FAIRFIELD, Conn., Feb. 14, 2019 – Did you enjoy giving to charities last year? Can’t wait to do it again in 2019? If you’re groaning at the thought (and feeling guilty about groaning), it’s time to revisit why, where, and how you’re giving.
Here’s how to get more from your giving this year, according to Foundation Source, the nation’s largest provider of support services to private foundations:
Audit Your Giving
Review your canceled checks and donation receipts to remind yourself what causes you supported last year. Then ask yourself why you gave. Did you give to your alma mater out of habit or attend a local charity gala because you felt pressured to go? How did you feel after making these gifts? If you’re missing out on “the joy of giving,” perhaps old acquaintance should be forgot! This year, instead of giving exclusively to the same old causes and organizations, focus on an issue that has real meaning for you—a depredation that moves you to tears, an injustice that infuriates you, or an art that delights and stirs your soul.
Set Personal Goals
Yes, giving helps other people. But one of the secrets to transforming your giving is to be a little selfish. Think about what you want to achieve with your giving—for yourself. Do you want to enlarge your circle of personal and business relationships? How about involving your family, so that you spend time together doing something positive on weekends? If you’re retired, you can even pursue philanthropy as a “second career,” leveraging your skills, life experiences, and contacts for an important cause. By prioritizing your personal satisfaction, your giving will be more enjoyable and sustainable.
Power Up Your Giving
Boost the impact of your donations by giving to successful nonprofits and by multiplying your charitable funds. Here’s how:
Make sure your donations are used effectively. After you make a donation, check back to see if it was spent wisely. Get metrics from the nonprofits you support and look for tangible evidence that they’re meeting their goals.
Establish a charitable vehicle. If you are donating tax-inefficient assets, neglecting to track your donations, or rushing to donate at year-end, start a donor-advised fund or a private foundation. Both vehicles enable you to take a tax deduction in the years you contribute assets, both enable your contributed assets to grow in a tax-advantaged environment, and neither requires you to donate money immediately. The bottom line: You’ll have more funds to give and more time to plan where your donations will do the most good.
Increase support without giving more money. Move your money from a traditional bank to a community bank or credit union to use your money for good without giving more of it away. For example, if you gave $10,000 last year to charity and had $100,000 on deposit at a traditional bank, your “do good” contribution was $10,000. However, if you were to move that $100,000 to a community bank or credit union, you could put $110,000 in service to your community. Rather than lending the money on deposit to outside corporations (as most banks do), community banks invest it locally through loans for affordable housing projects, home mortgages in low-income areas, and new businesses. Learn about other ways to use your investments to achieve impact here.
Deciding to get more from your giving could be the most meaningful change you’ll ever make. For more information visit www.foundationsource.com.