Last Minute Year End Giving Suggestions

Joe and Susie called me the other day.  They weren’t negligent.  It’s just the way things work out for them.  They run their own business, and their business distributes just enough for them to cover their taxes and take home a salary.

But like many, they plan to make a large distribution to cover their year end expenses but also their giving.  Their accountant knows that every year its like this.  They need to know estimated taxes, estimated profits, and accordingly they want to make a final determination on how much to give.

Joe and Susie also know that they’ve got a handful of ministries that they’d like to bless with a gift.  But they also know that there are monies that they’d like to give that are over and above the organizations they’ve chosen.  So what do they do?  Run out and find a new organization or should they give more to one organization than they’ve planned?  What’s the solution?

A donor advised fund. A donor advised fund can be set up online and in a few minutes.  With a donor advised fund, the contribution is made in 2010, but the donor still keeps the right to recommend where the distributions will go in 2011 and beyond.  It is give now, deduct now and distribute later.

This simple form of giving has become so popular that it is now the most common giving vehicle next to cash.  Joe and Susie need only make sure their check is postmarked on December 31 and they’ll still enjoy their 2010 deduction without the pressure of determining exactly where the dollars must go.

A donor advised fund may be set up via

William F. High is the President of the Servant Christian Community Foundation (  Servant’s mission is to inspire, teach and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity.  He may be reached at

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