You, Me, And Philanthropy

Benjamin Haas |




Back in December I did a quick Google search for a non-profit I regularly assist.  It led me to “The Online Giving Sunday"where I read that online charitable giving grew 9% between 2014 and 2015, while overall giving was up only 2%.  This page also notes that the average online gift is $110. I found these trends interesting, as I know many of my clients are charitable givers. While online giving is on the rise, it’s not for all types and sizes of gifts.

Below are some tips for those interested in supporting philanthropy, depending on the relative size of their intended gift:

  • The quick “smaller gift” options – As evidenced by the website above, giving can be as simple as writing a check or clicking some buttons online. The convenience of doing so works for the average $100 donation. Just be sure to log the gift for your tax records. Not all organizations will send you a letter to note your donation. Large or small, reaping the tax benefits for your philanthropy is an added benefit to donating your dollars.  


  • The “other gift” options - There are a variety of options available for larger gifts that can help you save money or donate more. It’s not as easily done as writing a check or visiting a website, but donating appreciated securities or real estate can help you take advantage of applicable tax incentives. For example, donating appreciated securities, like stocks or bonds, instead of selling them can help avoid capital gains taxes if they have been owned for more than one year.


  • The hands on “large gift” options - If you’re interested in making a larger donation, you may want to consider creating a gift entity. Examples include charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, donor advised funds, or even private foundations. There is a lot more planning involved, but depending on your financial situation, risk tolerance, and age, the impact to both your giving and your taxes can be significant over time.


  • The hands off “large gift” option - If you’re looking to make a larger gift, but don’t feel as though you need or want to maintain control and maintenance, consider contributing to an existing capital campaign that will help fund a predetermined goal. This is a great way to fund a long-term project that you’re passionate about.


Whatever kind of impact you want to make, consider your main objectives first. If you have questions, give us a call. We are here to align your personal values, vision and wealth and are happy to discuss how you can better understand your giving options and maximize your contribution’s benefit to you and society.



The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.

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