Charitable giving

How you can not only give back, but be smarter about it too.

Supporting a cause you believe in can be a hugely rewarding experience, but how you give matters as well.

Remember the adage, “It’s better to give than to receive”? With proper planning, it’s possible to do both at the same time. Before you decide to donate to a charity, use these tips to help you give smarter.

Tips to help you give smarter

1. Find the right cause for you. Make your donation count by making sure it's the right one for you. Here are some resources to help you choose a charity.

2. Do your research. If you're interested in using your donation for tax purposes, visit to find out if the charity you want to donate to is eligible to receive the tax-deductible charitable contributions. The Federal Trade Commission also has tips you'll want to review before making your donation.

3. Keep records of your donation. Many charitable organizations send an acknowledgment of your donation. If they don't, be sure to save your canceled check or credit card statement. Any charitable gifts you make before year-end may be tax-deductible for the current year.

Other ways to give back

If your plans include writing out donation checks, did you know there are other ways to give back? Here are some ideas:

  • Stock – Do you have any shares that have appreciated in value? By gifting this stock, you can avoid paying capital gain taxes. There are other tax considerations, however, so be sure to check with your tax professional before making any decisions.

  • Funds in Your IRA – A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) allows you to give directly from your Individual Retirement Account to a charity, which might satisfy any minimum distribution requirements you may have. There are age and maximum distribution rules for this type of gift, so you’ll want to discuss this strategy with your financial advisor. Also, be sure the charity meets IRS guidelines.

  • Time – Consider donating your time. Many organizations need help and would appreciate your service. If you don't already have a favorite charity, you can find volunteer organizations in need in your area here. Did you know that, according to the IRS, you can deduct a certain amount for every mile you drive in service to a charitable organization? You could help out your favorite charity and enjoy a tax deduction as well. You’ll want to check with your tax professional on the best way to log your miles.

How we can help

No matter how you decide to give, it should be right for your and your family’s financial situation. Your financial advisor can work with your tax and legal professionals to go over your options and discuss how your plans could affect your overall financial strategy.

For more information, set up a face-to-face meeting with an Edward Jones financial advisor in your community.

Important information:

This information is for educational and illustrative purposes only and should not be interpreted as specific investment advice. Investors should make investment decisions based on their unique investment objectives, risk tolerance and financial situation.

Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.