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...
Tzedakah, Sadaka, Dāna, Charity: Traditions in Giving

Tzedakah, Sadaka, Dāna, Charity: Traditions in Giving

Over the past 10 days Jews around the world, myself included, observed the High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. During these days, I along with countless others, turned our thoughts towards Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and Tzedakah (charity). Between the trio of powerful hurricanes that ripped through the Caribbean and the southeastern United States, powerful earthquakes devastating neighboring Mexico, and the ongoing struggles of poverty, poaching, and refugees in central Africa, there is no shortage of need around the world. As I reflected on my own faith traditions of helping those in need, I was prompted to think about what other faith traditions say about charitable giving, especially during their highest holy days. Uniting Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism (amongst other things) is charitable giving. Here are some thoughts on charitable giving from these traditions: For Christians, the role of charity is first built on teachings in the Hebrew Bible. However, in addition to Hebrew teachings of performing mitzvahs are lessons in the New Testament. Jesus’s parables and actions also speak to the morality of charitable sentiments. The Gospel of Luke, for example, notes “love thy neighbor as thyself” and asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” The lesson is that we are interconnected, everyone is my neighbor and thus all should be considered.    Buddhists also see the interdependence of all things and have an awareness of the helplessness of those less fortunate. Practicing selflessness in this way is thought to increase one’s own merit and is also seen as an antidote to greed. Giving is an expression of the natural qualities of kindness and compassion....
Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

As the end of the year approaches, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle of all the things to get done, the preparing, perhaps traveling, the celebrations to attend or maybe even something difficult that’s keeping your attention. Through all of this, we hope you can take pause and just ponder all of the things that you have to be thankful for.  Today, we are doing just that, and we can certainly look to YOU with such appreciation and thanks for your interest in or support of The Advise Us Fund.  It’s been a tremendous year, and all that we are doing to work to help others and fulfill our mission would not be possible without your support. We hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and many good wishes as we embark on 2017! From generation to generation,   The Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers of The Advise Us...
Why Giving Tuesday Should Be Part of Your Giving Plan

Why Giving Tuesday Should Be Part of Your Giving Plan

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 in a partnership by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation to create an international day of giving during the busy holiday shopping season. Since 2012, Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday) has become a powerful movement supporting giving and creating a culture of philanthropy.   Since its inception, charities have seen large increases in both donor participation and dollars given per-donation. In 2015, charities saw a 155% increase in donations over 2014, bringing in over $117 million dollars. While that represents only a fraction of annual giving to charities, it does represent the largest single day of online giving. Giving Tuesday is helping charities increase the number of donors and reach the increasingly important millennial generation. The social nature of giving on Giving Tuesday makes it a great way to introduce charitable giving to children and teens.   So, this coming Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2016, take a moment to give to your favorite charities. If you have the money to spare, start up a donor-advised fund. It makes giving easy, it makes doing your taxes easier without the need to keep track of various tax receipt letters, and it forces you to think about how much you want to give in total, rather than to any given recipient. The Advise Us Fund is itself a 501(c)3 non-profit and you can donate to us here or contact our...
Cycling Advocacy Veterans Seeking to Secure Their Legacy Look to Planned Giving as a Viable Tool

Cycling Advocacy Veterans Seeking to Secure Their Legacy Look to Planned Giving as a Viable Tool

The Active Transportation Alliance partnered with The Advise Us Fund to offer expanded giving options to donors. This new partnership will go a long way in supporting Active Trans in its future development and planned giving efforts. Chicago, IL, June 23, 2016 –(PR.com)— Cycling advocacy has deep roots going back more than 40 years. As such, the early pioneers of this movement are looking to secure the future of the cycling movement through planned giving and major gifts and bequests. This shift in development strategy balances traditional annual giving and long-term planned giving to meet the needs of cycling advocates looking to secure the legacy of their life’s work. The Active Transportation Alliance partnered with The Advise Us Fund to offer expanded giving options to donors. This new partnership will go a long way in supporting Active Trans in its future development and planned giving efforts. Recognizing that both organizations work to achieve a similar goal, Active Trans is proud to partner with The Advise Us Fund. “The sustainable transportation movement has reached a new level of maturity,” said Ron Burke, Active Trans Executive Director. “Establishing a long-term giving program for the organization is a natural development for us as we grow and evolve. And we’re thrilled to be teaming up with The Advise Us Fund in pursuit of this goal.” Furthering this partnership, “We work toward matching the interest of donors to the needs of the organization and providing outcomes to help them enhance the difference they are making.” said Amy Roy, Charitable Catalyst and Managing Director of The Advise Us Fund. “We look forward to bringing our expertise...