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Chapter 1
Can You Really Make a Difference?
How We Give Today

Chapter 2
What Makes a Good Giver?
Taking the First Steps

Chapter 3
What Do You Care About?
Identifying Your Cause

Chapter 4
How Much Should You Give?
Balancing Your Interest and Gifts

Chapter 5
How Can You Check Out a Charity?
Making Your Money Work

Chapter 6
How Do You Want to Give?
Choosing Your Channel

Chapter 7
What About Finances?
Managing Taxes and Trusts

Chapter 8
Who Can You Ask for Help?
Advisors Come in All Sizes

Chapter 9
What Comes Next?
Getting More Involved

Chapter 10
What's Your Legacy?
Engaging the Kids

Chapter 11
Ways and Means:
Resources to Help You Create
a Giving Plan

Giving Guide

Joanna’s Consulting Services for Strategic Philanthropy

• Editorial services (conceiving, interviewing, writing) to develop narratives and personal stories about donor networks, foundations, programs and grantees for outreach and recruitment or education

• Consulting and content for e-news, social media and other online marketing to engage donors and stakeholders

• Communications and editorial services to develop women-facing events for financial education and giving

• Workshops about the growing traction of womenomics and women’s philanthropy for nonprofit events, conferences, board meetings, business settings

Conceptual and editorial services for developing case statements, reports or marketing materials

• Editorial and communications services to improve fundraising and donor impact (metrics) for nonprofits and educators

Creative Ways to Give

Here are some ways to give that may spur you to get engaged. Before taking any action, of course, check with your tax and financial advisers.

Give by the dozen. Most people who give to charity wait until December, partly because of the holiday spirit and typically to earn a tax deduction. But you rate the same annual tax break by giving in January or June. And with monthly donations, you create a habit, ease your cash flow and enable the cause or nonprofit you’re funding to plan on the donation to become more effective.

Give the rewards of intellectual property. If you’ve written a book or screenplay, own a patent, license a service or the like, set up a plan to donate a percentage of incoming royalties or fees.

Give collectively. Set up a giving circle with friends, family or colleagues to learn about philanthropy and leverage your dollars and impact. To learn more, check out the step-by-step advice on the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. If your pals live across town or around the world, consider a virtual circle. Use free online tools like Zoom or other video conferencing tools to collaborate in real-time.

Give art, antiques or collectibles. These gifts can be donated to a qualified charity and still remain in your possession during your lifetime. The gift goes to the nonprofit after you die. But check with financial pros beforehand. Such gifts have become more complicated (and less of a tax break) in recent years.

Give your house. Gifts of real estate cover a wide variety of choices, including a house, apartment building, farm, vacation home, commercial buildings and land. You can leave your home mortgage to a foundation and when the mortgage is paid off, you can continue to live in the home for the remainder of your life. Upon your death, the house passes to any charity you select. The nonprofit can then sell it and use the proceeds. Such gifts do raise tax and legal issues. Most public foundations or charities have planned giving experts who’d be delighted to help you work through the process.

Give with a legacy. By setting up a charitable remainder trust, with cash assets or, better yet, stock that will keep appreciating, you live on the trust’s income during your lifetime while the principal passes to a qualified charity after you die. CRTs are irrevocable, so you can’t change one after it’s established.

Give technology. Many groups, online and off, provide recycling outlets to donate used mobile devices, computers, peripherals, software and other devices. Check with your company’s HR department, your local community foundation or schools and small-business training centers to find groups nearby. Some surveys estimate that there are more than 50 million old mobile phones sitting in users’ drawers and closets after they’ve upgraded. These can quickly be converted to 911 emergency-use mobiles and given free to, say, battered women and kids at risk.

Give mutual fund shares or appreciated securities. You net a tax savings and an immediate charitable deduction for the market value of the donated assets. Giving mutual fund shares that transfer to a qualified charity after you die will exempt you from any capital gains tax on the appreciation. Once again, check with advisers before proceeding.

Give your life insurance policy. Many people find they no longer need life insurance policies that they purchased to protect the family when they were younger or because protection is no longer needed for other reasons. Basically, you assign the policy to the charity (while still covering the annual premiums) and make the charity the beneficiary. If the policy is paid up, you receive an immediate tax deduction equal to the policy’s cash value at the time.