Unlocking Possibilities Through Year-End Giving

Categories: Donors, Philanthropy,

Imagine you want to make a difference in your community, but don’t know where to begin. As corporate counsel for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, I am fortunate to meet charitably inclined individuals on a weekly basis. I start each of my conversations with these potential donors by asking questions to gain an understanding of the causes they care most about and their motivations to give. I truly enjoy learning about their backgrounds and what brought them to our beautiful coastal community, and together we discuss how to make an impactful gift that can become their legacy plan. I believe the how and why behind charitable giving is the first step in unlocking possibilities that enable everyone to thrive in our communities.

Earlier last month, I had the chance to sit down with a donor who embodies this thoughtful process and decision-making that goes into each act of generosity. I was introduced to this individual many years ago while she and her husband were refining their estate plan, and it has been an enriching journey to build our relationship while creating a framework so that their charitable intentions can continue beyond their lifetimes. This legacy plan has been five years in the making, and will transform this donor’s dreams into reality, alongside the dreams of the many individuals they will help.

I share all this to underscore that charitable giving is just as much about the journey as it is the destination. Every step in the process – from listening to someone’s motivations to helping them discover a new perspective – is essential. With intentional planning and heartfelt guidance, everyone can be a philanthropist and better our community in profound ways.

As we close the year and consider how to map out opportunities for our community’s future, consider these year-end charitable giving tools to chart your own course for helping others realize their full potential:

  • The CARES Act | The CARES Act provides two additional charitable incentives that encourage charitable giving during the year 2021: Large Cash Gifts and Universal Charitable Deduction.
  • IRA Gifts as a Qualified Charitable Distribution | You may contribute from your IRA required minimum distribution (RMD) to a public charity, including to a scholarship fund or designated fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County or to Season of Sharing, as a qualified charitable distribution.
  • Gifting Appreciated Stock | Gifting long term appreciated stock to a donor advised fund is a way to generously support the nonprofits you care about.
  • Real Estate Gifts | Before listing real property for sale, consider gifting such real estate to a donor advised fund.
  • Business Interests | In many cases charitable planning can play a powerful role in the sale of a business.

Interested in learning more about these opportunities? You can find helpful insights and key deadlines to help guide your year-end giving strategy on our website, which I recommend you discuss with your tax advisor.

Each one of us holds a vision for a better future. How we bring about that future gives our community its unique sense of generosity. No matter how or when you give, thank you for your desire to care for others in our community so everyone can unlock their own possibilities and realize their own potential.

This column originally appeared in SRQ Daily on December 4, 2021.

About Author

Betsy Pennewill, JD

General Counsel