Among other benefits, integrating giving into your financial plan allows you to factor tax implications into your charitable strategy.
Talking with your family about why you give can help you better align your charitable strategy with your values.
There are many charitable strategies to explore, from donor-advised funds and private foundations to charitable trusts.
Giving provides deep personal satisfaction, helps to make the world a better place, shows your gratitude for the communities that shaped you, and shares your values with your family for generations.
But fulfillment in giving isn’t always as simple as writing a check. When you give, you want to ensure your efforts are meaningful.
“People often don’t think of philanthropy as part of wealth planning but giving can be an integral segment of a family’s overall financial strategy.”
Dan Harris, senior vice president and national director of Philanthropic Services from U.S. Bank
One way to do this is through a giving plan. “A giving plan strives to help you do three things,” says Dan Harris, senior vice president and national director of Philanthropic Services from U.S. Bank. “Align your giving with your values, have meaningful experiences through your giving, and create lasting impact for your families and communities — whether you define community as your immediate neighborhood or the globe.”
Here are three steps to take when creating a giving plan.
While many people donate generously, they don’t always look at the larger picture. Harris recommends assessing your giving in the context of your overall wealth planning. “People often don’t think of philanthropy as part of wealth planning but giving can be an integral segment of a family’s overall financial strategy,” he says.
Factoring giving into your financial planning can ensure you address any questions about the tax implications of your philanthropy, or if charitable giving can be incorporated into other big financial events to help lessen your tax burden.
Harris recommends talking about giving as a family, beginning with which charitable gifts over the past few years are most memorable. This can help you define the values and goals that drive your philanthropy.
“I often hear from clients that they give to a lot of good causes. But the question is, might they feel better about their giving if they gave in a more focused way? The answer is almost always yes,” Harris says.
Take some time for introspection and discussion to help you prioritize your charitable objectives. Here are some questions to consider that may help you fine-tune your charitable focus.
A look back at your giving history can help you better align your giving with your stated values — in other words, create a giving strategy.
Every individual and family has unique philanthropic values and goals. Here are a few options to consider:
Ultimately, giving is about doing good in the world. But it’s also important to feel good about the impact you’re having. That starts with making sure you’re giving efficiently and meaningfully.
Learn more about charitable giving services from U.S. Bank.
Determining which of these powerful giving vehicles to use depends on what you’d like to achieve.
A scholarship endowment can help educate others, bring you a sense of satisfaction and leave a mark on future generations.