By Christy Eckoff, director, gift planning Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
With the end of the year coming rapidly, making thoughtful decisions about year-end giving can feel overwhelming, especially this year. Tax changes are coming and how that will affect charitable giving, the availability of deductions and the ability to minimize taxes through gifts to charity are unknown. This is a year of certainty – with an uncertain future. To help you achieve your giving goals, here are five tips for last-minute charitable giving:
Make a gift
No matter your budget and ability to give, you can make a difference. Pick a cause that’s closest to your heart. Any size of gift makes an impact.
Know the organization you are giving to
Only donations to organizations with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status are deductible on your tax return. You can research charities at online databases like Guidestar or the IRS. Religious institutions and government agencies are generally eligible, even if they are not listed in the databases above.
Don’t forget about matching gifts
Many companies will match the charitable contributions of their employees. Please check with your human resources department to see if your company does this. Sometimes it can be up to a three-to-one match.
Don’t leave money on the table
Charitable contributions allowed by the IRS can reduce your taxes if you itemize. Contributing appreciated stock can also mitigate taxes and increase the net gift to an organization. Always consult with your financial advisor on how much to give so you do not run into AMT tax issues.
Consider a donor-advised fund
A donor-advised fund can help take the headache out of making individual contributions to charitable organizations. You can deduct the full amount of annual contributions to a donor-advised fund, even if you haven’t yet determined which particular charities you want to donate to. That money in the fund is then invested and has the potential to grow. You then have the freedom to advise on how contributions are distributed.
As always check with your financial advisor on your specific tax situation and make a gift today! For more information on gift-giving options with the Community Foundation, please visit our webpage.