How We Gave Away $100,000

Table of Contents

Giving Away $100,000 and Making it Rely

My husband and I’ve by no means been percentage-of-income donors. As an alternative, we select greenback quantities that really feel cheap (however could stretch us) and organizations aligned with our values.

Our giving themes give attention to 4 principal areas: girls’s rights and schooling, monetary literacy, supporting the households of enlisted troops (my husband is a former helicopter pilot for the Navy), and animal welfare. We began monitoring our charitable giving just a few years after we married:

  • In 2014, we gave a mixed $2,750 throughout two organizations. The next yr, that quantity elevated to a complete of $3,380 throughout three organizations. 
  • In 2017, we dedicated to a two-year giving pledge that stretched us financially however noticed our giving soar to $8,790; in 2018, it went to $16,884 throughout ten organizations (however 4 causes) all year long. 
  • In 2019, we opened a Donor Advised Fund and commenced including property for future grant-making, whereas additionally persevering with to provide to causes necessary to us in actual time.
  • Our annual giving has remained regular since 2018 and we closed out 2022 with annual donations at $21,660, bringing our complete since 2014 to $104,600. 

Setting Targets for Giving and Monitoring Progress

Trying on the annual breakdown, what you actually see once we speak about giving six-figures away is the cumulative influence of setting targets and monitoring progress alongside the way in which. For us, giving is concerning the journey and never the vacation spot. 

So how can we truly go about it? We put aside funds every month into an account marked for donations. We use a few of these funds all year long for quick causes that pop up – serving to our cleansing girl together with her automotive troubles or a GoFundMe marketing campaign for tales that hit our hearts – and we donate bigger chunks through the fourth quarter of the yr. 

We search for influence once we make our grants and donations: reflecting on the kind of assist a donation may present, the burden being lifted off of a household, or an schooling being offered. As an alternative of donating to “basic” funds, we direct our funds in the direction of particular points being focused by a non-profit. 

I additionally maintain observe of every entity we’ve donated to (whether or not a non-profit, GoFundMe, or a examine to a buddy) not simply as a document of what we’ve given, but additionally as a “reverse bucket record” of kinds. Sitting down on the finish of every yr and seeing what we’ve given all year long (and in years previous), together with our cumulative efforts, motivates us to maintain going and to additional the influence we make. 

The Advantages of a Donor-Suggested Fund (DAF)

In recent times, our donor-advised fund has develop into a much bigger matter in our household. Our children are nonetheless younger however our objective is to incorporate them in conversations round giving to know why we give (and the way fortunate we’re to be ready to take action). Once they’re older, they’ll be introduced additional into the giving dialog; we’ll use that chance to discover their distinctive values and methods their giving can create influence of their lives and for the causes they care about. 

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are a versatile and tax-efficient software for charitable giving. They allow you to donate money and appreciated property similar to shares, mutual funds, or actual property and obtain the complete tax deduction on your charitable donation (whereas skipping any capital beneficial properties taxes you might have owed on the property). When the time comes to provide funds to a professional charity, you don’t owe any taxes on the donations. 

Moreover, once you contribute to a DAF, your contributions are invested and might develop over time. Then, once you’re prepared, you request a grant from these funds to charities of your alternative. Basically, DAFs are a technique to each make investments and donate in an intentional and impactful approach. 

The right way to Get Began

It’s necessary to keep in mind that your giving journey, identical to your monetary plan, will probably be distinctive to you. It needs to be custom-made to your funds, targets, and values. That mentioned, you have to all the time keep in mind to examine off your baseline monetary targets first like emergency fund, retirement financial savings, and paying down debt. While you’re able to get began, keep in mind:

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