Entering the Thanksgiving season, I often find myself focusing more on the first half of the word, thanking God for His many blessings. Certainly reflecting on our blessings and giving thanks to God is an honorable part of this holiday, but this season is also a great time to assess your giving plans and consider how to instill the love of giving in your children. Here are some strategies on how to maximize your giving dollars and teach your children to live generously.
1. Donor Advised Fund (DAF). By utilizing a donor advised fund, you can simplify the administrative time in keeping up with where you gave and reduce your tax preparation bill. Instead of giving to multiple ministries, you give to your DAF and then distribute gifts from that fund. You receive a tax donation at the time the donation is made into the DAF. Locally, the National Christian Foundation of Alabama has a DAF and also provides great resources on giving.
2. Giving Plan. If you live on a salary, your giving may be regular and predictable. However, for those who receive compensation from bonuses, commissions or stock options, your giving may be less predictable. By establishing a giving plan ahead of time, you can better ensure that you spread your dollars across evangelization, social justice, education and other charitable needs. By creating a plan, you can also teach your children how to perform appropriate due diligence to ensure that the ministries are efficiently using your gift to achieve their ministry purpose.
3. Matching Gifts Programs. Many companies have matching gift programs. Utilizing these programs can increase your giving by 100% in the same way that the 401(k) match provides a 100% return on your initial savings! Also, consider creating a matching gift program with your children for their giving. Find a ministry that is either ministering to them or one that they have shown interest in, and match their gift. For adult children, consider starting a DAF for them and matching the gifts that they contribute.
4. Appreciated Assets (Stock & Real Estate). When you give appreciated assets, you do not have to pay the gain on the assets and you get a tax deduction for the fair market value of the asset. While many people understand that they can do this with stock, most do not realize that they can accomplish this same objective with other appreciated assets such as real estate. Using a DAF here is a great idea as gifting stock to one organization which can then distribute the gifts and requires much less paperwork than gifting to multiple charities.
5. God’s Promises. Take time to reflect on God’s Promises to those who give. One of my favorites is Psalm 37:25-26, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children are blessed.” Other great verses to study are Psalm 37:21, Psalm 112:5, Prov. 11:25, Prov. 22:9 and 2 Corinthians 9:1-7.
By being a generous and wise giver, you can bless your children by teaching them to give in the same wise manner.
-Mike Mungenast Vision Financial Group
Investment advisory services offered through Investment Advisors, a division of ProEquities, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through ProEquities Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC. Vision Financial Group, Inc. is independent of ProEquities, Inc.