Avoid These 7 Charitable Giving Mistakes

You give because you want to make a difference, but you and the causes you care about may not be getting the most from your charitable giving. Learn to avoid these common giving mistakes to ensure you and the organizations you support reap the most benefit from your generosity.

1. Giving Cash vs. Appreciated Securities
Giving cash is simple, but you could be missing out on additional tax savings. Donate appreciated stock, mutual funds or another appreciated asset you’ve held for more than one year and avoid capital gains taxes. You also qualify for a deduction for the fair market value of the asset.

2. Trying to Fund Every Cause
When you divide your charitable contributions among several organizations, you minimize the impact of your charitable giving. Instead think about the causes you truly care about, such as Compassion & Choices, and then focus your giving on one or just a few organizations.

3. Keeping Poor Records
To deduct a charitable gift of $250 or more, you must have written acknowledgement from the recipient organization. Sadly, many generous donors have lost the benefit of a charitable deduction because they didn’t have this receipt.

4. Missing Important Deadlines
You must meet year-end deadlines to claim your charitable deduction for a certain tax year. Different gift types have different rules. Learn what they are and stick to them.

5. Failing to Plan
You don’t have to give today to make a difference tomorrow, but you do need to plan ahead.

Consider naming a charitable organization, such as Compassion & Choices, as a beneficiary in your will or of your retirement account, life insurance policy or other asset. It’s an important way to make a future impact without giving up your assets today.

6. Leaving Family in the Dark
If you want your charitable giving to be a lasting family legacy, include your family now. Otherwise, they may never gain your philanthropic spirit. And if you plan to leave a significant portion of your estate to charity, let your family know. This will help ensure your wishes are carried out.

7. Not Giving at All
Research has shown that people who give feel happier, healthier and often live longer than people who don’t give. So, find a cause that resonates with you, such as Compassion & Choices, and make a gift today.

We Can Help

When you give to Compassion & Choices, we’ll help you reap the most benefits from your gift and make a meaningful difference at Compassion & Choices. Contact Office of Gift Planning at 800.247.7421 x2152 or plannedgiving@compassionandchoices.org to learn more.