A generous couple came to me recently with a stack of direct mail solicitations from local and national charities. The stack was high – it contained colorful appeals from every type of worthy cause- education, animals, the arts, hospitals, veterans groups, environmental, faith-based organizations and public broadcasting. This couple seemed to be on every mailing list in existence!
These folks are extraordinarily generous. But now they were overwhelmed.
As we get closer to year’s end, requests from organizations doing great work pour in. And there’s a good reason for that. In the U.S., the majority of all charitable giving happens in the fourth quarter.
This couple needed a plan for strategic philanthropy, not just a checkbook and a roll of stamps.
No matter if it’s $500 or $500,000 you have to give, having a personal plan for giving is always a good idea.
As you think about your own giving at the end of this year, here are three ideas to help you give for maximum effect:
1. If you plan to give a substantial amount, talk to your financial and philanthropic advisors. Discuss what assets to give and the different giving vehicles that are available.
2. Think about what matters most to you. Try asking yourself this question: If I could spend two weeks volunteering for any cause or nonprofit, what would it be?
3. Get the family involved. Giving together is a great way for families to share interests and values. When children are involved in giving (and volunteering) — even at very modest levels — they learn the joy and importance of becoming contributing and involved members of their communities.
We’d love to help you with your charitable giving. At the Community Foundation, you may establish a charitable giving fund with a tax-deductible contribution. You may then support the charities of your choice at a later date. Please reach out to the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties at (561) 659-6800 or visit www.yourcommunityfoundation.org to get started.
Sheila Kinman, CAP® is the Vice President for Development at the Community Foundation where she helps donors design and fulfill their charitable giving goals. She is also a Charted Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®), a designation that provides knowledge for guiding charitable individuals, businesses and foundations.