Importance of Charitable Giving

Americans continued to generously support their charitable organizations as charitable gifts in 2007 exceed $300 for the first time as evidenced below

Recipients of these gifts were as follows:

Charitable Giving Table 2

Perhaps the greatest significance of these statistics is that over a quarter of a trillion dollars flowed through individual income tax returns in the form of charitable contribution deductions in 2007.

The tax economics of philanthropy only reduces the costs of transactions taxpayers should otherwise undertake for non-tax motives.  Taxpayers lacking charitable inclination are unlikely to be motivated to make gifts based on tax savings alone.

The array of charitable giving vehicles is vast.  There is generally a type of gift that will meet a specified need.  No single type of charitable vehicle will meet all needs, however.  Frequently, meeting all of a donor's needs requires using a combination of these vehicles.

The prudent advisor will establish his client’s personal objectives, non-charitable and charitable, for the gift and select the necessary giving vehicles that will meet those objectives.

The remaining pages of this thread will highlight some of the various giving vehicles.

©2008 Ronnie C. McClure, PhD, CPA