Better Giving: Maximize the effectiveness of your donations.

Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

Assess charities for their effectiveness. Identify the best ways for you to donate. Save taxes.

Better Giving is a labor of love project of mine. Click here for a course description. You can take the course for free at the following sites:



Course Downloadable Materials

Your Values: Helps you assess your values so you can find organizations to support those values.

Charitable Organization Information Websites: This is a list of sites that provide information on thousands of organizations. All have searchable databases with lots of information about different organizations. Some have ranking systems to rate the organizations. You have to decide if their ranking system matches your criteria for defining impact.

Giving Plan: The course explains each of the components of this plan and what you want to consider.

IRS Tax Resources for Charitable Giving: The IRS has excellent resources on tax deductions for your donations. IRS Publication 561 explains the rules for determining the value of donated goods. Another thing to remember is that the organization you give cash or goods to must be a qualified nonprofit for you to be able to take a tax deduction. You can research this on the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search site. The link for that is in this document.

Action Steps: This has a list of steps that you can take next to turn your giving plan into action. You want a plan that’s appropriate for your specific circumstances. For many of these steps, you want to work with a tax advisor, attorney, or financial planner.

Course Description

We all want to make a difference with our giving. This course explores ways to ensure your giving makes a difference. I’ll show you ways to give that provide more dollars to your favorite organizations and may save you money on taxes.

This course will provide valuable resources on giving. You’ll develop a giving plan that supports what you value most while potentially saving taxes or taking care of your family. Tax discussions in this course focus on United State income and estate taxes.

The course is divided into four sections that each ask an important question about giving.

Who should I give to?

You’ll clarify the values and causes most important to you. Knowing your values helps you pick organizations that support those values. I show you how to find organizations and how to evaluate how good they are at fulfilling their mission.

What should I give?

I’ll explain the pros and cons of giving cash, donated goods, and investments. Giving isn’t limited to money or assets. You can also volunteer at organizations and buy from for-profit companies that support your values.

How should I give?

You have many options besides giving directly to charities. These options may give you tax savings. One very popular option that’s growing quickly is donor advised funds. Other options discussed in this course include foundations, charitable trusts, charitable gift annuities and pooled income funds.

I’ll also discuss the pros and cons of designating your funds or leaving them undesignated so the organization can choose the best use of the funds.

When should I give?

I show you how batching donations could increase your tax deductions. You may be able to save taxes by donating your IRA funds. Wills and life insurance are two ways to provide significant gifts to leave a legacy to your favorite charities.

The goal of this course is not to encourage you to give more or change who you’re giving to. This course is a labor of love to help people make better giving decisions. Better giving allows you to increase the impact of your giving and make our world a better place.