Holiday time 2018 is upon us and, in addition to the gifts we’ll give to family and friends, it’s also a time to think about charitable giving. A ‘Charitable Donation’ is a gift made by an individual or an organization to a nonprofit organization, charity or private foundation. Charitable donations are usually in the form of cash, but can also be real estate, motor vehicles, appreciated securities, clothing and other assets or services.
There is even a day dedicated to making charitable contributions, called “Giving Tuesday.” Giving Tuesday, which is November 27 this year, is after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. This time of year where we show our gratitude for our loved ones with gifts and celebrations, is the busiest time for charitable giving with 31% of donations made in the month of December, according to Charity Navigator.
When you choose to make a donation, be sure to make the most of your gift:
Give to a reputable 501(c)(3) charity that aligns with your beliefs. You can give to large national or international organizations with global impact or smaller local charities which will directly help our community. If you aren’t sure of a charity’s status, check www.charitynavigator.org to confirm.
Create a budget for how much you’d like to give. A larger contribution to one organization has a greater effect than many, smaller contributions.
Determine how you’d like to give. Would you like to make a one-time gift or a monthly contribution? You can arrange a recurring gift through your credit card or your bank. You can also make donations of real estate, motor vehicles, appreciated securities, clothing and other assets or services.
Don’t forget that your contributions may have tax benefits and you’ll want to speak with an attorney, accountant or financial planner about how to maximize those charitable contributions.
You may also want to speak with an attorney about PLANNED GIVING, a charitable gift that you decide now to make at some time in the future as part of your estate and gift plan. A planned gift stands as a lasting reminder to your children and succeeding generations of the values and charitable works that are most important to you. Planned gifts can take the form of stocks, bonds, real estate, cash, retirement assets, insurance and property. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you make the best decisions regarding your charitable legacy.