Wrapping Up Your Gifts

CICF’s experts in giving share tips for making effective and meaningful gifts as 2014 draws to a close.

Giving and Receiving - Donor Tips 3

It’s that time of year again. Not-for-profit organizations share plenty of opportunities to give. Your email inbox is likely full to the brim, your mailbox stuffed with compelling letters. As you finalize your charitable gifts for 2014 in the midst of a season of generosity and facing the IRS end-of-year deadline, CICF’s philanthropic services advisors, Kelli Baumgarn and Becky Honeywell, have a few tips on making the last weeks of the years count – for you and for the community.


1. Connect to your passion.

Identify what issues matter most to you. If you’re not sure what that might be, Kelli offers two great questions to ask yourself:

  • When you read the news, what are the issues and causes that speak to you?
  • If you had a million dollars to give away, what would you do with it?

Answer those two questions, then move to tip #2!


2. Research the organizations that are making an impact in that area.

While CICF staff provides our donor-advised fund holders with a wealth of insight into local organizations, there are key steps that any donor can consider while deciding how and where to invest their giving.

  • Make sure the organization is a 501c3 and learn about the organization using tools including Guidestar.
  • Talk with the organization about how they’ve been effective in the past and how they plan to expand their impact in the future.
  • Visit and volunteer – go see the organization’s mission in action, volunteer, roll up your sleeves and really become involved.


3. Decide what kind of investment you want to make in community change.

Some donors prefer to give small amounts to many organizations, but shifting to a strategy of making deep, narrow investments can make significant impacts. Many donors feel that they have to give to many organizations each year – and end up making small gifts because of that. Consider rotating those to one or two organizations each year and donating more funds for transformational projects.


4. Make philanthropy a family affair.

Many CICF fund holders incorporate philanthropic decisions into their family calendars. Whether it is the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving or another holiday, making decisions about donations with your children can be a meaningful way to build connections and shared impact. Choose focus areas together, select organizations to donate to, and instill a spirit of generosity for generations.


5. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to give.

While many requests come at the end of the year, giving can be just as meaningful in any month. Donations can be a powerful way to invest in issues that matter to you throughout the year.

The joy of giving is available to anyone. If you’re a CICF fundholder, or would like to become one, please don’t hesitate to contact the team by calling 317-634-2423 and asking for Philanthropic Services or emailing us at wisegiving@cicf.org.

For advice with a more technical focus, read “Big Tippers” featuring year-end giving tips from members of our Professional Advisor Leadership Council and Gift Planning team.

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