As we discussed last week, giving of your time and making donations to charitable organizations is a good way to make the most of your resources. However, you can maximize the effect of your charitable contributions when you use sound financial planning principles to plot out your donations.
Here are some ways that you can make your donations more effective-
Consider the connection. Do you want your impact to go beyond writing a check? Think about getting involved by donating time and money.
On the other hand, remember that giving doesn’t mean you are obligated to sign up for unsolicited communication. You can include a note with your donation asking that they not contact you via mail more than one a year, that they not call and that they not share your name with other organizations.
Put your investments to work. You can donate appreciated stock. Or you can take advantage of the opportunity to give a tax-free gift of up to $100,000 from your IRA.
Talk to a financial planner about how you can do this.
Be charitable in your giving. Few charitable organizations can afford to turn away monetary gifts, but remember that charities have administrative costs associated with each donor, so keep this in mind when you consider whether to give small donations to a number of charities or larger donations to a few charities. Charitable giving is not like investing—you do not have to diversify for maximum returns.
Pass it on. As long as being anonymous is not of great importance, you can get children and other family members involved so your family can start a tradition of giving. You can increase the impact of your donations if you encourage others to give as well.