Developing a Giving Plan

In this section of lectures, I’ll explain when you might want to donate. Timing your donations can provide tax savings. Some types of donations fit better with certain stages of life, like giving a larger donation to an organization by naming it Your will. We all have limited funds to support the causes and values that are important to us. Giving plan make sure we allocate those funds to best support the organizations we want to support. Giving planning can be very informal, like a mental list of what you support, or it can be a written list of the receiving organization’s amounts and timing of the donations for the next year. Let’s look at a spectrum of getting styles. And one extreme is what I’ll call the disorganized donor. They really have no plan and give whenever they’re asked until they have nothing left to give. They say yes, every time they’re asked to donate when paying at the store, every call they receive and every play letter they receive in the mail. They don’t remember every one they’ve given to and give as many times as the organization sends a mailing at least until they run out of money. They give too many organizations that don’t completely match their values. Now let’s turn to the other end of the spectrum and look at the inflexible funder. They keep a detailed list of who they plan to give to in the next year. Every giving dollar is mapped out so they refuse any other requests during the year. If it’s not in the plan, the answer is always No. Most of us are somewhere in between the disorganized donor and the flexible funder. Your giving plan should strike a balance that allows you the following benefits. Not feeling guilty when saying no to a donation request. Having a plan means that you don’t feel guilty when you say no to an organization that asks for a donation because you know that saying no to them keeps money available to say yes to the causes and organizations you want to support the most limited dollars given to the best uses. You can think through what matters most to you and give accordingly. Not donating multiple times when you only meant to give once a year. Many people like to give once a year to their favorite organization. It’s hard to remember when that last donation was made. Organizations asked multiple times a year for donations. My parents used to keep a piece of paper by the phone with a list of who they had given to and when they’d last given. They were tired of being asked for and then giving their annual donations more than once a year have some funds available for needs or events that come up during the year. A plan doesn’t mean there’s no room for spontaneous giving. You can allocate funds in your plan to give as you wish at stores for unexpected invitations to events, or for kids fundraising events, scheduled donations to maximize tax savings, matching donations or giving more and years of high income can help you save more taxes. I’ll be talking about this in more detail in a later lecture. automate givings to make it less of a hassle. Even if you can’t save taxes, you can save time and money through automated giving. It saves time, hassle and money for postage. I’ll show you how in the next lecture.