To itemize or not itemize? Either way a question with great answers for charity

To itemize or not itemize? Either way a question with great answers for charity

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was the first major legislative change to the tax code since 1986. While many of its’ changes left how the charitable deduction worked unchanged, the doubling of the standard deduction is predicted to reduce the percentage of taxpayers who itemize from 30% to 10% which effectively removes two-thirds of taxpayers who could have used the charitable deduction in 2017.  This reduction has made many taxpayers in 2018 to ask the question of whether to itemize or not itemize their deductions.  The good news is that there are still great taxwise ways to give to charity, either way, you answer that question. Idea to consider if you don’t itemize- gift from your IRA If you are 70 ½, you are able to make a charitable contribution, up to $100,000, to a public charity of your IRA and not incur the distribution as taxable income.  You are not able to deduct the amount as a charitable contribution (but you would not be able to anyway as you are not itemizing your deductions) nor can you contribute it to a donor advised or a private foundation.  Please know that these are just the basic details and you will need to discuss this technique with your advisor before implementing.  And good minds differon the value of this strategy.  Idea to consider if you do itemize- bunching a gift to a donor advised fund If you are going to itemize your deductions this year, and might not do so next year, then you should consider a donor advised fund(DAF).  With a DAF, you are able to claim...
Panel Discussion: Local Planned Giving Experts Strike Upbeat Tone about New Tax Law

Panel Discussion: Local Planned Giving Experts Strike Upbeat Tone about New Tax Law

Fundraisers nationwide have sounded alarms about how the Trump Administration’s new tax law will affect philanthropic giving.  But at least three local experts don’t seem overly concerned. On May 17, a capacity lunchtime crowd attended a panel discussion sponsored jointly by AFP and the Planned Giving Council.  The panel answered national speculation that the law’s higher standard deduction will would reduce many taxpayers’ motivation to itemize their taxes, and thereby take away a powerful inducement to charitable giving. The speculation was a launching point for panelists Andrew W. Hibel (Charitable Catalyst and Founder of The Advise Us Foundation), Julie Quinlan Brame (Campaign Consultant, Milwaukee Public Museum) and Kathy Kielar (Senior Director, Major & Planned Gifts at WTTW|WFMT. Chicago). The panelists encouraged the crowd with three main takeaways: For all donors who choose to itemize, the law should have a negligible effect on giving motivation The new law will likely only affect donors of moderate-size gifts because larger donors will likely continue to itemize Because of the tax cut, all donors are likely to have more capacity to give Read the full article...
The New Tax Law’s Effect on Charitable Giving: Separating Fact from Speculation

The New Tax Law’s Effect on Charitable Giving: Separating Fact from Speculation

The rules of the game are largely unchanged – it’s just that many taxpayers won’t be playing anymore The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is the legislative centerpiece of President Trump’s first year in office.  The law increases the standard deduction, likely reducing taxpayers’ motivation to itemize deductions. While experts differ, most expect this change to have a negative effect on charitable giving.  Donors who care about the mission and futures of the nonprofits they support should pay attention to what’s a fact, and what’s speculation, about the potential effects of this far-reaching act. Speculation:  The act will limit charitable giving. No one knows the answer to this question – in fact, I suggest that no one knows if we’ll ever know!  The effect will not be apparent soon, and when it arrives will very likely be buried amid other economic factors:  a continued strong economy (and sustained donations) may suggest to some that there is no effect, while a troubled economy might exaggerate any interpretation.  Trying to ferret out the law’s effect might be akin to trying to figure out which specific drink caused your hangover. Since a conclusive answer to the overall effect may be hard to come by, maybe the best strategy for scrambling nonprofits is to understand that itemization (and charitable giving) will continue to be a case by case decision for every donor.  There’s nothing new about that – the key, as always, will be to send clear messages and build strong relationships (though perhaps with a bit more urgency than ever before).  The tax law might leave a hole in your...
Strategic Planning and Development: Marital Bliss or Shotgun Wedding?

Strategic Planning and Development: Marital Bliss or Shotgun Wedding?

When your nonprofit organization’s CEO says “Do you take this strategic plan to have and to hold?,” can you say “I do!” with conviction? Being called upon to fund strategies that did not fully consider donors and development is justifiably every fundraiser’s nightmare. There should be a symbiosis between an organization’s strategic plans and its fundraising expectations, but that’s not always the case. Using real-world, cautionary tales of planning processes that succeeded or went awry and how fundraisers responded, this session equips organization executives, board members and development leaders with the perspective they need to ensure that strategic plans drive fundraising success – and vice versa. Join us for this free, 2-hour seminar, May 14, 9:00 am – 11:00 am presented by Doug Diefenbach, Principal, Diefenbach Communications Strategies Forefront, 208 South LaSalle Street, #1540  Chicago, IL Click here to reserve your spot today!  Doug Diefenbach is an accomplished consultant with special expertise in the area of nonprofit and philanthropic marketing. For more than 30 years, in both executive and consulting roles, he has helped a wide range of organizations to develop, meet and exceed their goals for strategic alignment, brand visibility, constituent engagement and philanthropic...
The Advise Us Fund is now Advise Us Foundation – different name but same mission to aspire nonprofits and inspire philanthropists

The Advise Us Fund is now Advise Us Foundation – different name but same mission to aspire nonprofits and inspire philanthropists

The Advise Us Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that strives to help small and medium-sized charities fulfill their important missions and provide life’s essential needs to those of us in our community who are most at risk. We do so by showing organizations a sustainable pathway for ongoing support.  The Advise Us Foundation promotes a more democratic use of sophisticated donor-advised and planned giving tools and offers partnerships with non-profits to work hands-on with them and teach them how to work with these valuable tools.  We also offer free educational programs to inform staff and volunteers how they can bring these tools to their own organizations. In addition, Advise Us Foundation works closely with the generous donors inspired by those organizations, helping them design their philanthropy through planned gifts and donor-advised funds. Contact us today to learn how we can partner with your nonprofit to help you reach your...