RGBI Update, February 4

Dear Friends of RGBM,

IS YOUR CAR A ‘MINISTER’ is the title of a pamphlet that we have sent out to encourage our constituency to give vehicles that can be used to further Rio Grande Bible Ministries’ reach. We are very grateful to many donors over the years who have responded. The office of Ministerial Advancement has received two very valuable cars in the past three years that have allowed Gene Young and Dan Antoniuk to efficiently represent RGBM to several dozen churches and hundreds of individuals. We covet your prayers for our representation work in Texas and throughout the country as we drive thousands of miles per year. Other divisions of RGBM remain in need of good vehicles. For example, we are currently looking for a new truck for our campus services.

(Pictured above from left to right: Gene Young and Dan Antoniuk with the donated cars.)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through Publication 4303 provides general guidelines for individuals who donate their cars. Rio Grande Bible Ministries is a qualifying 501(c)(3) charitable organization that will accept cars and gifts-in-kind that qualify for a tax deduction if you itemize deductions on your Schedule A of Form 1040. For the purpose of this letter we will use cars as an example of a gift-in-kind donation.

You must take into account certain limitations on charitable contribution deductions. For example, your deduction cannot exceed 50% of your adjusted gross income. Other limitations may apply. IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, provides detailed information on claiming deductions and the deduction limits.

Now comes the sometimes difficult task of determining the value of your car. The maximum amount you can deduct on your income tax return is the fair market value of your car. Fair market value is the price a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller would accept for the car, when neither party is compelled to buy or sell, and both parties have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. This rule applies to cars and gift-in-kind items that we keep and use for our ministry. This determination of value is best done by a licensed automobile dealer. If we can’t use your car to further RGBM’s ministry, we will ask you if we can still have your car, sell it, and use the proceeds to further our ministry. If this is the case, we will act as your agent to sell the vehicle and then give you a tax-deductible receipt for the amount of the proceeds. No appraisal is needed. It’s almost the same as giving cash without going through all of the work of selling it yourself!

You will receive a written acknowledgment from us for every item you give that includes a statement that “no goods or services were provided in return for your contribution and if so, they consisted entirely of intangible religious benefits.” We will also send you a copy of a form 8283 if you give us a vehicle valued at $250 or more. If the deduction you are claiming for a donated car is greater than $500, you must complete Section A of Form 8283. If the deduction you are claiming is greater than $5,000, you must get a written appraisal of your car. You must also complete Section B of Form 8283, which must include the signature of an authorized official of the charity, and attach it to your return. Your written appraisal must be from a qualified appraiser. The appraisal must be made no more than 60 days before you contribute the car.

The Internal Revenue Service does not allow us to state a value of your gift on the acknowledgement letter. *

Sound complicated? We would be glad to talk you through it!

*Most of the information in this letter can be found on the www.irs.gov website.

We are very blessed to have the privilege of developing Christ-centered leaders with a biblical worldview for the global church. Would you prayerfully consider how God may be leading you to be a part of our valuable ministry here by faithfully praying for us, willingly supporting our programs financially, or generously giving of your time and talents?

Thanks again for praising God with us for all that He is enabling! If you have any questions about how you can be involved in our ministries, please contact our department.


Emily Windle Bob Allen
Emily Windle Robert Allen
Administrative Assistant to the VP of Ministerial Advancement Vice President of Ministerial Advancement
Office: (956) 380-8173 Office: (956) 380-8125
ewindle@riogrande.edu ballen@riogrande.edu