In the spirit of gift-giving season being in full swing, now is the time to jumpstart your organization’s year-end fundraising plan. The season starts on Giving Tuesday, taking place on November 29th, and there’s a few ways to entice donor generosity.
We don’t need to tell you how challenging the last few years have been, but its silver-lining has been the overwhelming support from donors. Although COVID-19 created a unique landscape for non-profits, giving did not waiver. On Giving Tuesday 2021, donors gave $2.7 billion to US non-profits, which was up 9% from 2020.
Everyone loves a good deal, and to help keep this momentum going, we’re sharing several tax-advantaged opportunities related to charitable giving that your organization can share (and market!) to donors to help encourage their support.
1. Donor Advised Fund
A donor advised account is a private fund opened by an individual specifically for charitable giving. By opening a donor advised fund, donors can take the entire charitable deduction on the year they fund the account, regardless of when the money is eventually transferred to an organization. Donations can be made to multiple organizations at the discretion of the donor.
By utilizing this type of fund, it allows donors to bundle all their donations into one account, for one tax deduction, rather than a series of smaller donations.
2. Qualified Charitable Distributions
After a hiatus in 2020 due to the CARES Act, required minimum distributions (RMDs) were reinstated in 2021. This is an IRS mandate to withdraw from retirement plans when you hit age 72.
One way to satisfy the RMD requirement and make a charitable gift is through a qualified charitable distribution (QCD). Donors over age 70 ½ can donate up to $100,000 from their IRAs (Note: 401ks are not eligible) and give the money directly to a charity, bypassing the tax liability of an IRA withdrawal and reducing their adjusted gross income.
3. Appreciated Assets
One of the most tax-efficient ways to give is by donating appreciated assets. Types of assets include stocks, bonds, or other securities. Donors who itemize on their taxes will receive a tax deduction for the value of their gift (limited to 30% of their adjusted gross income), while also avoiding any capital gains embedded in the asset. This might be an attractive tactic for donors with unusually high income or unrealized capital gains this year.
4. Sell investments that are down, donate the cash
While this last one is dependent on the market environment, it’s a unique spin on tax strategy by seeing losses as an avenue for donations. Normally, donating assets directly allows for a deduction that gets capped at 30% of your AGI.
By selling assets that are down, you realize the loss first. This will offset any capital gains or reduce your ordinary income by $3,000. This lowers your AGI before your charitable contribution deductions even come into play. Then, by donating the cash, you are allowed a deduction that is capped at 60% of your AGI (as opposed to the 30% if you directly donated a stock).
There are several tactics and strategies to make donations and charitable giving worthwhile for donors who have found organizations and causes they care deeply about. Depending on their goals and plan, one of these four tax-efficient strategies may make sense for their financial situation – share them with your donors to find out!
Fundraising 101: A Guidebook for Fundraising & Development Professionals
For more, download our Fundraising 101 Guidebook, which includes additional strategies your organization may want to consider, tips and tricks, and more.Download now