Will 2018 be another record-breaking year for giving?

Julie Davitz
Posted by Julie Davitz
Strategic Philanthropy

Americans reached a charitable giving milestone last year with $400 billion worth of donations, according to Giving USA. Could the momentum continue this year?

Young woman reviewing her giving activities with an open laptop and calculator in front of her.With the giving season upon us, many people are making year-end donations and evaluating their portfolios.

One investment vehicle I’ve been talking with clients a lot about – and is especially relevant this time of year – is the donor-advised fund (DAF). DAFs are really a tool that enables an efficient, purposeful approach to giving.

Donor-advised funds can maximize your giving power

Essentially, a DAF is a charitable checking account. It is a tax-smart way to organize and maximize your giving power. The number of these funds grew by more than 60% from 2016 to 2017, while grants from these funds to charities increased by 20% over the same time period, according to the National Philanthropic Trust’s 2018 Donor-Advised Fund report.

Choosing what charitable issues, causes, and organizations to support is deeply personal and reflects you and your family’s values. With a DAF, you may support your chosen charities and meet tax-deduction qualifications. (NOTE: Check with a tax professional regarding your situation.)

Our own DAF, The Philanthropy Fund*, in partnership with Renaissance Charitable Foundation Inc., enables our clients to streamline their overall charitable giving. Donations, whether from individuals, companies, trusts, or estates, can be made anonymously and can be directed toward supporting multiple nonprofit organizations. Contributions can be made as often as you like and be given in the form of cash, stock, mutual funds, or event real estate or personal property.

We offer personalized guidance with the Philanthropy Fund through our Wealth Management Group’s strategic philanthropy services. If you’d like more information, or want to talk further about your family’s philanthropy values, and donation goals, I encourage you to contact us.

And if you’re still thinking through where you want some of your money to go this giving season, I’ve shared a few helpful resources below. Happy holidays and best wishes for a purpose-driven 2019!

Charitable giving resources

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*Gifts to The Philanthropy Fund are irrevocable gifts to “Renaissance Charitable Foundation Inc.” which maintains exclusive legal control over all donor-advised funds in The Philanthropy Fund. Please indicate that you made your gift to “Renaissance Charitable Foundation Inc.” for any of your tax reporting forms.

Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. When redeemed, an investment may be worth more or less than the original amount invested.

Bank of the West, its affiliates and subsidiaries, are separate from and not affiliated with Renaissance Charitable Foundation. The companies are not responsible got each other’s policies or services.

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