Tips for Charitable Giving in 2024

A new year is a great time to plan and reboot. Cliche as it may be to talk about resolutions this time of year, it’s tough to deny that the first couple months of a new year represent a clean slate for “to do” lists, goals, and your overall mindset. As you are building your charitable plans for 2024, remember that you can work with us to achieve your goals. Whether that’s supporting your favorite charities this year, accomplishing more tax-savvy ways to give, or ensuring your giving and legacy can continue far into the future, we are here to help!

As you think about your 2024 charitable giving goals and priorities, here are a few items to consider:

You may have more capacity to give to charity.

The IRS issued inflation adjustments for important thresholds such as the standard deduction, Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, annual exclusion gifts, Required Minimum Distributions, Qualified Charitable Distributions, and levels of income for each tax bracket. Talk with your advisors about how these adjustments might impact your charitable giving goals–or even create opportunities for you to do more to support your favorite causes in 2024.

You may soon get a charitable deduction even if you do not itemize.

Many eyes are on the Charitable Act, which, if passed, would allow even non-itemizers to deduct certain charitable gifts on their income tax returns. This legislation has generated strong public support; 77% of Americans are reportedly in favor of the proposed “universal” charitable deduction.

This is a good time to review your estate plan and planned giving strategy without being rushed.

The beginning of the year is an excellent time to be sure your estate plan is in order. Many people scramble at the end of the year to execute tax planning transactions, which is understandable, but this often leaves little time for a thoughtful, strategic evaluation of the various components that make up a comprehensive estate plan, including financial planning, retirement planning, tax planning, investments and wealth management, business succession planning, planning for disability, evaluating wills and trusts as children get older and needs change, and, of course, charitable planning. Some examples include:

  • A bequest in your will or trust allows you to name a charity, such as your fund at the community foundation, to receive a certain dollar amount, or a percentage of your estate, following your death. The team at the community foundation can work with you and your advisors to include a bequest in your estate plan using the proper bequest language.
  • Beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, and especially on retirement plans, can be effective tools for making bequests. The team at the community foundation can work with you and your advisors to complete the paperwork required to properly designate your fund at the community foundation as the beneficiary of life insurance or IRA assets, including reviewing with you the many tax benefits of using retirement plans to fund your bequests.
  • Setting up a charitable trust, such a charitable remainder trust, is often an effective way for you to ensure that money will flow from your estate to a charity, such as your fund at the community foundation, in a way that meets both your philanthropic intentions and your financial goals (including retaining an income stream and triggering an up-front charitable income tax deduction). A charitable gift annuity is another type of “split interest” arrangement, whereby you can retain an income stream and designate a charitable beneficiary to receive a future gift. Charitable trusts are complex, and we’re here to walk you and your advisors through the process every step of the way.

We are here to help! Please contact our team at the Fond du Lac Area Foundation. We’d love to work with you to set up planned gifts to support your favorite causes, as well as work together to ensure that you’ll meet your charitable goals for current giving in 2024 and beyond.