The holiday season is a time when many of us think about giving. From holiday gifts to donations, it’s a time of year when we think about our legacy, our families, and what we have to be thankful for. This is the perfect time to reflect on how you want to give back, and how you want to support causes that are near and dear to you.
While some common ways to give are tithing 10 percent to your church or donating to a charity during the holidays, there are countless opportunities to give back. The key is to find a charitable giving option that is meaningful to you and your partner.
How Do You View Your Money?
For most people, the motivation and decision to give is rooted in their overall view of money. The way you view finances and giving is unique to you because it’s based on your life experiences and core beliefs. How your parents managed their money when you were growing up, how your religious faith views money, and how you and your partner have prioritized your own finances are all building blocks of your overall view of giving.
How you view your money and the impact it can have on the world will affect if and how you choose to give. It’s vital to remember, however, that there is no one right way to give. Additionally, money isn’t the only thing you can give away. You can donate your time, your possessions, or your knowledge and expertise. The best way to give is the one that you find meaningful and sustainable.
Options for Monetary Giving
If you decide that financial giving is something you want to pursue, there are several different options. If you are religious, you may choose to give money to your church. The traditional 10-percent tithe is something that many people choose to give, but you can give more or less depending on your resources and comfort level.
Giving to a church or place of worship isn’t the only option. You and your family could choose to sponsor an impoverished child through a charitable organization or contribute to a local rescue mission, halfway house, or animal welfare group. You might choose several different charitable causes and donate a small amount to each of them every month.
When you’re planning out financial donations, don’t forget about your family. You could cover your children’s or grandchildren’s college expenses through annual cash gifts or contributions to a 529 savings plan. Depending on your circumstances, you may go through a time when you’re giving financially to both your children and your parents.
You can also plan ahead for charitable giving after you pass away. There are several ways to incorporate charitable contributions into your estate plan. You might set up a trust fund for your beneficiaries or create an ongoing contribution to your favorite charity from your estate. An expert financial advisor can help you figure out the best way to incorporate financial gifts into your estate plan.
While there are many ways to give financial gifts, there are just as many opportunities for non-monetary giving. You may donate your time by volunteering at a charity, school, or community organization. If you have a lot of knowledge, training, or experience in your industry, you may see if you can become a mentor for professionals just starting out.
Another option is to give away things rather than money. If you are a crafter or hobbyist, you could donate your creations to charities, hospitals, schools, or religious organizations. You could donate furniture or clothing that you no longer use. Some charities also accept vehicle donations.
What About Tax Advantages?
Another aspect of charitable giving is its effect on taxes. There are some ways you can gain a tax advantage based on your giving, but it may depend on how the rest of your finances and taxes look. However, the best reasons to give aren’t those related to taxes. You’ll likely find much more joy and satisfaction in giving if your reason is to help others and make a lasting impact rather than to get a slightly more favorable tax return.
There Is No Wrong Way To Give Back
If you and your partner feel motivated to give, there are endless ways you can help others with your time, money, or resources. Whether you spend time volunteering or incorporate charitable giving into your estate plan, you can rest assured knowing that you are building a legacy of generosity.
Here at Guiding Wealth, we know that giving brings countless benefits to the recipient and the giver. If you want to give back but aren’t sure how to start, we can help you figure out the best way to support the people and causes you care about. Charitable giving allows you to make financial decisions that align with your values and priorities.