Consolidate Charitable Gifts To Make The Most of End of The Year Giving

Photo by Kat Yukawa on Unsplash

Americans are a generous bunch. According to Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy,  Americans gave more than $400 billion to charity last year. 70% of that number was from individuals; people like you and me.

This year, however, that could change.

For the 2018 tax year the standard deduction rises from $12,000 for a married couple filing jointly, to $24,000. This is good news for many people, but it also means that you may not receive a tax deduction on your charitable donations if your itemized donations (which includes charitable gifts) total up to less than $24k.

But there may be a workaround.

All Hands on Hope

Katey McCabe, and her son, Fritz (age 6), volunteering at the 2017 packing event for Feed My Starving Children.

Earlier this month I had the chance to participate in a MobilePack™ event at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview, MN. It’s become an annual tradition for me and my family.

Since I also make a monthly financial contribution to Feed My Starving Children on behalf of my clients, it’s also a great opportunity to see my investment at work, actively participate in this event and help assemble the packages of soy, rice, vitamins and veggies that will be distributed to children around the world.

The theme for this year’s event was “All Hands On Hope”. To paraphrase Pastor Gary Medin, Senior Pastor at Incarnation, if you contributed financially to this event or to the church’s capital campaign or volunteered to help assemble meals, you have a hand in making this possible.

To that I would add, if you are a client of mine, you too have had a hand in supporting the life giving work of Feed My Starving Children. Thank you for your continued support and for your part in making this event possible.

Below is a “repost” of an article I posted last year describing this event. This post has been updated with current stats and facts. 

Should You Give To A Donor Advised Fund This Year?

Photo by Alexander Radelich on Unsplash

According to the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), Americans donated over $389 billion in 2016. Most of that money, 72% to be exact, came from individual donors like you.

I imagine that most of those donations went directly to qualified 501(c)3 charitable organizations. However, more and more people are using donor advised funds as their charitable vehicle of choice.

If you plan to make a charitable gift before the end of the year, you may wish to consider a gift to a donor advised fund as well.

Why You Should Give To The Max November 16

Since 2009, GiveMN.org has paired charitable donors with qualified charitable organizations in a uniquely Minnesota movement known as Give To The Max Day.

Last year alone, donors anted up more than $20 million over a 24-hour period to support their favorite causes. To date, Give To The Max Day has raised over $125 million dollars for Minnesota-based charitable organizations.

Below are 3 reasons why you should give to the max on November 16th

A Small Investment With Big Returns

My colleague, Katey McCabe, and her son, Fritz (age 6), volunteering at the packing event for Feed My Starving Children.

My colleague, Katey McCabe, and her son, Fritz (age 6), volunteering at the packing event for Feed My Starving Children.

Years ago I used to provide clients with a year-end gift during the holidays. Like most financial advisors I would order dozens packages of cookies or nuts and ship them out to clients as a holiday treat to let them know how much I appreciated them and their business.

These gifts were expensive, took a lot of time to box up and half my budget went to the Post Office to pay shipping costs. What’s more, I don’t think anyone really cared.

And I don’t blame them. How many packages of cookies, tins of popcorn or baskets of stale snacks do you need at the end year anyway?

I thought I was making an investment in my business and doing something nice for my clients, but the more I thought about it the more I realized my investment and efforts probably weren’t really making a difference to me, to my clients or to anyone.

As with any unproductive investment, I decided to switch gears and try something else.