Your Guide to Holiday Charitable GivingSubmitted by HearthStone | Private Wealth Management on August 18th, 2015
APRIL 13, 2015
Your Guide to Holiday Charitable Giving
Are you sick of hearing about Black Friday? Cyber Monday? There’s hope! Now, there’s Giving Tuesday.
Most of us know Black Friday as the day after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is the first day of the following week. Now, the day after Cyber Monday is called “Giving Tuesday.” This year falling on December 2nd, Giving Tuesday focuses on holiday charitable giving—in contrast to the other two days, which focus on holiday shopping.
Americans are generous. According to Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org), total giving to charities was $335.17 billion during 2013—the most recent year that data is available. This was a 4.4 percent increase over the previous year. It equals about 2 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the U. S. Moreover, 25.4 percent of adults in the U. S. volunteered their time to charity during the same year.
Knowing that Americans are generous, and that our willingness to give tends to increase this time of year, charities flood mail boxes, email, and voice mail with solicitations. With all the worthwhile causes and needs in the world, we risk the chance of getting caught up in the emotions of the holidays. This could mean less effective giving strategies. Here’s a guide to effective holiday charitable giving.
- Follow your passions. There are roughly a million charities in this country. There’s likely one out there that matches precisely your intentions. Take time to find it.
- Trust but verify. Before you give, check to ensure the charity meets these criteria:
- The organization is a bona fide charitable organization as designated by the IRS
- The organization is financially fit, efficient and sustainable
- The organization has a track record of success in the area or areas that they claim to impact
- Make a commitment. Once you’ve found a charity that passes these tests, make a meaningful commitment to it. Become a partner in the charity’s efforts to bring about real change.
- Review your charitable portfolio. Just as you follow your investment portfolio, follow your charitable investments as well.
How can you do all this? Turn to helpful resources, such as Charity Navigator. And, talk with us. We’re experienced in helping people make the most of their charitable giving during the holidays and throughout the year.
There are the obvious benefits of giving to charity—helping others, fostering change, supporting a worthy cause, and reaping the potential tax benefits. But there’s more. In an article released by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, research on happiness cites that the most satisfying use of money is to invest in others, including donating to charity.* Perhaps then, giving to charity is one way that money can buy happiness.
”Research: Can Money Buy Happiness?” By Francis J. Flynn, September 25, 2013. Posted on the Stanford Graduate School of Business website: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/research-can-money-buy-happiness