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We’re more than happy to help you help your favorite causes. Not only are you doing good, you may also receive some tax benefits from your donation. There are many ways to give to charity, and we’ll be happy to help you figure out the right way.
As an aside, if you can choose between giving cash or assets, it often makes more sense to gift appreciated assets, such as stocks or real property, as you might be able to avoid paying capital gains tax on your gift
It's the simplest - and probably most gratifying - way to donate. Simply write a check or hand over cash. It’s the easiest way to give a gift, and the most immediate. No fuss, no muss. No other benefit. This is by far the most common form of philanthropy.
But what if you’re not ready yet? Well, you could leave a bequest – property given by will. You’d be in good company, as the Grand Forks Public Library discovered last year.
What if you’re happy to give your assets away, but still need to live off the interest? Well, you could create a Charitable Remainder Trust. Put simply, the money is set aside in a trust, and you get some or all of the income while you’re alive. Not only are the assets protected, as a bonus, you get a tax deduction on the gift!
But maybe you’re ok with giving the income away, but you want the family farm to go to your children? Then we want a Charitable Lead Trust, which is the exact opposite – the income goes to charity for some time, and afterwards the principal goes to your beneficiaries.
You may want to retain greater control over how your charitable donation is spent. In that case, a donor-advised fund might be a more appropriate solution. With a donor-advised fund, you make a donation to a special account administered by a registered charity. While you surrender ownership, you retain advisory privileges over how the account is invested, and how the funds are distributed.
There’s also the possibility of creating a private foundation, which is a great way to get your family involved, or to fund a cause that’s dear to your heart. A Private Foundation allows the donor to retain control over charitable donations and other disbursements. He or she may hire staff, reimburse expenses, and make grants directly to individuals in times of need. Further, a donor may contribute a wider variety of assets to the Private Foundation, such as closely held stock, partnerships, or real estate, while retaining control over how the assets are invested.
Until recently, the strict regulations and administrative hurdles, and associated costs of compliance, meant that a foundation only made sense for donations of at least a million dollars. Thanks to our strategic partnerships, we can make Private Foundations feasible for donations as little as $250,000.
It’s good to do good. Let’s make the world a better place.