Doing Taxes? Time to Think About Charitable Giving Plans.

3/12/24 by Anne Rodenberg

Tax time is a great time to plan and adjust how and when you give to charities. As you review your 2023 paperwork and think about your charitable plans for 2024, know that there are ways to maximize your charitable impact and tax benefits. Some tactics include establishing a Donor Advised Fund, making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA, creating a Named Endowment Fund at Wilder, “bunching” charitable gifts, and reviewing your long-term giving plans

As you think about your 2024 charitable giving goals and priorities, here are a few items to consider:

You may have more capacity to give to charity.

Last November, the IRS issued inflation adjustments for thresholds such as the standard deduction, Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, annual exclusion gifts, Required Minimum Distributions, Qualified Charitable Distributions, and levels of income for each tax bracket. Talk with your advisors about how these adjustments might impact your charitable giving goals–or even create opportunities for you to do more to support your favorite causes in 2024.

You may soon get a charitable deduction even if you do not itemize.

The Charitable Act, which, if passed, would allow even non-itemizers to deduct certain charitable gifts on their income tax returns. This legislation has generated strong public support; 77% of Americans are reportedly in favor of the proposed “universal” charitable deduction.

Review your estate plan and planned giving strategy without being rushed.

Tax time is an excellent time to be sure your estate plan is in order. If you are already in touch with your financial advisor, plan administrators, and/or attorney, you can start a conversation about a thoughtful and comprehensive estate plan that includes financial planning, retirement planning, tax planning, investments and wealth management, business succession planning, planning for disability, evaluating wills and trusts as children get older, and charitable planning. Examples of charitable decisions include:

  • Including a bequest in your will or trust allows you to name a charity to receive a certain dollar amount or percentage of your estate after you pass away. Wilder has recommended language to share with your attorney.
  • Review your beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and retirement plans. Gifts from these assets can be effective and tax efficient tools for making bequests as they avoid probate and transfer directly to charity. Your plan administrator can help you complete the paperwork required to designate one or more charities as a primary or secondary beneficiary.
  • A Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD) from your IRA can be a great strategy to reduce your taxable income if you are age 70 ½ or older. A QCD must be made from a traditional IRA – not a employer sponsored plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) – and a check must be made directly to the charity. Learn more about making a QCD, and see this sample QCD request letter that can be sent to your plan administrator.
  • With a minimum gift of $100,000, you can establish a Named Endowment Fund that supports our general mission or a specific purpose that is meaningful to you. An endowment can be created with a gift of cash, stock or through a beneficiary designation. Your initial gift will be invested and the earnings will be used to support our work each year, forever. Read about Violet Hertog’s Named Endowment to benefit Wilder’s Aging Services work, or contact Anne Rodenberg, Director of Major and Planned Giving, to talk about this unique way of leaving a legacy gift. 

These are just a few ideas – we are here to help you think through more ways to maximize your charitable impact. Please contact Anne Rodenberg, Director of Major and Planned Giving, to explore these and other ways to support Wilder both now and in the future.