One question that comes to mind when thinking about giving is how much?  How does one determine the correct amount of a gift?  It’s a personal decision, there are no right or wrong answers.  Giving is a popular topic around the holidays, here’s some considerations that work now and all year round.

Consider what you want to accomplish.  Your generosity goes further when you think strategically about what’s possible with your gift.  Will it be a financial gift, your time, or a combination of both?  Organizations often need more volunteers to assist with their mission and various service projects.  Sometimes giving your time is the best resource of all.

Financial gifts may be made from income and assets.  Determining what works best for your family and the charity often requires planning.  A review of your balance sheet may identify company stock that doesn’t serve a job description and may be an asset worth gifting.  IRA distributions for those over the age of 70 ½ may be directed to qualified charitable organizations.  When giving from income, consider the frequency of your gift.  It may be easier to give monthly from cash flow than waiting to the end of the year to make a lump sum donation.

Updating your financial plan each year may identify what’s possible from a charitable perspective with the resources you have. It’s a balancing act between covering essential and discretionary expenses in addition to the other goals you have.  You don’t want to give too much too early, nor should you wait until your death bed to make an impact on others.

When a donor sees the impact of their gift, they are more likely to continue giving.  When families give to organizations and include their children in the decision-making process it leaves a lasting impact.  These values stick and have an influence on children of all ages.  It also sends a message that “our family has enough” and we can help others with our gift.  The size of the gift doesn’t matter as much as the act of giving.  All of this is made possible by knowing what “enough” means.

Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Flowerstone Financial are not affiliated.

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