As the calendar year approaches its end, many people find themselves not only preparing for the holiday season and reminiscing about the past year but also embracing the profound sense of generosity that accompanies this festive time. At Resolute, we encourage all our clients to discover opportunities to give where and when they can. Our logo even includes what we call The Giving Box. So, if you’re interested in strategies for year-end charitable giving, you’ve come to the right place. This article explores ways you can embrace the holiday spirit and create a meaningful difference in causes close to your heart. Whether you are driven by the joy of giving or seeking tactical methods to amplify your influence, this article will delve into a range of year-end charitable giving approaches.
Year-End Charitable Giving Tip #1: Put Your Philanthropy into Your Budget
During this time of year, many charitable causes touch our hearts deeply. The fact is, there is much need in our communities, and the urge to be as generous as possible can be overpowering. Nevertheless, it’s essential to safeguard your financial stability and make certain that your philanthropic actions, however compelling, do not jeopardize your financial security. So, protect your finances by incorporating philanthropy into your budget as a dedicated category. This not only allows you to prioritize your generosity but also establishes limits to safeguard your financial stability.
Year-End Charitable Giving Tip #2: Determine Your Values and Motivations for Giving Back
To truly achieve the charitable impact you want, it’s important to make deliberate choices and prioritize only a select few organizations or causes. Devoting time to crafting a catalog of values that deeply resonate with you and then harmonizing them with a grand mission for your charitable contributions can give you a well-defined path for navigating the world of philanthropy. This process also empowers you to recognize that, while each charitable venture holds merit, it’s entirely acceptable to remain true to your personal convictions and principles, even if it means declining certain opportunities.
Once you’ve narrowed down your core values, be sure to research organizations before making a commitment. To aid in your decision-making process, here are a few factors to consider:
Organizational History: Examine the organization’s track record. Is it a newly established entity, or does it have a long-standing presence?
Program Expenses vs. Administrative Costs: Assess the organization’s financial transparency. How much of their funds are allocated to programs that directly support their mission, and how much goes to administrative costs?
Reputation and Community Standing: Look into the organization’s reputation within its community. What do people and other stakeholders say about its impact and integrity?
Trust and Alignment: Evaluate how much you trust the organization’s leadership and whether their vision for the future aligns with your personal goals.
To help with the above research, utilize online resources like:
Year-End Charitable Giving Tip #3: Utilize Tax-Advantaged Strategies
Year-end charitable giving doesn’t have to just be about generosity; it can also be a strategic financial decision. This doesn’t take away from your charitable impact in any way. In fact, it may ensure that you have even more to give in the future. Taking advantage of tax incentives is smart because it can help maximize the impact of your donations now and in the future. Tax-advantaged giving options include:
Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs): DAFs allow you to make a lump-sum contribution and recommend grants to specific charities over time. You receive an immediate tax deduction when you contribute to the fund, and it can be a powerful tool for spreading your giving over the long term.
Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs): If you’re over age 70 ½ and have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you can donate up to $100,000 directly to a qualified charity. These donations are not counted as taxable income, potentially reducing your tax liability, and they satisfy your Required Minimum Distribution limits.
Appreciated Securities: Donating appreciated stocks or other assets offers potential advantages for both charitable gifting and tax efficiency. This approach helps donors avoid capital gains taxes for selling the investment. Instead, the investment is given directly to the charity.
Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs): A CRT allows you to donate to a trust that pays an income stream to you or your designated beneficiaries. After a specified period or upon your death, the remaining assets go to the charity of your choice.
SEE ALSO: Tax-Savvy Charitable Gifting Strategies
Year-End Charitable Giving Tip #4: Include the Whole Family
We feel the impact of our finances on every facet of life, and it makes sense to discuss money matters with our families. Participating in conversations regarding family philanthropy can function as a powerful method for transmitting your cherished financial values to the younger generations, including your children and grandchildren. Despite the personal nature of philanthropy and financial topics, sharing your beliefs can foster profound connections and the potential for collaborative, impactful endeavors now and long after you’re gone.
Are You Looking for Year-End Charitable Giving Strategies to Suit Your Goals?
Engaging in charitable giving holds the potential to bring about a significant positive influence on the world, all the while offering the prospect of tax advantages. With a purposeful and considerate approach to your philanthropic endeavors, you can enhance the efficiency of your contributions. Your generosity can lay the foundation for a brighter future for those who require assistance, leaving behind a lasting legacy of empathy and support, not only during this holiday season but in the days to come.
Would you like to discuss how to give with more intention and in a way that supports a smart financial strategy? We can help! At Resolute, charitable giving is a foundational aspect of our firm. We proactively seek out opportunities to align our clients’ financial plans with their personal values. Give us a call today and let’s begin a conversation about how we can build you a strategic giving plan that optimizes your impact and your financial benefits, too.