Besides the end of this year being the much awaited “end of the year”, your work and planning are not quite done. If you are like most of us, you tend to push a lot of charitable giving into December, maximizing your tax deductions. December is hailed by many nonprofit organizations as a great month, because of the influx of donations they often see. But should December really be an afterthought for your philanthropy?
I suggest it should be a prime time to do serious year end philanthropy. Philanthropy that makes an impact and fulfills the goal of representing your family’s true values. The truth of the matter is, that most people “give” for reasons other than saving taxes. Most people “give” because it fills a spot in their heart to benefit those causes that are significant to them.
A recent report in The Chronicle of Philanthropy cites findings that charitable giving is actually up this year, so far, by about 7.5%, and the number of small donations increased 19.2% *. People have recognized the financial difficulty most nonprofit organizations are experiencing this year due to the Coronavirus forcing them to cancel, in many cases, their largest source of financial support – their galas and in person events. And, that impact is hitting the smaller nonprofits in our communities who struggle to meet their budget in good years, the hardest.
With all of that being said, the end of THIS year is a perfect time to collect your thoughts, collect your family and make a concerted effort to be strategically philanthropic. What causes are important to each member of your family, young people included? Spend some time thinking about the magnitude of your year-end giving. Then spend time with your family making philanthropic decisions that actually mean something to your family. Don’t wait until the last minute and make hasty and random gift decisions. Decide that this year, and perhaps every year going forward, will be the time that your family as a unit will determine how to make a real impact on causes that mean something to you and them.
Philanthropy is important to most of us. Take the time to do it well. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask for it. Your advisors are more than willing to assist you with a process that includes your family in making informed, impactful and important philanthropic decisions.
The Sendero Philanthropic team would be happy to guide you through a strategic philanthropic giving program. We wish you and your family a happy, safe, healthy and charitable holiday season.
Gregg E. Muenster, PhD
Sr. Philanthropic Strategist, Sendero Family Foundations