3 Steps To Maximize The Effectiveness Of Your Charitable Donation

6198994Charitable giving is at an all-time high in the United States with approximately $358 billion in donations made in 2014. There were increases by individual donors, foundations and corporations. According to the Center on Philanthropy, by 2055 some $41 trillion will change hands as Americans pass on their accumulated assets to the next generation.

The question everyone wants answered is how to maximize the effectiveness of giving. Many people are worried about giving to a smaller charity such as a church or cemetery association because of longevity concerns and organizational hierarchies that might hinder the effectiveness of the donation.

The easy solution to that is to rely on a local community foundation to administer your donations for your benefit. People are usually shocked when we share with them how easy and worry-free it is to set up a fund with a local community foundations. Depending on your locale, a fund can usually be started for $10,000 or less. While that is certainly a lot of money, we want to show you three ways to make that initial donation to start your fund without touching your savings or checking account:

  1. Gift of stock or securities-The stock or securities account that you regularly receive statements for but are not regularly cashing in to spend the proceeds of can make for an excellent start to your fund at a community foundation. Depending on the appreciation in the stock, this can provide a dual benefit of a current income tax deduction and avoidance of capital gains on the sale of the stock.
  2. Donation from your IRA-In recent years we have advised clients to make a “Qualified Charitable Distribution” from their IRA to charity to make a pre-tax contribution and avoid income tax slippage. Those rules have lapsed again in 2015, but we still advise clients to take their Required Minimum Distribution that they are not spending and make a charitable contribution.
  3. Beneficiary of Life Insurance-Naming your fund at the community foundation as a beneficiary of the life insurance policy may provide current and future income tax benefits. Additionally, assigning total ownership of the life insurance policy provides a nice tax perk.

We hope that these tips on how to create a fund with a community foundation have helped you to see that it is possible to leverage large charitable donations without ever writing a check. This is just the tip of the iceberg, if you are interested in learning more about charitable planning contact me anthony@themarronelawfirm.com.

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