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Four ways to give yourself a “holiday bonus” through year-end charitable giving 

The end of the year is an ideal time to consider all the giving options available to you, especially those that can benefit you, your family, and your favorite charitable organizations. In addition to the satisfaction of supporting a cause that is important to you, your charitable gifts often deliver additional tangible benefits. Certainly, the most widely recognized is the income tax deduction your charitable gift generates.

Strategic financial planning may enable you realize other “bonuses,” such as:

  • Capital Gain Tax Savings. In most cases, if you give investments that you have held for more than one year that have appreciated in value, you will be able to deduct their full fair market value—not just your original cost. You generally avoid capital gain taxes on the appreciation, further increasing the benefits you derive from giving. Depending on the kind of appreciated asset you give, you could also be relieved of other costs of ownership such as insurance, maintenance, or tax.

  • Employer Match to Your Gift. Many employers offer a match to the charitable gifts of their employees. It is most common for the match to be equal to the value of the employee’s gift, subject to an annual maximum. In some cases, though, the match may be even more. We can help you determine if your gift qualifies for an employer match, multiplying the impact of your generosity.

  • Extra Savings from Itemizing Deductions. Many donors do not itemize deductions when filing their federal income tax returns because the total of those deductions—including charitable gifts—is less than the standard deduction. If you plan the amount and timing of your charitable gifts in a way that pushes your itemized deductions beyond the standard deduction threshold, you may generate extra tax savings.

  • Tax-Free IRA Distributions. Taxpayers aged 70½ or older can make distributions from an IRA directly to charity without the distributions being treated as taxable income to the IRA owner. In addition, if the donor must take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from the IRA, the charitable distribution can count toward the RMD.

During this season of giving, know that your support is important to us, and we welcome the chance to help you plan a gift that will deliver optimum overall benefits. Just contact Kathryn Strand, Director of Development & Communications at or 207-910-6371 to arrange a time to talk.

Photography by Ray Yeager.

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