By Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D.
Community Foundation of Broward President/CEO
Ah, the food, the decorations, the gifts – the to-do lists.
Along with all the holiday fun comes an avalanche of obligations that threatens to rob us of the joy of the season.
So, in the grand North Pole tradition of making a list and checking it twice, don’t forget to put charitable giving on your list of holiday preparations.
For this to truly be a season when we celebrate giving, we should do more than hand out presents to our loved ones. This is a time of year to rededicate ourselves to giving back to the community we love. It’s an opportunity to offer a hand up to someone in need. To support making life better in Broward and beyond.
We can give back by volunteering our time. Wrapping gifts for a toy drive, serving meals at a homeless shelter, visiting with isolated seniors – donating our time is a wonderful way to make a difference. And hopefully, getting involved during the holidays plants the seed for more of us to volunteer our time to valuable community services throughout the year.
Of course, making charitable donations during the holiday season is a powerful opportunity to make a lasting impact by fueling the life-changing work of local nonprofits.
Broward’s charitable organizations provide food, medical care, educational programs, job training, animal rescue, support for artistic and cultural experiences and so much more to help people in need and to make this a more vibrant community for us all.
This year, our charitable support is also critically important to help nearby communities in Southwest Florida recover from Hurricane Ian.
Charitable organizations rely on our holiday gifts to sustain and grow their services throughout the year ahead. And in addition to helping others, charitable donations during the holidays enable us to make the most of end-of-year tax benefits.
Making a cash donation to a holiday fundraiser or going online to donate to your favorite charitable organizations are great ways to give back.
Here are a few other opportunities you may not have thought of for your holiday giving to create a lasting impact – and make the most out of your tax benefits.
- Give with your IRA distribution: Using your Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA is an easy way to donate to a charitable organization. And a QCD is an above-the-line tax deduction that can satisfy your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).
- Donate appreciated stock: Donating appreciated stock multiplies your giving power by: (1) removing your tax liability from the stock sale and (2) realizing tax benefits from the donation. Don’t forget, to get your tax benefits for 2022, the transfer of donated stock to the charitable organization must occur before Dec. 31. That can’t always be accomplished in a same-day transaction, so plan ahead.
- Gift bundling through a donor-advised fund: You can “bundle” several years’ worth of support for your favorite causes or organizations through a single, year-end gift to a donor-advised fund. Gift bundling enables you to lock in support to achieve your long-term charitable goals, while you get the full tax benefit this year.
- Create a charitable testamentary gift agreement: If now isn’t the best time to dip into your assets to make a donation, naming a charitable organization as one of your beneficiaries is a wonderful way to know that your future gift will help others.
Too many abbreviations and financial jargon for you? I encourage you to contact your professional advisor to help decide your best giving strategy.
Also, I invite you to contact my team at the Community Foundation of Broward for guidance about making the most of your charitable giving. Visit www.cfbroward.org to learn how partnering with Broward’s local philanthropy experts will help you amplify your impact.
Whether donating our time or our financial support, we can all give back to help others. Amid the growing hustle and bustle of the holidays, don’t let this important opportunity to help get bumped off your to-do list. We all deserve to experience the true spirit of the season.