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Tis the Season of Giving

With this being the season of giving, it’s the perfect time to pause and consider how you might give to those who are less fortunate. Volunteering or donating to charity is a great way to do this, but how do you reconcile giving to others while also taking care of those you love? The good news is that there are many ways to be charitable that don’t necessarily involve giving cash.

To get started, think about what stirs your heart. Is there a cause or initiative that you and your family are passionate about? Make a list and discuss it with your family. Are there activities you can do collectively? Can your children get involved? Children that learn to be generous early on develop a habit of giving that stretches far into adulthood. This can start with being of service.

Donating your time can be as important as giving monetarily. Is there a local soup kitchen, animal shelter or community event that you can volunteer for? What types of service are needed? Perhaps it's driving food to a shut-in or hanging up signs around town. There are many activities charities need help with that go undone due to lack of human resources. If you do decide to give money or goods, always make sure you receive documentation of those donations. This documentation will be important for when you complete your tax returns.

Just because you don’t think a charity has an immediate need for your goods doesn’t mean you should count that out. When giving a car, for example, the charity may sell the car rather than actually use it. This can be beneficial to them and also provide you with a nice tax deduction. There are many tax benefits to donating to charity. Working with a financial professional can help you understand the many strategies available for those willing to give. And you don’t have to be very wealthy to give back.

If you are interested, talk to a Leap professional who can discuss ideas and offer solutions that help you accomplish what you want to do. You might be surprised by how simple and beneficial some of these strategies can be for your own planning. Giving back is a reward that can’t be measured! Happy Holidays!

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