January marks the start of a new year, and new years tend to lead to new habits and resolutions. Whether you’re considering making changes to your personal or professional life in 2023, it’s important to have a plan. At Christian Community Foundation, we want to encourage you to refresh your giving strategy this year. Here are five steps you can take to start your giving out on the right foot.
One: Review your last three years of giving and identify any trends.
Looking back at your giving over the course of a few years will help you determine where the majority of charitable giving is going. If you are giving to several organizations and causes, it will also help you determine the type of causes you support. Lastly, looking back at your giving will help you find any discrepancies – like if your charitable giving was much greater in one year than all the rest. Identifying trends will help you better determine where your money has gone and where you want it to go in the future.
Two: Make sure your budget is up to date and consider how much you want to give to charity.
Your finances will fluctuate from month to month and year to year. Whether you’re re-evaluating your giving plan or not, looking at your budget for 2023 is a fantastic way to start a new year. When planning out your budget for the year, we encourage you to add giving as a line item. Pray with your family about how much you want to give away in the year. That number will be unique to each family and the year, but the focus should be on overall generosity and not the amount of money you decide to give away.
Three: Meet with your trusted financial advisor and develop a plan.
When coming up with the best plan to fit your financial goals and needs, meeting with a trusted professional – like a financial advisor – is a smart step. Financial advisors have a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the financial field. They can combine what they know with your specific financial situation to develop the perfect plan for you. Financial and giving plans are specific to the individual, so using a trusted financial advisor will help you know exactly what you can and cannot do.
Four: Research nonprofit organizations to find the right fit for you.
The next step to revamping your giving strategy would be to research nonprofits to find the right fit for you. You might be ready to give but can’t decide how to divide your gifts. That’s where the Christian Community Foundation comes in. You can invest all of your planned gifts in a donor-advised fund, then dispurse them to nonprofits when you’re ready. We can help you transform Memphis, the Mid-South and beyond in ways that further the kingdom of God through both faith and action.
Five: Determine how much you want to grant your donor-advised fund – either all at once or over time.
Donor-advised funds give charitable givers a flexible, easy way to give back to their community. These funds basically function as your own personal foundation, but it’s a lot less expensive. You determine how much you want to give, and you also get to decide how long the fund is active. All of the money can be given at once in a large lump sum, or it can be dispersed over a certain amount of time. The choice is yours. Donor-advised funds also give you the power to create a legacy and continue your charitable giving into your retirement years.
If you’re looking to re-evaluate your giving plan in the new year, consider giving Christian Community Foundation a call. Our financial advisors are here to help you determine the perfect plan for you. As an added bonus, we’re local, which means that we have all the knowledge of the big organizations with the specifics of the city of Memphis. We hope to see you soon!