Charity comes from the heart but giving is a financial decision and these decisions ideally take consideration and planning. Learning how to give strategically improves how we manage our resources. Traditionally financial advisors have been trained to focus on how we build our wealth, but these financial strategies don’t necessarily help us give. Similarly, legal advisors have been trained to focus on how we distribute our wealth in a traditional method of only giving to heirs.
To maximize your giving it is important to speak with your advisors about your charitable aspirations. Once they understand your goals they can guide you on the most tax-effective ways to give and can reduce costs associated with giving. Even if you are planning legacy gifts sometimes it is more tax-effective to consider blended gifts – giving some today with more later in life or at the end of life. Legacy gifts can be fulfilled by insurance so getting advice on all options and assets is beneficial.
Most advisors, once the charitable giving topic is introduced, would be delighted to help you realize your goals. When your strategy is defined, sharing your strategy with younger generations provides valuable lessons in financial literacy and also teaches values and generosity. Talking with your family about your charitable goals helps enhance their awareness and how they can support you in reaching your goals.
If your advisors have not broached the topic, begin the conversation yourself. Following are 6 common questions you can answer for yourself and be prepared to discuss with your advisors:
- Do you support the same charities each year or does it vary from year to year?
- How do you decide which charities to support and who is involved in that decision-making process with you?
- Which gifts have given you the most satisfaction?
- Do you want to donate primarily during your lifetime or through legacy gifts – or both?
- Do you prefer to give publicly or anonymously?
- Does your charitable giving come from your disposable income or non-cash assets?
If you do not have an advisor, The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida has a Planned Giving Advisory Council with financial, legal and tax expertise and members can provide a consultation. Additionally, some of our team members have earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation and are able to assist you with you charitable giving strategies and answer questions about your Catholic legacy. Another great way to learn how to define your giving strategy is to enhance your Charitable Giving Library titles. We recommend the following:
- Wealth In Families by Charles W. Collier
- The Legacy Spectrum by Mark A. Weber
- Leaving A Legacy by Dan T. Garrett and Tim Woodruff
Our CAP professionals are available to answer any questions or provide referrals to a member of our Planned Giving Advisory Council. We are here to support you in defining your charitable giving strategy and would be happy to offer a complimentary copy of one of the books listed above to those who call.
Kimberlee Riley, CAP®, President & CEO – 407 246 7194 – email@example.com
Madelyn Weed, CFRE, CAP®, Vice President, Chief of Donor Services – 407 246 7188 – firstname.lastname@example.org