Donor-Advised Fund Allows the Martins to be More Generous, Systematic, and Intentional in Their Giving


Even in retirement, Rev. Tommy and Flo Martin of Macon are still dedicating their lives to helping others. Rev. Martin’s pastoral ministry with The South Georgia Conference began in 1980. Now a retired elder, he currently serves Sunshine UMC in Round Oak and Haddock UMC in Haddock.

Mrs. Martin served as a Christian educational consultant for Cokesbury and the United Methodist Publishing House for 33 years before retiring in 2018. She currently serves as the director of education and children’s ministries at Centenary UMC.

The Martins hold the two primary laws of Jesus close to their hearts: Love God and love others. “For us, those exemplify the call and full context of Scripture,” Rev. Martin said.

It comes as no surprise that their two sons also chose professions that serve others. Their oldest, Rev. Dr. Thomas Martin, is senior pastor at Fayetteville First UMC. He and his wife, Leslie Neal, are the proud parents of three children. Their youngest son, Matt, and his wife, Courtney, are both teachers who foster children through HOPE Foster Care, a ministry of The Methodist Home for Children & Youth in Macon.

The Martins were blessed to have parents who modeled a life of generosity. They have continued that tradition with their children and grandchildren. One of their favorite Bible passages on giving comes from Galatians 5:22-23: “By contrast, the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.”

In 2020, the Martins established a donor-advised fund (DAF) with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation. The Martins' financial advisors worked closely with GUMF while initiating the stock transfers to fund the DAF. All the Martins had to do was complete a single form.

A DAF is an irrevocable gift of at least $10,000 in either cash or appreciated securities administered by a charitable sponsor. GUMF manages and invests the funds for tax-free growth over time. By front-loading several years of donations into a single tax year, donors may realize the tax benefits from itemized deductions while maintaining the freedom to make charitable gifts over time. Account advisors can then recommend grants from these funds to a church, faith-based ministry, and other qualified charitable organizations.

“The donor-advised fund allows us to be more generous, systematic, and intentional in our giving,” Rev. Martin said. We are stewards of what God has given us. The deepest values by which people live, at their best, should be directed toward the betterment of others and the common good. It is better to give than to receive.

“For the transformation of the world” is our Methodist calling. In Luke 4:16-19, Jesus began His ministry, claiming a particular kind of transformation–to reach out to the lost, the marginalized, the poor, the “least of these.” Jesus pointed to issues of peace, justice, and inclusion throughout His ministry. We are to be instruments in the unfolding work of God’s Kingdom here on earth.”

When asked about the legacy, they hope to leave behind, the Martins shared this quote from Kalu Ndukwe Kalu, a political scientist, “The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”

Rev. Martin adds, “For us, it’s like planting seeds of which you will not see the fruit. We hope that even in our imperfections, others will learn good lessons from the lives we have lived.”

If you would like to learn more about a donor-advised fund or other planned giving strategies, please contact Dr. Rick Lanford, GUMF Regional Vice President (South Georgia), at 478-256-7130 or, or Nancy Young, GUMF Vice President (North Georgia), at 678-708-6601 or