If you have ever worked for or with a philanthropic organization, you are well aware that the calendar from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve should just say, “BUSY.” And for good reason. According to the M+R 2018 Benchmark Study, 31% of annual giving is made in December with 12% of all annual giving happening in the last three days of the year. With all that charitable giving, there are a lot of financial advisors, fundraisers and gift processors burning the midnight oil to get every penny counted before January 1.
Giving Tuesday began in 2012 as a chance to step back from the commercial consumerism that claims so much of the focus this time of year and turn our attention to philanthropic opportunities. According to the NonProfit Times, gifts to charities hit a record $274 Million on Giving Tuesday a year ago and every indication shows that 2018 should be another record-breaking year.
According to the IRS, more than 36 million people offset their 2015 tax bills by taking charitable-giving deductions. The new Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed by congress and signed into law in December increases the standard deduction that taxpayers can claim from $6,350 for single filers and $12,700 for those filing jointly to $12,000 and $24,000 respectively. Many feel that increase may lead to fewer taxpayers itemizing and a potential drop in charitable giving. But there is a way for charitable-minded individuals to continue to make gifts and get the tax breaks they’ve come to enjoy. It’s what accountants call “Bunching.”
Investment savvy individuals are taking note of the skyrocketing prices of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin over the past several months. Many may still not know much about this virtual asset or how it works, but several who have it are calling RenPSG to open Donor-Advised Funds with it and alleviating some of their tax burdens.
Rarely does a week pass without some shakeup in Washington D.C. making the headlines. Most recently, the debate over tax reform has taken center stage and on this Giving Tuesday, it is a pertinent time to examine how the proposed changes are sure to influence charitable giving practices. Investors across the country are taking note and have been making serious moves to benefit from the existing tax laws before any changes go into effect.
Study after study has shown that charitable giving trends ramp up in the fourth quarter. Bolstered by holiday spirit and the need to make gifts to avoid taxes, December is, by far, the month when individuals feel most charitable. But what about the rest of the year? While nonprofit organizations are getting flooded with donations in November and December, charitable giving tends to taper off considerably after January 1st.