Now is a great time to plan for your year-end giving. When you make a donation to CFWNC, you aren't just giving money—you're making a difference. Here are 10 ways to make the most of your year-end giving:
1. Talk to your advisor.
Before making any significant gift to charity, consult with your CPA, attorney or other advisor to understand the impact on your taxes and estate.
2. Consider your income.
Take time to understand your tax liability for the year. Did your unearned income increase? Did you sell any appreciated assets? The answers to these questions may determine how much you want to give by year end.
3. Review your stocks.
If you'd like to make a year-end charitable gift, consider giving appreciated stock. Selling stock will incur capital gains on the appreciation, but if you gift stock, you will receive a charitable deduction for the current market value of the stock—just as you would with a cash gift. Such gifts are deductible up to 30% of your adjusted gross income and you can carry the deduction forward for up to an additional five years.
4. Give early and complete your gift by December 31.
A gift by check is complete when mailed (postmarked) to the charitable recipient, even if not cashed until the following year. Gifts by credit card are complete when your credit card account is charged. Gifts of stock and real estate are more complex; don't wait until late December to make these gifts as it may be too late to make the necessary arrangements.
5. Know the organizations you support.
While there are many worthy causes, only donations to qualified 501(c)(3) organizations are tax-deductible. If you give through CFWNC, we will document the status of all nonprofits prior to making a gift on your behalf and can help you identify organizations that are qualified to receive your gift.
6. Do you have more than enough?
If you're receiving taxable income from retirement plan assets or life insurance policies, there are a number of tax-advantaged ways to make these assets work for you and the causes you support. The Charitable IRA Rollover Act, for example, allows donors age 70 ½ or older to donate up to $100,000 from their IRA without counting the distribution as income.
7. Explore employer gift matching programs.
Many companies offer gift matching programs that can increase—even double—the impact of your gift.
8. Give now—decide later.
If you are planning for a charitable tax deduction this year but are undecided about which nonprofits to support, consider opening a CFWNC donor advised fund. You can claim a deduction for contributions to your fund now even though distributions from the fund might be made in future years. A donor advised fund can be set up in one meeting.
9. Create a giving plan.
The Community Foundation can help you create a giving plan to help you think strategically about how you give and to what organizations. This ensures that your donations make the greatest impact on the causes you care about while maximizing tax advantages.
10. Let the Community Foundation do the legwork.
Using CFWNC as a philanthropic advisor gives you access to our extensive knowledge of the regional nonprofit community and the broad charitable needs of WNC—so you can stay informed about the organizations you support and the effect your giving will have on the future of our community.