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Burlington, VT office 802.540.0529
Hanover, NH office 603.643.6072
Rutland, VT office 802.773.3822
Woodstock, VT office 802.457.9492

December 6, 2013 Newsletter Archive


Navigating Your Year End Giving

Looking out the window on this grey day in early December it is not that hard to believe the circling year has brought us back to the holiday season. Many of us just celebrated the abundance of our lives with family gatherings, connecting with friends, and eating beyond our usual capacity. We are all aware that Black Friday, local Saturday, and Cyber Monday promptly follows up these feasts of gratitude. We may have enjoyed our time very much, and we may have overindulged just a wee bit, or perhaps a lot. Yet, even as we enjoy our bounty, we also know that there are many others, in our communities, cities, states, and nation and internationally who need our help. That's when we turn our attention to giving back.

In recent years, I have noticed the emergence of the movement called Giving Tuesday. Personally, I think it is great that we all have a reminder that those of us just coming down from our traditional Thanksgiving indulgences can explore giving in another manner all together. Fortunately, Americans as a nation, remain generous. I just read that 88% of households give to charity. Although we also know that high net worth donors have an additional tax incentive to boost their interest in giving, the reality is that such a high rate of giving among households demonstrates that most of us are passionate about one cause or another and most of us are interested in making a difference.

As with every area of life, giving opportunities are more abundant than ever before, and thus, it is not easy to discern one opportunity from another. This can unfortunately lead to donor fatigue, where potential donors become overwhelmed with options, and thus fail to give all together. Yet, at a time when most charities are stretched to the max, giving has become even more important.

If you are reading this article, chances are you are already a discerning giver, and your goal may be to support a favorite cause that you have been behind for many years. You are clear about that organization's mission and values and goals, and probably the activities in which it is involved. Yet, even so, there are always new causes abounding, and new disasters, which prompt us to open our wallets and purses and break into the giving box. With so much information, we all can use some navigation to help us choose our charities prudently.

One recent New York Times article offered just such advice. In the article the author suggests beginning with GuideStar whose website contains information from over 1.8 million nonprofits registered with the IRS. Although there is plenty to find on GuideStar's web site, it does not provide you with any specific charity rating. So, if you want to know how one charity rates as far as providing the most direct aid to those it assists you have to use a more evaluative site such as the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator (see links below). Both provide analysis on a variety of indicators such as income spent on programs, and percentage spent on administration and fund-raising. Ideally when vetting new giving opportunities do your research.

Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide to whom to give. You can spend hours culling through the online information to ensure that you are giving to the most deserving of organizations, but at the end of the day, your values, passions, and the time you personally invest in an organization will form your strongest bond with that cause. At the end of the day, this bond will provide you with the most satisfaction regarding your giving choice.

Citations:

Forbes -- Making your gifts count, 10 smart tips for charitable giving

NY Times -- How to choose a charity wisely

GuideStar

Better Business Bureau -- Wise-Giving

www.charitynavigator.org

If you have questions about your charitable giving please call us
(603) 643-6072 or (802) 457-9492

 

Tips for Successful Charitable Donations for Those Seeking Tax Deductions

If you are a person who is seeking a tax deduction for your giving, we recommend some simple tips for successful charitable donations. Note that not all giving results in a tax deduction. It is very important to follow the rules, and with IRS rules and regulations in mind, here are some considerations.

Two additional aspects to keep in mind: if you receive anything for your donation, from a mug to a tee shirt, you may deduct the donation but you must subtract the value of that item you received. Additionally, you cannot deduct for your time spent volunteering, although you may be able to deduct travel and other out of pocket expenses.

 

Giving All Year Long

There are many ways to give all year long and of course, we cannot discuss them all here. Please call us if you want to know more about using your IRA rollover charitably, or about the Vermont Community Foundation or New Hampshire Charitable Fundation's opportunities such as donor advised funds.

You can reach us at (603) 643-6072 or (802) 457-9492 or email us at mark@melendymoritz.com or daphne@melendymoritz.com.

 

Disclaimer
This newsletter is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, but not to provide specific legal advice. No representation is made about the accuracy of the information. Discussed topics may or may not be updated subsequent to their initial posting for changes in applicable laws. Please note that information in this newsletter may change from time to time. In reading this newsletter you understand that this information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state.

We would love to hear from you! If you are interested in guest writing for our newsletter or simply have a comment to share, please let us know.


Melendy Moritz PLLC is a client centered boutique firm. We focus on your unique needs by providing the individualized legal counseling and advising tailored to your specific situation.

We concentrate on the planning that matters to you.
Call us at 603.643.6072 or 802.457.9492

 

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