Giving Thanks to You

This year has brought so many challenges and hardships. Sometimes the darkness has seemed relentless. Yet throughout this time, the generous, supportive spirit of the Armenian people has been a shining beacon.

We are humbled by, and grateful for, all the gifts people have made to our Diocese, our parishes, and other organizations. During every challenge our people faced this year—whether in our own lives, or in the lives of our countrymen in Beirut, Armenia, and Artsakh—you have answered the call to help with great generosity, and without hesitation.

The year’s end is a traditional time to consider making gifts to the charitable concerns you hold dear. The Eastern Diocese always feels privileged by your support, and this year the taxation environment offers special incentives to those who can consider making charitable contributions. The provisions in the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act” allow cash gifts made to our Diocese to have a greater impact—both for the giver and for our church. But they are time-limited, and set to expire on December 31, 2020.

Here are some considerations to guide your gift-giving decisions this year:

  • Those who take the standard deduction may now deduct up to $300 in qualified charitable contributions of cash to your parish, our Diocese, and all qualified charities. (Normally, no deduction is permitted.)
  • Itemizers may deduct cash gifts up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income in 2020—up from 60 percent. (Gifts to donor-advised funds and private foundations are not eligible.)
  • Required minimum distributions from retirement accounts are suspended for 2020. However, individuals still can make a qualified charitable distribution of up to $100,000 from their IRAs. The direct distribution to charity would not be included in taxable income.

If it is in your heart, and if you are able to do so, the coming weeks may be an optimal time to consider increasing gifts, advancing pledge payments, and making new commitments. Please consult with your tax advisor or counsel for guidance as you contemplate your philanthropic and financial plans.

If you have inquiries, please contact Laurie Onanian, the Eastern Diocese’s Development director, at

When you make your donation, please feel free to do so on the Diocese’s secure server, where you can use the dropdown menu to direct your gift to various worthy ministries and causes.

Most of all, thank you for your continued loving support, and for being an important member of our Diocesan community. On behalf of the Eastern Diocese, please accept our warmest wishes for a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.

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