Philanthropy 101: The Season of Giving
By Dave Kelner, Major Gift Officer
The time between Thanksgiving and the end of the year is known as the “Season of Giving,” when charities ramp up their appeals and donors give more attention to their charitable interests. While the state of the economy might dampen holiday donations overall, we know that many of our donors will still want to give.
Here are a few talking points volunteers can use to help our donors finish up 2009 in charitable style:
1. Charitable giving benefits you, as well as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
A special, year-end gift can bring you added pleasure, especially as you consider the boost your gift will give elk and wild country. You will enjoy knowing that your generosity has made a difference and will help RMEF fulfill its worthy goals. And, there is usually tax benefits related to charitable giving.
2. Appreciated assets can make dandy gifts.
Take stock, for example. If you have owned the stock for at least a year and a day, you can receive a tax deduction for the full market value for the gift. What's more, neither you nor RMEF will have to pay capital gains tax on the gift. Your tax advisor can spell out the specifics for you. (Mutual funds, real estate and other appreciated assets make great gifts as well.)
3. Charitable gifts often require advanced action.
Start now. A stock gift usually takes more time to complete than writing out and mailing a check. Real estate gifts require even more time—often several months. Make an appointment early to discuss your non-cash gift with your attorney or financial advisor. Handling the paperwork takes time, too.
4. Does a life-income plan may make sense for you?
Deferred giving plans allow you to establish a gift arrangement now, obtain current tax benefits, create a stream of life-long income and provide a future gift to RMEF. They are especially attractive to donors who would like to supplement their retirement income stream.
Remember, RMEF gift officers and development staff are ready, willing and able to visit with donors about year-end giving plans and the various options available. Send them our way, and we guide them through the process and meeting with them and their professional advisor(s).