Five steps to planning your generosity in 2021

Friday, February 26, 2021 - 16:42

Are you revisiting your financial plan in preparation for the new year? A charitable giving plan can be a key component of your overall financial strategy. With the right tools and resources, you can make the most of all that you’ve been given and potentially realize tax efficiencies. Here are five simple steps you can take to put your generosity into action or revisit your existing giving strategy.

1) Define your giving goals.
Good plans start with goals. What do you want to achieve or express through your generosity? Consider these questions to help you get started:

  • Your passions: What makes your heart soar?
  • Your dreams for tomorrow: If you could change one thing about what the world looks like in the future, what would it be? How could you make an impact in this area?
  • Your guiding values and faith: What values do you want to express through your giving? How does your faith influence how you give?

If you already have a charitable plan, your preferences for giving may have evolved. Determine whether your goals are still relevant and examine potential patterns of your giving. What might you change or add to your list of passions, dreams, and values?

2) Identify what giving option(s) may work best for you.
Whether you’re contributing to an existing fund or creating a new charitable fund, there are several ways to make a gift:

  • Give Now: You can utilize cash, publicly traded securities, real estate, or closely-held stock to make an immediate charitable gift.
  • Give Later: A Give Later gift allows you to keep control of your assets (such as beneficiary proceeds or life insurance) while living and make a significant gift upon death.
  • Give & Receive: Perhaps you're approaching retirement and could benefit from ongoing income support in this next phase of your life. Through charitable gift annuities and remainder trusts, you make a charitable gift and receive ongoing income payments for life or a term of years. The remainder provides support to your favorite charities and causes.

3) Determine how you would like your favorite charities and causes to utilize your contributions.
Do you want to support an organization’s general operational expenses, or address a specific need? You can give in ways that reflect these preferences through a wide variety of charitable fund options. Whether you advise grants as you go, designate charities for automatic annual grants, create a scholarship fund, or support a specific cause or area of interest, you can match your giving interests with any of these flexible fund options to create an impact in our shared communities.

4) Connect with your financial professional.
Your financial professional is there for you when you’re ready to take your next steps.

“Partnership with a trusted financial advisor is an invaluable resource that you can utilize throughout your generosity planning,” says Greg Shamey, Director of Charitable Giving Services. “With support from your advisor and our team of charitable gift planners, you can rest assured that your charitable decisions will positively impact your holistic financial plan and reflect your values and goals.”

Set up time to meet with your financial professional for additional guidance, and feel free to contact us with any of your questions. With support from our charitable gift planners, you and your financial professional have personal access to expert advice on a full range of giving solutions that address your specific needs and interests.

5) Start making a difference in your community.
Whether you plan to create a charitable fund or make changes to your existing fund, we are here to support you and your giving goals.

  • To make a gift and establish a new fund, complete the online Fund workbook.
  • To make a gift to an existing charitable fund, please visit the Make a gift page for additional information.

Our donor services department is also here to help you make the most of your giving plans, such as updating your Fund Agreement with new beneficiaries, advisors, or contingencies; researching charities that match your goals and values; verifying charities eligible to receive support from your fund, or following up with charities on how your grant support was used.