As the year-end giving season quickly approaches, and solicitations increase, it is helpful to step back and think about giving in a purposeful way. In our day-to-day work as philanthropy advisors, we focus on how to help our community plan their giving for maximum meaning and impact. Here are five ways you can frame your philanthropy planning during this busy giving season.
1. Your Values
Rather than taking a reactive approach to the multitude of donation requests, step back and think about why you give and how an organization and its cause are aligned with your values. For example, are you interested in giving to help mitigate an immediate need or are you interested in giving to help create structural change that will help solve problems in our society? There are certainly no “right” answers, but by considering your values to help drive giving decisions, you can engage in purposeful, positive change.
2. Your Impact
There are many different ways to give. Consider how you might connect and engage with organizations beyond financial donations. Perhaps you can volunteer your time, alone or with a group you organize. Maybe you have skills or community connections that can help an organization achieve its goals.
4. Your Strategy
Giving can be an effective tax planning strategy, and a donor-advised fund can help. Contribute appreciated securities or cash to open a donor-advised fund and take an immediate deduction. You can recommend investments for the assets in your fund, which are not subject to tax. And you can avoid capital gains on contributions of appreciated assets held for more than a year, such as publicly traded securities, real estate, and even IPO stock. We can help you review your specific circumstances and work with your tax professional.
4. Your Legacy
Thinking about continuing your legacy of giving after your lifetime might seem like a huge undertaking at first. However, the structure of a donor-advised fund actually has legacy planning as a built-in feature. At any time, it is simple to name successors to your fund. Start discussions with family members about upholding shared values and how your collective philanthropy can create positive change for generations.
5. Your Community
This season often involves many types of gatherings of family and friends. Our colleague Debbie Berkowitz has written a wonderful article about how to bring giving discussions to your Thanksgiving table. She provides a framework and a printable page of questions to help facilitate conversations about gratitude and giving, for both adults and children. Together you can consider the many ways to make an impact.
From new donors starting their philanthropic journey to multi-generational family foundations, we work to create meaningful and effective giving strategies. Let us know how we can help, this giving season and year-round.