There's More to Charitable Giving Than Dollars and Cents

There is so much more to giving than simple dollars and cents."  That statement might feel a bit contrary in this season of mailboxes filled with donation requests, and In Box emails offering quick Click N'Give links.  The opportunities are heartfelt but seemingly endless. Many families do take the time to volunteer together in their communities. But, as children grow and a family's geography widens, together time for volunteering becomes more challenging. So, I'd like to suggest a way to combine funds and family.   In a prior column I introduced the idea of Donor Advised Funds (DAF), as a great way to give to charity. The introduction was focused on using a DAF as a way to hang onto the charitable giving tax deduction. With the standard deduction rising, and the ability to deduct various taxes, decreasing, the tax incentive for charitable giving has become more illusive. But a DAF can change that. By using a DAF, you can lump a deductible sized contribution into your DAF, during one tax year, and then direct those dollars when and where you want, during the years to come. The gift to the DAF is a qualifying charitable donation, which you can then direct to a qualified charity of your choice, such as your local church or college alma mater. Contact your advisor, or me, if you'd like more information on the finance side of DAF's.      NOW, the real fun of a DAF is when family gather's around to share ideas and passions about how to dish out those dollars. Maybe your daughter is passionate about affordable housing (think Habitat for Humanity) or your son believes hunger is an issue to tackle (think local Food Pantry) or maybe you see environmental issues in need of addressing (think Save the Dunes). It could be like a book club with purpose, as family members gather and connect to share passions and insights, as opposed to book club chapters and characters. And even if your charitable giving amounts don't rise to the level of DAF funding deductibility, pooling resources into a single place, can lead to meaningful conversation. Headlines of late, focus on problems and divisiveness, creating your own DAF, addresses solutions and creates togetherness. 

Drummond Osborn, CFP®, RICP® is a fee-only Financial Planner and Retirement Strategist delivering expert advise on all aspects of  retirement including income planning, distribution strategies, Social Security options, and conservative asset management.


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