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Charity Spotlight

Year-End Giving – So Many Options!

December is always a big month for charitable organizations and nonprofits nationwide. Up to 30% or more of their annual income can come from gifts received during this period, so you can understand why you are being inundated with urgent requests and pitches all designed to earn your support!

There are many ways to give. Here’s a quick sampling of options, some of which may be new to you. One quick piece of advice that any of us who have worked in the field will tell you -- speak with your financial planner, C.P.A. or tax preparer to get the latest read on current tax regulations affecting your gift.

Direct Gifts

Save yourself a stamp, do it online via their website or via your own bank payables system. And don’t forget sustaining gifts, usually taken monthly from your checking account or credit card.

Planned Gifts

So many reasons to consider this option. And so many ways to do it! Leave a legacy when you’re gone. The impact can be incalculable.

Workplace Giving

Still working? Check with your HR or Accounting Department about paycheck deductions.

Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD)

Distributions from your IRA or Retirement Account.

Securities (Stocks or Bonds)

May be able to be sent electronically from your broker directly to the charity. Your deductible amount will be based on the net proceeds once the asset has been liquidated.

And don’t forget those big-ticket tangibles like Real Estate (homes, cabins, lots) and Vehicles (Cars, Commercial Vehicles, RV’s). Check with the receiving charity first to see if they accept these items.

I always tell my friends and family to start thinking about year-end gifts in September, before the onslaught of emails, texts, phone calls and direct mail, starting in late October, or earlier. Charities know your giving patterns, your preferred method of giving and often your preferred focus areas. But it’s up to you to review all of those decisions annually before you give. Instead of making dozens of small gifts to anyone who asks, maybe it’s time to focus on 2-3 organizations that speak to you or have affected your friends or family. Imagine the impact you can have by making a $1000 to one organization vs. the dozens of smaller gifts you may be giving to several others. And take the time to review your charity’s website to get a feel for their priorities and needs, or pick up the phone and give them a call. I guarantee you, you’ll get a call back from a staffer grateful for an opportunity to speak with you!

Tucson, and especially foothill residents, are some of the most generous donors in the country. December is a key month to make those gifts count. Take the time to make wise choices. Your largesse will have the power to change lives. Happy Holidays to all!

Our Charity Spotlight column is designed to inform you about Tucson’s highly respected 501c-3 organizations. I always recommend potential clients, volunteers and/or donors access further information via the charity’s own website, of via independent watch organizations like GuideStar, Charity Navigator, GreatNonprofits or Charity Watch, all available online.

You can direct 100% of your tax dollars to a specific local charitable organizations. 

The tax-credit program is out there, waiting for you to act. Imagine $800 to a local school or youth group that you care about! Huge impact. And it is a click away.

For those who missed it: The Arizona Department of Revenue provides two separate tax credits for individual Arizona taxpayers who make contributions to specific charitable organizations: one for donations to Qualifying Charitable Organizations (QCO) and the second for donations to Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations (QFCO). Individuals making cash donations to these charities may claim these tax credits on their Arizona Personal Income Tax returns.  Taxpayers must use the “QCO Code” or “QFCO Code” of certified organizations to claim the tax credits. The maximum credit allowed is $800 for married filing joint filers and $400 for single, heads of household and married filing separate filers. Check out this link!