You know about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and maybe even Small Business Saturday. But what about Giving Tuesday?
Since 2012, people have rallied around the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as the start of charitable giving season. It’s an admirable cause during a time when so many of us are focused on shopping and preparing for the holidays. But particularly around this time of year, charitable giving can feel like just one more thing added to your to-do list. How can you turn giving from a tangled mess of good intentions, lost receipts and tax deduction headaches into a streamlined, easy process?
One option we find particularly compelling is donor-advised funds. Instead of giving to several individual organizations, donor-advised funds offer a way to pool charitable donations, grow them tax-free via investments, and distribute them to multiple charitable organizations and nonprofits over time.
Additional benefits of a donor-advised fund include:
- The ability to make anonymous donations (if desired),
- Immediate tax deduction in the year of donation,
- Professional investment management,
- Tax-efficient way to gift appreciated assets,
- The ability to gift the fair market value of nontraditional assets like real estate, limited partnership interests, and more
- The ability to leave a legacy by naming a successor to the donor-advised fund or making a bequest to your favorite organizations.
Another alternative to donor-advised funds is to establish a private foundation, but donors may have to report their grants as a matter of public record, which can be an issue for donors who prefer to remain anonymous. Donor-advised funds, on the other hand, offer a turnkey solution to charitable giving that can be customized to donors’ wishes.
In all aspects of your financial life, you should look for ways to achieve your goals in the easiest and most cost-efficient way. At Halpern Financial, we’re always on the lookout for solutions that make your financial life run more smoothly, and we are happy to help you implement them. Give us a call if a donor-advised fund seems like a good way to achieve your charitable goals, and we will be happy to help you sift through the options.
Remember: Charitable giving comes from the heart—but you should still do objective research to make sure your funds will actually be used for the causes that are important to you. Unfortunately, not all charities represent themselves accurately. Charity Watch, GuideStar, Charity Navigator and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance are all resources you can use to for your due diligence. Remember, only charities and nonprofits that offer tax-deductible contributions (such as 501(c)(3) organizations) will count toward any tax benefits for you. You can find out if your organization qualifies by searching from it on the IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check.
*The tax implications of charitable giving can be complex, so please consult with your CPA.
Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Halpern Financial, Inc.. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Halpern Financial, Inc. is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Halpern Financial, Inc.’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.