End of Year Charitable Giving Tips that are Helpful All Year Long

The holiday “Giving Season”—the time of year when many people make an extra effort to give to the organizations and causes they care about—is officially underway. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you think about charitable gifts:

  • Bundle Up! Give now—decide later. If you are planning for a charitable tax deduction this year but are undecided about which nonprofits to support or want to utilize a tax deduction to support future charitable giving, consider opening a donor advised fund at the Vermont Community Foundation. You can claim a deduction for contributions to your fund now even though distributions from the fund might be made in future years. A donor advised fund with the Foundation can support charitable giving in Vermont or nationwide and also features Vermont-based mission investments as part of its unique structure. 
  • Gift appreciated stock. Consider gifts of appreciated stock if you would like to make a year-end charitable gift. Selling stock will incur capital gains on the appreciation, but if you gift stock, you can receive a charitable deduction for the current market value of the stock—and eliminate the capital gains tax.*
  • Charitable IRA Rollover. Individuals 70½ years or older can donate up to $100,000 from their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) directly to a designated, regional, or topic-specific fund at the Vermont Community Foundation (some restrictions apply) or directly to a nonprofit organization. A list of funds supported by the Vermont Community Foundation is available here.
  • Need to make a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA? Consider the benefits and impact that can come from leveraging a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) instead. See our helpful tips on IRAs/QCDs.
  • Let the Community Foundation do the legwork! A Philanthropic Advisor at the Vermont Community Foundation will help you find and fund causes that align with your values and interests across Vermont – Bennington to Barre, Swanton to Springfield, Craftsbury to Colchester.
  • Create a giving plan. Staff at the Foundation can work with you to create a giving plan that reflects personal values and priorities, identifies charitable giving strategies that meet specific financial goals, as well as the specific non-profit organizations that align with those goals. This ensures that donations make the greatest impact on the causes you care about while maximizing tax advantages.
  • Know the organizations you support. While there are many worthy causes, only donations to qualified 501(c)(3) organizations are tax-deductible. If you give through the Vermont Community Foundation, we will review the status of all nonprofits prior to making a grant on your behalf and can help identify organizations that are qualified to receive a grant.

*The Foundation advises donors and fundholders to work closely with their accountant, tax advisor or financial planner to understand the deductibility of their charitable giving in the context of their personal financial circumstances. 


Giving to disaster relief and recovery? Here are some additional tips.