3 Tips for Year End Giving

 

Christmas is a time to think of others.

Everyone loves a heartwarming story at Christmas. Yet, in the frenzy of shopping for gifts and getting ready for parties, it is easy to miss the sweet moments when someone pauses and takes the time to be kind to someone else. Simple things make a difference. Picking up someone’s dropped groceries or taking back their shopping cart serve the purpose of slowing us down and taking the focus off of ourselves. Small acts make a difference. Remembering to give our time as well as our treasure is essential.

Christmas is a time to give back.

It’s the end of the year and the time that we traditionally focus on giving back. Over 30% of all gifts to non-profit organizations happen in December. For many, the increase in generosity is incentivized by year-end bonuses and tax deadlines. For Christians, the focus on God’s gift of His Son helps us begin to understand what it means to give to others.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you consider your year-end giving:

  1. The Timing of Gifts In order for gifts to qualify as a charitable tax deduction in 2019, they have to be received by December 31, 2019. A gift qualifies if it is postmarked no later than December 31. For more complex gifts, like the donation of stocks and mutual funds, the funds must be received no later than December 31, 2019.It isn’t unusual for employees to receive a cash injection at the end of the calendar year through bonuses and other incentivized compensation. They often feel pressure to decide where they want to donate a portion of these funds. One way to simplify your giving is with our Giving Fund.A Giving Fund (also called a donor-advised fund) is a flexible, simple and easy way to manage your charitable giving. Think of it as your charitable checkbook. You can make tax-deductible gifts into your Giving Fund, for example, like a deposit into your checking account. Then you can recommend grants over time from your Fund to charitable organizations.
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  3. The Types of Gifts Cash is the simplest and most common gift in the month of December. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is possible to donate other types of assets. At The Generosity Trust, we can accept cash, checks, publicly traded securities, real estate (with no debt), privately-held stock (like in an S-corp or a C-corp or an LLC), and other creative gifts as well. We’d be happy to talk with you and work with your financial advisors to help you make the most of your charitable giving.Churches and organizations are often not equipped to process gifts other than cash. We are happy to work with their donors to make these types of gifts possible. Keep in mind: the more complex the gift, the longer the amount of time it takes to process. We also work closely with financial advisors to help their clients accomplish their charitable desires. We structure the relationship in a way that protects the relationship with their advisor and the assets they manage.
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  5. The Tax Advantages of Gifts Every donor should consult a tax accountant to assess their tax liability and the advantages of a charitable deduction. With the increase of the standard deduction for married couples increasing to $24,000, many donors have started bunching their charitable gifts by giving in one year what they normally would have given over two years.For example, John and Jill Adams normally give $15,000 to their church and other Christian ministries every year. However, in order to leverage new tax laws, they give $30,000 in 2019 and are able to itemize their deductions. Even better, they use a donor-advised fund like our Giving Fund. It enables them to pace the distribution of those funds to their favorite organizations.According to CNBC, bunching gifts is likely to become more common as nearly 30% of taxpayers itemize their deductions with 36M taxpayers claiming charitable deductions.

Every gift counts! It doesn’t matter the size, the type, or even the timing. Rather, generosity of every kind reflects God’s own generosity to us. At The Generosity Trust, we are honored to work with donors to help them streamline their charitable giving. Please let us know if we can assist you in any way. And join us in spreading the joy of generosity this Christmas season.

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