Smarter Ways to Give: Giving Alternatives in Uncertain Times

The unprecedented financial turmoil of the last six months has resulted in reduced giving in a time when demand for charitable services is increasing. Hope wants to make sure you (like Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree) consider giving alternatives in such times:

Non-cash gift options. Consider this: non-cash assets represent 90% of America’s wealth. While giving appreciated stock is the most common giving alternative, the stock market has erased approximately ten years of capital appreciation over the past six months. Consider giving stock purchased twenty or thirty years ago. This can eliminate significant capital gains taxes and a charitable deduction at current market value.

Real estate and intangible personal property such as copyrights, royalties, patents, personal service contracts, installment obligations, life insurance and annuity contracts, business and partnership interests.  Tangible personal property such as vehicles, boats, RVs, timeshares, jewelry, collectibles and business inventories and equipment. We have developed partnerships to help dispose of these items which sometimes can be difficult.

Giving for Income. This is giving which provides a certainty of return income.  A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) and creating a Bridge to Retirement are two such vehicles to insuring giving with a return of income.
A CRT provides income for life and can be funded with non cash appreciated gifts such as collectibles to save capital gains taxes (which are 28% for collectibles).  Or create a bridge to retirement – a CRT with a specified term such as 10 years. A 10 year CRT with a 10% payout can return your entire donation and still leave value for your donor advised fund or the charity of your choice.  Provide for others such as parents living expenses or children’s educational expenses with a CRT.  Create or rebuild a retirement plan with charitable gift annuities or CRTs.

Temporary Giving. Just as you would with a loan, temporary giving allows for you to give and then to get back over time.  A Charitable Lead Trust (CLT) is an excellent option to consider.

A CLT provides income to your donor advised fund or charity of your choice for a specified term. At the end of the term, the balance reverts to your children or grandchildren. A CLT can substantially reduce estate taxes while preserving the estate.  Provide an interest free loan up to $250,000 per charity.  This also will allow you to avoid imputed interest.  Use funds from an IRA for charitable gifts and pay no taxes.  This applies to donors specifically over the age of 59.5

Other options to consider when giving is to use proceeds from cashing in your U.S. Savings Bonds for charitable gifts and pay no taxes.  Life Estate Agreement – Donate your residence to charity, retain use for life and receive tax deduction now.  If you haven’t already include a charitable bequest in your will to your donor advised fund or charity of your choice.

Please contact Hope to talk more about how to give smarter during these opportune times.