Charitable Donations – Selecting the Right Type of Charitable Gift

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,697
    Andrew Hastings, Vice President of the National Philanthropic Trust, discusses how to choose the right type of gift to meet your philanthropic goals.

    Andrew Hastings: Hi! I'm Andrew Hastings, Vice President of National Philanthropic Trust. I'm talking about choosing the right type of gift to meet your philanthropic goals.

    There are many ways to support a charitable cause. Let's take a closer look at some of the ways. Cash is the most common form of charitable giving. This includes actual cash, gifts by check or donations by credit card. A gift of cash is simple and it provides the most flexibility for the receiving charity. Gifts of stock and other appreciated securities can benefit both the organization and you. You can also give a gift of tangible personal property, such as a house, a car, jewelry, or artwork.

    Another form of gift is the in-kind donation. This includes items to meet a charitable need, like food or clothing or items an organization needs to fulfill its mission, such as playground or office equipment, furniture, school supplies, or computers. For each of the forms of giving that I've just mentioned: cash, stock, or securities, tangible personal property and in-kind donations, there maybe tax advantages that will benefit you. You should consult your financial advisor for advice specific to your situation. It is always good to obtain a gift receipt from the charity each time you make a donation. The gift receipt is required to file with your tax return if you intend to take a charitable tax deduction.

    There are number of ways you can also increase the impact of a charitable contribution. Many companies will match the charitable gifts of their employees, which can be an important way to increase the impact of your donation. Check with your employer to see if they have a matching gift program.

    You can also gift to an organization that makes micro loans to alleviate Poverty and Third World Countries. One example is Kiva.

    org. By making a loan to entrepreneurs in these areas, you help them become self-sufficient. When your loan is repaid, you can re-lend it to another entrepreneur.

    And finally, a gift of your time and talent can be a very important contribution. Responsible volunteers are always welcome, especially if you have skills valuable to the organization. If you have specialized expertise, you might also consider serving on an organization's Board of Trustees or Board Committee. Board membership involves considerable responsibility and most likely a financial contribution as well, but it also offers a unique opportunity to join with other leaders to strengthen a charity important to you.

    So those are just a few of the charitable giving options available to you.