Frequently asked questions

Question: What is my Per Capita Tax?
Answer: The Church Manual states “Every member of The Mother Church shall pay annually a per capita tax of not less than one dollar, which shall be forwarded each year to the Church Treasurer”(p.44:12, SECT. 13). For members, the first contribution to the General Fund (unrestricted donation) during a given year satisfies payment of the Per Capita Tax.

Question: How can I change/update my credit card information?
Answer: You may call us at 800-288-7155 , ext. 3288. We do not accept credit card information via email.

Question: I did not receive my annual PCT form! I did not receive my receipt! Who can I contact?
Answer: Contact our Philanthropy team by email at philanthropy@csps.com, or by phone at 800-288-7155 , ext. 3288.

Question: What happened to my Membership card usually issued with my PCT?
Answer: Church membership cards were not issued until the early 1970s when they were needed for admission to Annual Meeting. About 10 years ago, membership cards were no longer needed to enter Annual Meeting. As a result, there is currently no Church business use for them and therefore they are no longer provided.

Question: Who can I contact regarding my new and established Gift Annuities or Charitable Remainder Trusts? What about my payments, tax issues, address or banking changes, or even issues being handled by those possessing Power of Attorney, as well as executors?
Answer: Contact our Trust Officers by email at sheat@csps.com, or by phone at 617-450-3258.

Question: Do you need information about benevolence or our restricted funds?
Answer: Contact our Financial Assistance Administrator by email at hammerst@csps.com, or by phone at 617-450-3267.

Question: Are you an Attorney, Trustee, Executor or Personal Representative? Do you have questions about an outside trust or estate?
Answer: Contact our Estate and Trust Officer by email at bradburyd@csps.com, or by phone at 617-450-3205.

For all other gift-related questions, please feel free to contact us directly by email at philanthropy@csps.com, or by phone at 800-288-7155 ext.3288.

Branch Church FAQ

From time to time, Branch Church members are interested to know if The Mother Church offers guidance regarding Branch Church giving to The Mother Church. Members want to know:

Question: Should Branch Churches give a portion of their Sunday collection to The Mother Church? If so, how much and how often?

Does the yearly per capita tax apply to Branch Churches as well as to individuals?
 
 How much should Branch Churches give to The Mother Church?

Answer: Guidance about giving to The Mother Church is best sought from The Manual of The Mother Church, by Mary Baker Eddy. For individual giving, the Manual provides:

“Every member of The Mother Church shall pay annually a per capita tax of not less than one dollar, which shall be forwarded each year to the Church Treasurer” (Eddy, Sect. 13)

The Manual does not provide any guidance for giving to The Mother Church. However, the Manual does tell us how Branches may make decisions.

“In Christian Science each branch church shall be distinctly democratic in its government, and no individual, and no other church shall interfere with its affairs” (Eddy, Sect. 10).

As a result, giving to The Mother Church is left to the discretion of each Branch Church.
 
 Question: My Branch Church or Association has received or acquired funds in excess of what we currently use.

Answer: Many Branch Churches and Associations, when faced with this situation, have found it helpful to establish a special trust with The Mother Church. For more information, please visit our web page, http://members.christianscience.com/giving/for-branch-churches-societies-associations/

Feel free to contact the Philanthropy Team at The Mother Church to learn more:
 
 christianscience.com/giving
 philanthropy@csps.com
 617-450-3277
 The First Church of Christ, Scientist
 210 Massachusetts Ave P05-10
 Boston, MA 02115

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Question: How should I invest my funds?

Answer: From time to time, members have asked us how to invest their funds, or those of their Branch Church or Association. It is important to note that, for The Mother Church, the process of deciding how to invest is just as important as the act of investment. This process primarily consists of:

  •  Prayer
  • Seeking out professional advice appropriate to the circumstances.

For this reason, we recommend that you use this same process when thinking about your own investments. We cannot give financial advice because we are not financial advisors. It is in your best interest to contact a trusted local financial professional to help with financial planning, both individual or for a Branch Church of Association.

Because of its size, The Mother Church consults with a number of institutional investment managers that specialize in managing funds for endowment, pension, foundations and other larger organizations. These managers have account sizes that begin at $2 million and can be much higher. As a result, they are not practical advisors for many smaller organizations or individuals.

The Church’s 5-person Investment Committee oversees our investments. An institutional investment consulting firm advises the Committee. This advice is tailored to The Mother Church’s unique size, needs, and constraints. To appropriately meet your goals, you would want advice that is tailored to your own unique size, needs, and constraints.

Question: How does The Mother Church screen investments for medical companies?

Answer: Many Branch Churches and Associations desire to identify investments that are screened for compatibility with Christian Science. Often stocks that some members may feel are inappropriate to own represent industry sectors that are pervasive and generally profitable. As a result, many investment managers insist upon including such stocks in a portfolio.

The solution for The Mother Church involves working with institutional investment managers to identify or to establish investments that are suited best to larger organizations and often require very significant minimum funding amounts of many millions of dollars. We recognize that the issue of screening investments may present a challenge which may not have an easy solution, and calls for careful thought and prayer.

Trusts with The Mother Church: In some instances, many individuals, Branch Churches and Associations have found it helpful to set up a trust with The Mother Church. These trusts, while irrevocable, can provide annual income to support you or your Branch Church or Association. You may find more information about these trusts on our website.
We would be happy to speak to you about the trust option.

For more information, please contact us:

The First Church of Christ, Scientist
Office of the Treasurer
Philanthropy Team, P05-10
210 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Email: philanthropy@csps.com
Tel: 617-450-3277

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I want to make a donation to The Mother Church. To which fund should I donate?

The General Fund*

*If you are a member of The Mother Church, your first donation to the General Fund is counted as payment of your Per Capita Tax.

The General Fund provides support for all of the worldwide activities of The Mother Church.

The Cause of Christian Science is advancing throughout the world. This growth has been supported by the advent and availability of new technology. The online messages and communities we share with each other allow us to identify and respond more quickly to needs as they arise. This increases the need for flexibility. The General Fund provides for the greatest flexibility for the Church to meet changing needs quickly.

The online giving page lists current funds available.  At present, fund options other than the General Fund are:

The Mother Church Endowment Fund 
The Christian Science Monitor Operating Fund
The Mary Baker Eddy Library Fund 

The Mother Church as a “Pass Through” Entity


 Question: I would like to donate to my Branch Church, Association, or other charity through The Mother Church. Also, I might like to ultimately donate to my Branch Church or other charity while receiving income for life from The Mother Church. Can

The Mother Church help establish such a giving arrangement?

 The Mother Church is unable to receive a donation from a contributor, pay income to the beneficiary, then pass the remaining funds to another charity designated by the donor. The Mother Church cannot act in this way, as a “pass through” entity acting on behalf of the other charity. Some financial institutions may act as “pass through” entities. We recommend speaking with your financial advisor about these institutions.

 A charity, such as a Branch Church or Association, may not be the annuitant (the income beneficiary) of a charitable gift annuity.

 A charitable remainder unitrust with The Mother Church may be possible for those who would like to give a remainder gift to The Mother Church, while a separate charity beneficiary receives a portion of the income payments (usually 5% of the value of the trust, paid quarterly).  If another charity is designated as a remainderman of the trust, The Mother Church must also be designated to receive at least 50% of the remaining trust funds. Please note that organizations established outside of the United States may not be the remainder beneficiary of a charitable remainder unitrust.

 For more information about charitable remainder unitrusts, please click here.

 For more information about charitable gift annuities for individuals, please click here.

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