Why Give More to Charity This Holiday Season?

December 16, 2016

Time is Now to Open a Donor Advised Fund

(New Orleans, LA |December 15, 2016) While charitable giving is always in season, the end of 2016 is proving to be an exceptionally good time to give due to the confluence of two new developments: the stock market’s recent highs and the possibility of a future tax overhaul under the incoming administration.

With the stock market approaching record highs, there are many potential benefits of donating appreciated securities. If the stock has been held for more than a year, the donor can take a charitable tax deduction for the market value of the stock, and neither the donor nor the recipient has to pay capital gains taxes when the stock is sold. This means a bigger gift for the charity and a bigger tax savings for the donor.

There is also much speculation that the next administration will lower tax rates. Therefore, the tax savings of a gift this year may be higher than next year – and of greater value to the donor.  Additionally, the incoming administration has discussed changing the limits on itemized deductions, which could make charitable giving less valuable as a deduction in future years.

For those who want to maximize the impact of their giving, a versatile tool exists: donor advised funds administered by the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

“There is no better time than now to open a donor advised fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation,” said Andy Kopplin, president & CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.  This is how it works: you open a fund in your name or in honor of someone else; fund it with cash, securities, or other appreciated assets, receive an immediate tax deduction; and then decide later which nonprofits the money will support at a time when it’s convenient.

“Best of all,” says Kopplin, “You’re investing your philanthropic dollars right here in New Orleans. The Greater New Orleans Foundation is a local institution with a great track record of wisely managing its assets and doing good work in our region for over 30 years.”

Donor advised funds have grown tremendously in popularity over the years according to the 2016 Donor Advised Fund Report, published by the National Philanthropic Trust. “The growth in popularity of donor advised funds is an example of how generations have shifted their approach to giving,” said Eileen Heisman, CEO of the National Philanthropic Trust. “The next generation wants to be closely connected to their philanthropy, which is reflected in the double-digit growth of donor advised funds. Baby Boomers and Millennials in particular want a close connection to their philanthropy and to track their charitable impact. Donor advised funds provide the flexibility and management donors are seeking.”

The Greater New Orleans Foundation currently manages over 800 charitable funds, with the most popular being the donor advised fund.

For more information on how to open a donor advised fund, call the Greater New Orleans Foundation at (504) 598.4663 or go online at www.gnof.org.