Revisit philanthropic goals

Published 2:40 pm Friday, December 18, 2009

Aside from the personal satisfaction involved in charitable giving, there are other, rather practical reasons for thinking about your philanthropic goals as the year ends.

One, of course, is the possible tax benefit you might realize.

But there is also a case to be made for using the end of the year as a convenient reminder that it is wise to periodically re-evaluate charitable efforts.

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You naturally re-evaluate your portfolio from time to time, and there is no reason not to give your charitable-giving plan the same kind of attention.

Are your gifts accomplishing what you intend?

Are your contributions directed to the appropriate recipient organizations?

Charitable goals in action

Assessing whether your philanthropy still reflects your goals and your objectives is a key part of any re-evaluation.

Have they changed under the effects of time and circumstance?

Are there new philanthropic directions you would like to explore?

Are your contributions being appropriately spent? That is, are the recipient organizations making use of your gifts in the manner you imagined?

Personnel and organizations can change over the years, so it’s worth checking that your contributions are being put to work as you had envisaged.

A year-end review can prompt you to ensure your giving is in line with your financial goals.

Financial circumstances change. Family needs change.

A buoyant financial picture might lead you to increase your contributions, for example, or you might consider re-orienting your gifts to a purpose that would be more meaningful to you and your family.

And there are other ways to give beyond cash.

You might consider volunteering your time or donating securities—or perhaps you own some real property that might serve a vital community purpose.

A year-end review of your charitable goals need not result in any changes.

Change isn’t the objective. Rather, it is to satisfy yourself that your philanthropic goals are being met in every aspect.

If you wish to discuss your charitable goals and how to achieve them, please give me a call.