Don’t Give to Charity, Grant to Charity

thank-you basketMost Americans are generous. We support our churches and step up to the plate during times of natural disasters. We give to United Way at work, donate goods and cash to the Salvation Army, and many respond to televised pleas for support especially when it involved children or pets. Americans have big hearts, and giving makes us feel good. It also allows for a break on our tax return!

But do you give strategically? Have you taken the time to think through how you can best help the causes you care most about? Giving strategically means “giving with goals in mind”—a way to support a charity, or several charities, that you love.

A Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) is a charitable account that acts as a charitable savings account. You make an initial deposit that is immediately tax-deductible, then use it to make grants out to qualified 501(c)(3) charities when you wish. The magic of grants is that you can specify how you want your money to be used by the charity.

You may be able to give more than you think! You can fund your DAF account with cash; that’s better than having it taxed. Yet you can increase your giving by putting to work your non-cash assets like stocks, real estate, IRAs, whole life insurance policies, art collections, and other tangible personal property. You keep your assets in the family, and allow their value to help others during your lifetime!

There are legitimate reasons to keep your giving private. We find that some business owners with staunch moral convictions prefer to keep information about which charities they support private. Unlike giving from a private foundation, a DAF allows them to increase their giving capacity at a fraction of the cost, without all the legal, tax and regulatory burdens, and never having detailed tax records made public.

If a strategic giving plan sounds interesting and solves some organizational, administrative, or privacy issues for you, call me today at (614) 800-7985 or reply to this email. And please, share this blog from Stewardship Foundation with someone you know. Together, we can make the world a better place.