. For example:

  • If you bought or sold property this past year but did not go through the Stewardship Foundation, you might have missed some important tax benefits.
  • If you are holding onto property or a business because the market does not favor selling, you might benefit from alternative options the Stewardship Foundation can suggest.
  • If you tried to support a charity or non-profit using non-cash assets, but your preferred charity or non-profit was not in a position to receive it, you should contact the Stewardship Foundation for our assistance.

The Stewardship Foundation can work with donors and investors of most charities and non-profits. We are experienced at stirring dull roots with spring rain. Now is the time to plan and to explore your investment options for the 2104 tax year. Now is the time that your charities and non-profits need your financial support.

The Metaphor of the Jugs

Because you keep up with The Stewardship Foundation, you know that our mission is to champion, evangelize, and facilitate transformational giving as it pertains to gift planning. In the early days, when the foundation wasn’t much more than a twinkle in Joe Finneran’s eye, we turned to the miracle at Cana as a metaphor for transformation.

brochure jugsWith the help of friends who own better cameras that we do, we set out to create a visual representation of the miracle of changing simple water to wine. Taking the kinds of jugs and woven baskets usually found only at flea markets or Pier 1, we staged our props in a sunny outdoor location that we hoped might resemble a wedding garden. Our problem? Pouring water into the first jug, having the water turn into wine in the second jug, and spill over into the third jug. Where’s a good miracle when you need one? Our solution came through the miracle of Photoshop and the skills of our good friends and creative team at ActiveCanvas.

This month, we were honored to be “bronze sponsors” at the annual conference for Heartbeat International held in Charleston, SC where over 900 faithful servants gathered to be trained, equipped and inspired to celebrate the pregnancy help movement around the world. We had the opportunity to place a full-page ad in the conference brochure, so of course we used the jugs as the visual metaphor in our ad.

Whenever someone approached our display table, I asked him or her to check out our ad on page 69 and to stop by later with a thumbs up or thumbs down on whether our message resonated with them and if they understood the metaphor of the jugs. I was overwhelmed with the positive support we received about our message. Everyone “got it” and it was a fun and engaging way to get feedback on the idea and promote our gift planning services.

Pray with us that our planted seeds bear much fruit in the coming months.

— Jim Kebe