Upsize Your Giving: 5 Ways You Can Make a Bigger Impact
Anna* was ready to downsize a lot of things in her life. At 75 years old and widowed, she knew she was better off making changes while she could still manage everything. After some careful planning, she began scaling back her house, her vehicle, and even her extensive volunteer commitments. Meanwhile, her charitable giving happened almost by accident. She was happy to write cheques to various causes when they asked, and she really enjoyed knowing her gift was making a difference. In fact, she liked the feeling so much that she wanted to give more…but worry stopped her. Anna needed a Generosity Plan™.
Ask the Experts
When Anna closed the sale on her house she wondered if it was finally the right time to increase her charitable giving. But worry nagged at her. She didn’t want to make a mistake. Anna decided she needed professional help, so she made an appointment with her financial planner. A full review of her assets, expenses, and income confirmed that Anna had more money than she needed to live on. She told her financial planner and accountant she wanted to increase her charitable giving right away. They helped her lay the groundwork for giving, then encouraged her to speak to Abundance Canada.
Giving in More Ways Than One
Anna hadn’t really thought of herself as someone who would benefit from a strategic approach to charitable giving, but Abundance Canada worked with her and her financial advisors to craft a customized Generosity Plan. Instead of writing cheques, it turned out to be more tax efficient for Anna to donate in-kind some of her non-registered stocks, bonds or mutual funds. This would leave more cash in her bank account which she could invest, give to charity, or use for expenses. She hadn’t even realized that donating securities in-kind was an option for someone like her!
Stock markets were at all-time highs, so Anna decided to make a large in-kind gift of securities. She received charitable receipts for the value of the securities she donated. Anna was able to apply her charitable receipts to the current tax year or carry them forward to a maximum of five more. She was amazed and grateful that planning out her charitable giving allowed her to give more generously during her lifetime without feeling stressed or worried.
The Joy of Seeing Your Generosity at Work
Anna’s now happily settled into her downsized life with upsized giving. She works with her advisors to determine the best timing for her charitable giving and the most tax effective assets to donate. She often recommends distributions from her Gifting Fund™ during the “off-season” when charities are most in need, and loves that she can see the positive impact her support has on those causes.
Upsize Your Giving
By taking a strategic approach to her charitable giving, Anna was able to increase the size of her gifts, and their impact as well. And you can, too with these five simple tips.
- If you want to increase your charitable giving, don’t let worry get in the way. Working with your professional advisors can help you determine the best timing for your donations and the most tax effective assets to donate.
- Charitable giving isn’t limited to writing cheques. Donating securities can provide additional tax savings that allow you to give even more.
- Don’t wait to give. Charitable giving during your lifetime lets you see the impact of your generosity.
- Charities need donations year-round, not just at Christmas or Thanksgiving. Planning your donations to coincide with the “off-season” can increase the impact of your gifts.
- When you include charitable giving in your life plans, you encourage others to follow your example.
As Anna learned, even if you’re looking at downsizing your lifestyle, a Generosity Plan can help you upsize your giving.
Contributed by Sherri Grosz
Gift Planning Consultant