Thanksgiving has passed, which means that the end of the year is quickly approaching.
And as chaotic and challenging as this year has been, some things remain the same: year-end
requests for charitable gifts arrive in the mail on an almost-daily basis. This year they seem even more poignant as organizations struggle to meet expanding requests and needs. How will you respond? Here are a few questions to help you design a plan:
1. Am I able to make a gift this year? And where will it go? Only you can make those decisions, and they should be made carefully. Remember that even a small gift, when added together with other gifts, can make a huge difference -- so don’t feel that you need to be a millionaire to make a meaningful gift! Though national organizations are sometimes the most visible, there are many local opportunities as well. You can make a very real difference right at home.
2. It is very important that you trust the organization that will receive your gift – its mission and its operations.
Your Community Foundation of White County has been serving the charitable wishes of
our donors in this community for over twenty years, building endowments and special project funds to support grants that support our community’s residents. Funds thrive not only because of contributions that initiated the various funds, but also because of additional gifts to those funds, which may be made by anyone at any time.
3. What are my tax obligations this year? Though charitable giving is rooted in the heart, it affords tax benefits for you as well as obvious benefits to your chosen charity. Tax provisions for charitable deductions have changed but still can sometimes allow you to give more than you might otherwise have considered, particularly if you are considering a significant gift such as an endowment. Large or small, take advantage of our government’s support of charitable giving! (And don’t forget that if you’re 70-1/2, using your IRA’s Minimum Required Distribution is much better than using cash!)
4. Do I have appreciated stock or real estate I could use to fund an income-for-life gift arrangement? You may be like other people who would like to design a legacy gift but feel that you cannot afford to decrease your annual income. There are several charitable tools that might help. A Charitable Remainder Trust, for example, can meet those
needs. In many cases, a gift of appreciated stock can generate more income than you are currently receiving from the stock, and your charitable trust payments from the Community Foundation would continue for the rest of your life. A review of your portfolio (particularly long-term investments) might reveal some interesting opportunities.
5. Start Now! Perhaps the most important thing about year-end giving is to start early,
especially if you are planning to use stock or real estate. Life-income gift arrangements and
consultations with your professional advisor(s) take time. The sooner you begin the process, the less hurried – and more gratified – you will feel.
You have a very real opportunity to bless your community this Christmas. Gifting
through your Community Foundation of White County helps assure a better future for all of us.
For questions about the Foundation or about opportunities for year-end giving, call
Director Leslie Goss at (574)583-6911.