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· Choose a reputable organization. Never give to an organization without first knowing its purpose and effectiveness. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance (http://www.give.org/) can help you evaluate your options.
· Budget for donations. Systematic gifts spread throughout the year may help donors give more than if they give a one-time gift based on their financial leftovers.
· Keep good records. To deduct donations for tax purposes, people must keep an appropriate record of their contributions. The type and value of one's gift may require specific forms of acknowledgement from the recipient organization. For details, see Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 526 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf).
· Take advantage of tax benefits. In order for a charitable donation to be tax-deductible, the charity must be recognized by the IRS as a qualified organization. Most organizations can confirm their status or you can verify independently at IRS.gov.
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· Give generously and wisely. From wills, living trusts, charitable gift annuities, endowments and mini-foundations, to gifts of appreciated stock, retirement funds or real estate, there are many vehicles through which individuals can make charitable gifts.
Special care should be given when determining the option that meets one's financial circumstances. Gifting some assets to IRS-recognized charities may potentially reduce capital gains tax. Life insurance may also be an excellent option to magnify a gift.
· Consult with experts. Always consult with a financial, legal and/or tax professional before putting a gifting plan into action.
When moved to make a difference, donors should remember there are many options for making a financial gift. Just be sure to explore the options and enlist appropriate support along the way. By fully planning a charitable gift, a person can ensure their head and their heart are satisfied.
This column was prepared by Thrivent Financial for your local representatives' use.
Thrivent Financial is represented in the local area by the Blue Ridge Group of Thrivent Financial, which includes Charles H. Leiser with offices at 1340 Maple Avenue SW, Roanoke, Va., and can be reached at (540)491-9993.
Thrivent Financial is looking for talented individuals to join the organization. Those interested in a career with Thrivent Financial can visit www.thrivent.com/careers.
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About Thrivent Financial
Thrivent is a not-for-profit membership organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. It offers its more than 2 million member-owners a broad range of products, services and guidance nationwide. For more than a century it has helped members make wise money choices that reflect their values while providing them opportunities to demonstrate their generosity where they live, work and worship. For more information, visit Thrivent.com (http://www.thrivent.com/). You can also find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thrivent/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/thrivent/).
Insurance products issued or offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Not all products are available in all states. Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415, a FINRA and SIPC member and a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent. Thrivent Financial representatives are registered representatives of Thrivent Investment Management Inc. They are also licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent. For additional important information, visit Thrivent.com/disclosures.
Blue Ridge Group of Thrivent Financial
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