It’s Good to Give

Published: November 28, 2023

Why it’s Good to Give

With the onset of the holidays, there’s a surge in giving and support for causes close to our hearts. From National Philanthropy Day, on November 15th, to Giving Tuesday, on November 28, 2023, and throughout December, which has been designated as National Giving Month, a wave of generosity sweeps through communities. According to data from Neon One, a provider of charitable giving platform technology, up to 20% of annual giving by individuals takes place during December, often concentrated in the final days of the year.

Giving is Good for Everyone Involved

Philanthropy isn’t just an act of kindness; it’s a gift that benefits everyone involved. Research, including insights from Cleveland Clinic, finds giving can enhance your physical and mental well-being. Generosity can trigger chemicals that elevate happiness, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and potentially lessen feelings of depression.  Remarkably, studies have even shown that individuals who volunteer tend to live longer.

However, before you make a philanthropic gift, a mindful approach is essential. Here are some tips to help you give wisely:

Purposeful Giving:  Align your contributions with your family values or interests. Perhaps you’ve been involved in the arts or care deeply about social or health-related issues. Finding a cause or an organization that reflects your focus can help you feel a deeper sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Due Diligence: Most causes are genuine. The prevalence of fraud, however, particularly of a cyber nature, calls for caution. Verify the legitimacy of an organization by checking its registration as a tax-exempt entity (typically designated a 501 (c) (3)). The IRS database allows you to search by organization name or EIN and obtain useful information and return filings, including Form 990. You’ll also find valuable insights into an organization’s mission, management compensation, and financials. Other useful sources are Charity Navigator and GuideStar, which track data on charitable organizations worldwide and can also provide information on how much of your donation ends up going to the cause after fundraising, administrative, and other expenses.

Focused Contributions: There are thousands of worthwhile causes, and it can be difficult to resist responding positively to all the solicitations you receive. However, carefully selecting charities that hold deep significance for you is more effective and impactful than spreading donations thinly across too many organizations.

Family Engagement: It’s never too early to involve the next generation in giving back. Encourage your children and grandchildren to donate a portion of their allowance, monetary gifts, or earnings to instill the importance of being part of the greater community.  Volunteering as a family can provide an opportunity for bonding and offers firsthand experience of the impact giving back can have.

Make the most of your giving: There are many ways to give, ranging from direct cash donations to gifts of appreciated securities to more complex structures, such as foundations and donor-advised funds. Determining the most appropriate strategy for your situation depends on several factors, which include:

  • The amount of your gift
  • The timing of your gift
  • How long you want to maintain your giving
  • The purpose of your gift
  • Your individual tax and legal situation

At KF Advisors, we work with you and your legal and accounting experts to develop a long-term philanthropic plan that aligns with your objectives, circumstances, and preferences. To learn more about how we can help you and your family achieve your charitable goals, please contact us at 212.492.7000 or info@klingenstein.com.

Important Disclosures

This material is provided for informational or educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, accounting, tax or legal advice. Always consult a financial, tax and/or legal professional regarding your specific situation. This communication is not intended as a recommendation or as investment advice of any kind. It is not provided in a fiduciary capacity and may not be relied upon for or in connection with the making of investment decisions. Nothing herein constitutes or should be construed as an offering of advisory services or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any securities or a recommendation to invest in any specific investment strategy. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. The views expressed herein are as of a particular point in time and are subject to change without notice. The information and opinions presented herein are general in nature and have been obtained from, or are based on, sources believed by Klingenstein Fields Advisors (“KF Advisors’) to be reliable, but KF Advisors makes no representation as to their accuracy or completeness. Although the information provided is carefully reviewed, KF Advisors cannot be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss resulting from applying any of the information provided. KF Advisors represents two investment advisers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission: Klingenstein, Fields & Co., L.P. and KF Group, LP. If you are a KF Advisors client, please remember that it remains your responsibility to advise KF Advisors, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services.