Home > Accounting, Consulting, Nonprofit, Taxes > Give To Your Favorite Cause Before Year End – Some Useful Tips

Give To Your Favorite Cause Before Year End – Some Useful Tips

December 4, 2013

Gifts (Photo credit: Guudmorning!)

As the end of 2013 approaches, donors are likely thinking about their
favorite charity or ministry and what they may be able to do in the way
of support.

I know I am.  I am always encouraged when I think
about the important mission of these organizations and how lives are
being changed as a result of what they are doing.  After all, that is
why we give.  We give because we are taking part in something bigger
than we are.  We give because we believe in the mission of these great
organizations.  We give because we believe in the power of giving to
transform lives, maybe even our own.

So, after dwelling on the good stuff it is then time to consider how to give.  Should I give cash?  Should I donate stock?  Should I do something else?

Having served in some nonprofits, I know we were always thankful for unrestricted
gifts in whatever form they came to us.  This might be your first
consideration and I would recommend making your gifts unrestricted so
that the organization can put it to use in the best way possible.

Next, if your cash position is good you will certainly want to share the wealth.   Here are a few reminders about cash gifts–

  • Make sure you are donating to a qualified organization if you want a tax deduction.
  • Make sure to get an official receipt for your gift, especially if it is over $250.
  • For tax purposes, cash donations generally have a deductible limit of 50% of your AGI.
  • You must make your gift before the end of the year or make sure it is postmarked December 31 if mailed.

If you want to make stock gifts at the end of 2012, this is a positive
time to do so.  The stock market has performed well over the past couple
of years and you may have stocks that you feel have appreciated
significantly.  Also, the fiscal cliff that has been the focus of the
post-election likely will see income tax rates and capital gains tax
rates rise after 2012.  With this in thought, making a stock gift seems
like the right and prudent thing to do.  Here are some reminders about
making stock gifts–

  • You can take a tax deduction for the fair market value of the stock at the time of the gift.
  • For tax purposes, stock gifts and other capital gain property gifts are limited to 30% of your AGI.
  • Make sure to give the stock directly to the charity (don’t sell it yourself and then give the cash).

Of course, make sure you consult your professional advisor as you plan your year-end giving.

No matter what your situation, you have the ability to make a difference
through your giving to nonprofits.  Keep that in mind as you move
forward into this holiday season.


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