December is a generous time of year. Use our year-end tips to make sure you accomplish your giving goals.
Set a giving budget that’s right for you. The Community Foundation can help you develop a giving plan based on your charitable intents.
Make a list of the organizations about which you care most. If you have a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation our Donor Central website makes this simple by showing your past grantmaking.
Decide what issues matter most to you. Whatever they are, focus your largest gifts on the organizations working on them. The Community Foundation’s deep community knowledge can help identify organizations that will spark your passion and interests.
Look for a teachable moment. For people with children or grandchildren, the year end can be a great opportunity to teach a young person by involving them in family decisions. The Community Foundation would love to share our library of tools to help you have family discussions about philanthropy.
Talk with your tax advisor to learn about tax-wise giving strategies for your specific financial situation. The Community Foundation has strong relationships with local professional advisors and can help you have these conversations.
Make sure the organization is a 501 (c)(3) – you can call us to check. Some kinds of organizations might be charitable, but won’t be tax-deductible. There is charitable work that isn’t tax-deductible, and you might want to do some of it – for example, purchasing items directly for a family in need. But know the difference. The Community Foundation can perform this research for you.
Make sure you know where your gift is going – a program? operating support? Don’t forget to designate the gift if you want it to be used in a specific way. The Community Foundation can help you formulate questions for organizations and help you decide if you would like to support a specific program or project, or provide discretional operating support.
Consider the size of the gift you plan to make. As you come to know a nonprofit better over time, and to believe more deeply in its work, you may want to give more. Consider moving your contributions towards fewer but larger gifts as your commitment to one or more organizations increases. The Community Foundation can help you strategize the size of your gifts.
Make sure you get a receipt in the next few weeks – by the end of January is reasonable. If not, call and ask. The IRS will require you to have a receipt from the organization for any gift of $250 or more. If you have a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation, you benefit from simplified administration by receiving one annual tax receipt, which you can access on our Donor Central website or ask us to provide to you.
Questions about giving? Don’t hesitate to call us at (609) 219-1800.