No matter what your resolutions are, chances are... you want to make 2018 your most impactful giving year yet. And guess what? You can. Turns out, a little bit of strategic planning can go a long way.
Whether you’re working on your first giving plan or your fifteenth, we’ve come up with a few thought starters to approach this year in a new, meaningful way. By looking back at 2017, we’ll dig a little deeper to figure out what matters to you most, and let that drive your charitable giving this year.
Start by pulling together your financial records for last year’s giving and a list of your volunteer activities. Then ask yourself the following questions—by the time you’re done, you’ll have laid the groundwork for your 2018 giving plan.
Your 2018 Giving Plan: Thought Starters
Why do I give?
- What’s important to me—and why?
- Did I support lots of charitable organizations or focus on just a few? Are they larger, well-established charities or smaller ones?
- What about this year—do I care about the same causes or has something changed?
- Which of my 2017 gifts gave me the most joy? Which made me feel my gift really mattered?
- Looking back on 2017, are there things I’d like to do differently this year?
Are my goals short-term, long-term, or both?
- Where did I spend my time and money last year? Does this line up with the causes that mean the most to me?
- How much do I want to budget this year?
- Are there causes or organizations that I want to support year after year? How much do I want to give each one?
- Are there larger gifts for special projects that mean a great deal to me?
- Should I set aside some money for smaller, on-the-spot gifts to help local kids with school fundraisers and other similar requests?
Is there a simpler, more strategic way to give?
- How and when did I make my gifts last year? Were there lots of one-time payments, made via check or credit card?
- Did I find myself scrambling to make gifts in time to meet the year-end tax deadline?
- Is it time to simplify my charitable giving—and my recordkeeping? For instance, how difficult was it to pull together my receipts and other giving records for this charitable giving review?
- Do I want to make a bigger impact with my giving? Should I consider a donor-advised fund?
When it comes down to it, no matter why you give or where you give, how you give can have a huge impact. That’s why you should consider a donor-advised fund, like the Giving Fund from TIAA Charitable.
A Giving Fund works like a personal fund dedicated to your charitable giving. Instead of writing multiple checks to individual charities, you contribute everything to one simple Giving Fund. And, you may be eligible for a tax deduction.
Recommend grants from your Giving Fund to your favorite charities—on a time frame that works for you. While you decide, your contributions are invested with the potential to grow tax-free and make a bigger impact. That makes a Giving Fund a great way to save for a major gift to an organization you really care about.
All paperwork—check writing, receipts and year-end recordkeeping—is taken care of. So you can focus more of your energy on making a difference.