Christmas is soon to be celebrated. We rejoice in the birth of Christ and enjoy time with family and friends. We give gifts, prepare food, travel, write cards, and attend parties. We hug our loved ones, phone those who are far away, and we miss those who have departed. Sometimes we fight. We get tense, depressed, angry, jealous, overworked and overwhelmed. Or maybe we don’t! Some are struggling and depending on the kindness of strangers. Others are shopping for people we may never meet; wrapping gifts for children in our community; giving to the Salvation Army, and bringing canned food (or cash!) to the food bank and local senior centers.
What will be in the boxes you wrap and give?
To spur your Christmas giving, we share ideas that can benefit nonprofits you believe in.
Those with investments that increased in value may want to give appreciated stock. If you are new to being in this position, talk with your tax advisor, or call your community foundation to learn how to transfer appreciated assets in a way that benefits our community and provides you with tax benefits. You may want to establish a donor-advised fund. That is one way you can give now (and receive the tax deduction now) and then make gifts to nonprofits in the future. If you are 70 or over you may want to give a gift from your retirement funds or IRA. Again, talk with your tax advisor: learn how give more than you thought you could while reducing your taxable income. Bottom line: there are many of us for whom this is a time to review investment portfolios, philanthropic priorities and to decide how and when to give.
Don’t worry if you can’t make a gift from investments: that’s most of us! But there are special things you can do: make a cash gift to an organization you believe in. Consider giving more than you gave last year. Volunteer some time now, over the holidays, or in 2018. If you run your own business or make giving decisions for your company, consider increasing the in-kind services you provide, or make a stronger push in the coming year for employees to volunteer. If you’re adjusting your will or creating a trust consider including a nonprofit that is meaningful to your family or those who came before you and made a way for you.
Want more ideas? Consider serving on a nonprofit board. Or recruit someone you know to join you in your current board service. If you have established an endowed fund with your alma mater, church or a hospital consider adding to it. You could choose to be a “secret Santa” and make a payment on a loan an organization is carrying. You can donate a piece of equipment. And you can commit to advocacy.
The ways to give are limitless. We hope the love in your heart is limitless too. Merry Christmas.
Copyright 2017 – Mel Shaw and Pearl Shaw, CFRE
Mel and Pearl Shaw are authors of four books on fundraising available on Amazon.com. For help growing your fundraising visit https://www.saadandshaw.com or call (901) 522-8727.