Questions and Answers about
Giving to Baltimore Yearly Meeting

If you are a member or attender at one of the Monthly Meetings under the care of BYM, you are a part of the BYM community!

Why is my gift to BYM important?

Like your gift of time, energy, and expertise, your financial contribution is a valuable way of participating in the life of your Yearly Meeting. Personal philanthropy has been a characteristic of Quaker life for centuries. Your gift continues this tradition of community-building by Friends for Friends.

Your direct support is an important component of BYM’s annual income. It is also a practical means for sharing in the financial care of the Yearly Meeting.

If each of the 3,000+ households within Baltimore Yearly Meeting supported BYM to the best of its ability, we’d ensure a solid financial foundation for our programs and activities and have the means to respond to unanticipated needs or special opportunities that may arise.

When and how may I make a gift?

  • Outright GiftsAt any time you may:
    • mail a check to the BYM office
    • call us with your credit or debit card number to charge your gift
    • make a gift online (click here)
    • call us to learn how to make a gift of securities

    Perhaps the simplest way to make your gift is to respond to one of the fundraising letters mailed to your home. Currently, BYM sends out four appeals each year: three direct mailings, and a camp-related appeal in the annual FireCircle newsletter.

    Baltimore Yearly Meeting accepts gifts of appreciated securities. For information on how to make a gift of stock, call the BYM office.

    Offers of other types of gifts, such as real estate or personal property, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Deferred GiftsFriends may consider leaving a legacy gift that will benefit Baltimore Yearly Meeting. This may be accomplished in several ways, including:
    • making a provision in your Will or Living Trust for BYM
    • designating BYM as a beneficiary of an IRA, life insurance policy, or other retirement plan
    • setting up a Charitable Gift Annuity in the form of a lead trust or remainder trust

    Planning a deferred gift can be complex, and several issues must be taken into consideration.

    If you are considering making a deferred gift to Baltimore Yearly Meeting, please seek the advice of independent legal and/or tax counsel as part of your gift planning.

    Please contact the BYM office if you would like to explore making a legacy gift. We’re here to help you explore the giving option that is right for you, and we work closely with Friends Fiduciary to set up trusts and donor-advised funds.

May I make my gift anonymously?

Certainly! Actually, all gifts to BYM are anonymous – our donors’ names are never published in any written source, and donor information is kept confidential.

Honorary and Memorial Gifts

While many Friends prefer to keep their own giving confidential, making a gift in the name of someone dear can be an appropriate way to celebrate life events such as a new baby, graduation, marriage, or the completion of a term of service. Memorial gifts may be made to honor the life of a friend who has passed away.

How will my gift be used?

A gift to your Yearly Meeting supports the portion of its operation not fully funded through apportionment or by program fees. Typical budget expenses include program costs, staff salaries, office equipment and supplies, and utilities.

Baltimore Yearly Meeting has under its care a well-regarded camping program that nurtures children and youth at three properties within driving distance of the Washington DC metro area. There are significant costs associated with the maintenance of land, physical structures, vehicles, and recreational equipment. Camp properties must also be kept in compliance with all health, safety, and fire regulations, which periodically may create additional expenses.

Gifts to the BYM General Fund (“unrestricted” gifts) are applied where the money is most needed in any given year. Most donors choose to make gifts to the General Fund, giving BYM the flexibility to make decisions based on current budget conditions.

Donors may also direct their gifts to specific programs that hold special meaning for them (“restricted” gifts). For example, former campers may wish to support camp scholarships for children from low-income families, or help to upgrade old cabins; parents may support youth-related initiatives.

Doesn’t apportionment cover all BYM expenses?

Not always. In recent years, current apportionment levels have not been sufficient to cover the operating costs of BYM, which has resulted in necessary – and often painful – budget cuts. Some Monthly Meetings have reported difficulty in meeting their share of the apportionment, and this in turn affects the BYM budget. (For more information on apportionment, see the Apportionment FAQ).

Is my gift tax-deductible?

Yes. BYM is a registered nonprofit organization in the state of Maryland, and is recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). When you make a gift, you’ll receive an acknowledgment letter that includes a gift receipt for tax purposes.

Your gift to BYM, no matter what size, is an important philanthropic investment in the future of the Society of Friends in our region.

November 2008