Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I pledge?
We ask for equal sacrifice, not equal gifts. This is respectful of the fact that all of us have different financial means and abilities to give. We are all able to unite in sharing the sacrifice. Ultimately, your pledge should be an expression of gratitude to God and should involve great sacrifice. We get only what we work for. All parishioners and school families are asked to participate – it is a project for everyone that should be shared by everyone. All pledges will be unrestricted and applied to the entire Master Plan project.
Am I expected to give to the Campaign as well as continue my contribution to both the weekly offertory and monthly mortgage?
The weekly offertory and monthly mortgage provides the funds necessary to continue to serve the daily needs of our members. It is essential that the offertory and mortgage collections continue at their present levels, to pay for the programs and the day-to-day operations of our Parish.
Is my contribution to the Campaign tax deductible?
Your charitable gift to St. Thomas More Community, a charitable not-for-profit organization, is tax deductible to the extent provided by law. This requires that the donor itemize his/her deductions by using the appropriate tax forms.
When will construction begin on the new Master Plan?
The Diocese of Raleigh requires that 50% (recently increased from 33%) of the total project cost be “in the bank” before we can proceed with breaking ground for our new Master Plan. No bridged loans will be granted. We anticipate that Phase II construction will begin 1stQ, 2009 with a completion date 2ndQ, 2010.
Why do we need to fill in a pledge card?
We need to have a definite amount of the funds we will have to work with. No one should build without knowing how much money they have or how much they can count on, especially in a project of this size. The results of the campaign will dictate what we can build, when we can get started and how much money we will need to borrow from the diocese with interest payable.
What happens if we make a pledge and our income drops? Is my pledge legally binding?
If your financial situation should change, simply re-evaluate your situation and notify the parish office of the change. Pledges are not legally binding.
Where will the funds received from pledges be held during the five-year pledge period?
All funds received from campaign pledges will be held in a restricted interest-bearing account at the diocese. These funds can only be used for our new building project and no other need.
What will happen if we cannot raise the entire goal of the campaign?
Based on the feasibility study that we’ve performed, we feel very confident that we will be successful in reaching our goal. It is our intention to complete the ENTIRE project during Phase II. We do not want endless campaigns and constant on-going construction. This is what our community has emphatically told us.
Has our plan been approved by the Town of Chapel Hill?
Yes, we're only a few weeks away from breaking ground! Last November, we submitted the application for the Zone Compliance Permit (ZCP) to the town which is the next step in the process before obtaining the building permits. We expect to receive our ZCP at the end of February and break ground April 1. We have started coordination meetings with the architect, general contractor and civil engineer to work on specifics of the construction schedule. More details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
What form of payment is accepted?
Cash, credit card, stock, direct debit from checking/savings accounts are all acceptable forms of payment.
Why would I use stock?
Making a gift of appreciated securities is simple and offers a number of important financial benefits:
- A federal income tax charitable deduction (if you file an itemized return). Many state income tax laws also allow for a charitable deduction.
- A deduction for the securities’ full fair market value if they have been held twelve months or longer.
When you make a gift of appreciated securities, you receive an income tax charitable deduction for their full fair market value and pay no capital gains tax. The after-tax cost of giving securities is less than making an equivalent gift of cash. If you wish to maintain the composition of your portfolio, use the cash you would have donated to purchase the same securities in the open market. The newly acquired shares will then carry as their cost basis the current market value.
If you hold securities that have declined in value, it is generally advisable to sell them and then donate the cash proceeds. In this way, you can establish a tax loss and claim an income tax charitable deduction for the cash gift.
If you have questions about how these tax principles apply to you, please consult your accountant or attorney.
What will be the outstanding debt of STM after the construction is completed?
STM will have debt of $3.5 million upon completion of construction. $7.5 million will be raised from the capital campaign with difference of the total cost ($12 million) from internal savings during next three years.
Who is going to use new social hall and meeting space?
STM has 115 ministries and groups who request meeting space on a daily basis. We have a need for wedding, funeral, and other receptions on a weekly basis. In addition, our youth faith development groups are in desperate need of space for weekly meetings and activities.
Why doesn’t STM go to bank and get a larger loan?
All STM property is owned by the Bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh. The Diocese has a large line of credit with a number of financial institutions. The local parishes borrow money from the Diocese for capital projects. The borrowing guidelines require that 50% of the project be funded in advance prior to start of construction and that $3.5 million is maximum loan amount for parish.
Will there be naming opportunities?
Yes, there will be a limited number (approximately 10-15) naming opportunities for pledges of $100,000 or more related to major components of building plan.