Get a 2010 Deduction But Give it Away in 2011

It’s the most common question I get at this time of year:  what do I need to do to get my 2010 deduction?

For many who know exactly what charity they want to support the answer is simple:  you only need to make sure your check is postmarked on or before December 31, 2010.  On the other hand, for those who feel like they’ve already fulfilled their commitment to existing charities the answer is more difficult.

I find many families in this predicament.  Accordingly, they find themselves—in their words—“dumping” money on charities.  Even worse, some of these charities are organizations with whom they are not even familiar.  Some, rather than “dumping money,” will forgo the gift altogether.

There is a better way:  donor advised funds.  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.

A donor advised fund may be set up online.  Better yet, all your giving may be done online.  We continue to see an increasing number of people who are doing all their giving through their donor advised fund.  The benefit of this form of giving is that you can give to multiple charities and get one tax receipt at year end.  It simplifies your life.  Churches appreciate the online giving as well because no matter where you may be traveling, your check will still go to the church.

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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